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Crying

Why did I cry uncontrollably after my heated verbal fight with a coworker?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)

 

Crying

Why did I cry uncontrollably after my heated verbal fight with a coworker?

(this is raw unedited text transcribed directly from the audio)

 

Dr. Kenner: This is a question I received from Joey, and you know, you can get really frustrated with a coworker at times, but listen to what happened to this guy and what is your gut response? What do you think is going on here? Dear Dr. Kenner, I recently got into a heated verbal fight with a coworker. So you want to visualize they may be sitting at the desk or maybe they\'re in the shipping department or maybe they\'re in the corporate offices, I don\'t know, but they get into this heated verbal fight. Other people might be listening, and I\'ll continue with the email. I feel he is lazy and abusive toward me, leaving me lots of work. So picture that. You come in early. You stay late, and he\'s not doing his work. While we were telling the manager what happened, I started crying, and I could not stop or control it. I felt completely inappropriate for this situation, but I could not stop it. Later I tried to figure out why I had been so emotional, but I still don\'t know why. How can I find out? I\'ve introspected for a while, but I\'ve come up with nothing. Joey.

 

Now, introspecting, what is introspecting Joey? Extra-specting is looking outwards - I was shopping for a new car recently and I\'m looking at all the cars and comparing them, or I went to the zoo with my sister which was a whole lot of fun, hadn\'t been there in a decade or more, and we\'re extra-specting. We\'re looking outward at the flamingos and the elephants and the giraffes and the monkeys. Introspecting is looking inward, thinking, looking at your emotions, your thoughts, the images that cross your mind. Even thinking about your bodily responses. I\'m so tensed up right now, what is happening? Or my heart is racing, what is happening? How do you introspect to find out why you couldn\'t stop crying? Well, you start by asking yourself questions and there are a whole series of questions and I\'ll give you a little bit of the pattern of it and you\'ll probably get the feel for why you were crying and crying and crying in front of your manager and you weren\'t able to stop. This is after a heated verbal argument with a coworker

 

First of all, some of the questions you can ask, What am I feeling? People don\'t even know to name it. You\'re obviously feeling angry, but then you\'re feeling sad. You were angry when you were in the heated verbal fight, but when you actually get with the manager, you\'re sad. So put it into words. Then, on top of that, you get anxious. Why would you get anxious? You got anxious because you were crying in front of your manager and anxiety is the emotion we feel when we experience uncertainty or self doubt. If you lose control in front of someone you admire or want them to admire you or they\'re important in your life, you\'re going to feel some anxiety. So you want to be able to do the detective work. One of the questions is what am I feeling? When have I felt this way before? That\'s another question. Who is in the room? That\'s sometimes the way it\'s phrased, because this type of a response is so powerful - the fact that you had uncontrollable sadness. Sadness is the emotion we feel when we experience a loss. It could be a loss of your own feeling of worth, even. But sadness is, in this case, you had intense sadness, so a big loss

 

You do the detective work. What\'s the specific loss? Having to fight the bully at work? Worried that the boss won\'t believe you and will falsely blame you? When have you been there before? If you ask yourself the question, you may not get an answer right away, but ask yourself the question, Joey. When did I feel this emotion before? Was it with dad as a child? Was it with an uncle? Was it with mom? When did I feel this sense of maybe being powerless or maybe feeling like the bully is going to win? Or maybe having observed some tension like this between your parents and that\'s triggering it. I don\'t know what the situation is, but that\'s the type of work, the permission you want to give your subconscious, is go ahead and look through my databanks and tell me when I felt this way before and had this type of a response. That may bring out some pretty powerful emotions. However, that\'s good to process those emotions. You can write on paper.

 

Once the tears started, you likely had a secondary emotion. That\'s an emotion about your emotion. In this case, you probably had that emotion about your sad emotion, which would probably be that anxiety that I spoke of. So you ask yourself what thoughts cross my mind. Typically, with anxiety, we have thoughts such as, Oh my God, and then fill in the blank. Oh my God, what if - all these what-if thoughts, and you always predict something negative. What if I can\'t stop crying? What if my boss thinks less of me? What if I look like a baby? What if my coworker teases me? What if my boss fires me? What if I\'m out of a job? So, when you get those thoughts, you\'re dealing with the secondary emotion, the anxiety, and that feeling of powerlessness

 

Be your own best friend. If your friend had a breakdown like this - I don\'t mean an emotional breakdown, but just a temporary loss of emotional control that you wanted at that time - what would you tell your best friend? My guess is you would say something like, You know, we\'ve all had those moments in life and this seemed like a really difficult one for you. Any ideas where it came from? You would just be a good listener to your friend. You want to be able to do that for yourself. You can also go to my website, DrKenner.com and get the book Mind Over Mood, which tells you how to go through a thought record, which is a phenomenal cognitive therapy technique. Again, my website is DrKenner.com. I\'m Dr. Ellen Kenner on The Rational Basis of Happiness.