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Emotional reactions..

Bharathi Jagadeesh bjag at ln.nimh.nih.gov
Wed Jun 4 08:42:20 EST 1997

Karen Allendoerfer (ravena at cco.caltech.edu) wrote:
: Annette C. Holman wrote:
: >>
: >>Crying is considered an unacceptable way of dealing with problems because
: >>it indicates that you are going to give up.
: What a great way to describe it!

Karen writes:
: I think the appropriate societal response is to educate people who hold
: these mistaken attitudes about crying, not to stigmatize the emotional
: coping mechanism of those who do it.

We seem to be arguing the merits of crying versus other
behaviors, like yelling, screaming, and breaking equipment.

But, though we may educate people that crying doesn't
mean that you're giving up, it still doesn't make
crying an acceptable mechanism to apply in the midst
of argument or discussion (or in public with colleagues,
rather than friends). There is a gut level emotional
response to anothers tears (maybe it has to do with
the way we react to the tears and sobs of children)
that makes it impossible to continue a rational discussion
with someone who is crying. That's true even if the
one crying is capable of carrying on the discussion.

Of course, yelling, screaming, and breaking equipment
are also unacceptable behaviors in the workplace. 

Bharathi Jagadeesh/bjag at ln.nimh.nih.gov

Lab of Neuropsychology
Building 49, Room 1b80
Bethesda, Maryland 20892

(312) 496-5625 x270

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