Is it OK to cry at work?

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WASHINGTON – Emotions can run high in some office environments. Some managers get mad enough to chew out employees. Some people who feel picked on can end up crying.

When it comes to expressing strong emotions at work, some experts say it might be best to rein them in.

A management professor who studies the influence of emotions in organizations tells The Wall Street Journal people can “catch” strong emotions from co-workers, just like they catch a virus. They then can become susceptible to venting, losing their composure or crying.

That expert recommends employees act in a way appropriate to their status in the workplace hierarchy. Instead of venting, they could instead excuse themselves or go home. They also could talk with someone who can offer constructive advice, and they could try to figure out the perspective of the person causing the strong emotion.

The workplace expert says suppressing strong emotions can cloud thinking and hurt job performance. If it’s a recurring issue perhaps the worker should consider whether the workplace is an appropriate environment for them.

WTOP’s Kristi King contributed to this story. Follow Kristi and WTOP on Twitter.

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