Skip to main content Skip to bottom nav

How can I avoid crying or losing it in public?

37 Answers
Last Updated: 07/14/2020 at 9:41am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Elaine Kish, LMSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

My goal is to treat clients with respect and compassion. I am a supportive, strengths-based therapist with experience in treating mood disorders, grief, and trauma.

Top Rated Answers
October 23rd, 2014 9:11pm
Try to relax and distract yourself. I usually start crying when I'm deep in thoughts about something that makes me sad, but I'm often able to control my feelings when I don't bother too much about these thoughts. However, I don't find it embarrassing to cry in public. Even though I'm male, I cried a couple of times in public.
September 17th, 2014 9:13pm
Personally, I bite down on my tongue or lip, or scratch my arm with my nails. This redirects attention to a sudden sharp physical pain rather than focusing on what's upsetting you. Also, I find that putting a conscious effort into relaxing my jaw and throat really helps, though I'm not entirely sure on this one.
November 14th, 2014 8:29am
Find a private area(toilet or something),put a cloth/bag or something at you mouth,scream your lungs out!
September 11th, 2014 12:22am
i personally count to ten and take deep breath and think what can i do? can i change anything? if no then i worry less and if yes i act to change
November 2nd, 2014 9:31pm
Become fully aware of the surge of emotion as it comes over you. Embrace the surge and let it wash over you. Don't do any justifying in your head, don't think about it, feel it. Try not to fear the outcome of letting it all out in Public, sometimes we have to cry, but if you can accept that fact it will most likely subside before it gets out of your control. Accept the emotion, no matter how uncomfortable or negative and fully experience, it won't be able to build if you watch it.
November 3rd, 2014 1:29am
Focus on your breathing, move your eyes to control your tears, distract yourself with a physical movement, take a sip of water, and think about something that will need your absolute focus.
September 28th, 2015 8:40pm
Take a deep breath, avoid eye contact, count to ten, close your eyes. Re-open, forget and move on until you're home where you can face it.
September 27th, 2014 5:58pm
I think it is very hard to avoid crying or breaking down in public, one sometimes can't control it. First we gotta remember it is not a sign of weakness. However, i would go to the toilet and then come back.
November 6th, 2014 8:47am
If you feel a surge of emotion try looking out for an isolated place or a friend who can support you at that time. If you are in a meeting, excuse yourself for a while and come back when you feel you can face them again. Try having control over your emotions and maintain boundaries with others so that no one tries to hurt you again.
November 9th, 2014 12:53pm
First, it's okay to cry in public sometime. I understand you don't want to though. You can excuse yourself and go to the bathroom to cry there, if you really feel like you have to and it will help you, or you'll just stay there for a little while to calm yourself. I think that's the best option.
July 3rd, 2017 2:15am
Actually using the same techniques that I use to help with panic attacks, which are: to look for 5 trees, 4 cars, 3 buildings, 2 lamps and 1 flag( it doesn't necessarily have to be these things, these are just examples: just that same order), deep breathing( breathing in 7 seconds, holding 8 seconds, breathing out 7 seconds, holding 8 seconds, and repeating) and finally, like the first method, finding 5 things to focus, only this time things like focusing on what it feels like under your feet, finding anywhere on your body that feels hot or cold, what your hands feel like, just sensory things like that.
September 11th, 2014 4:06pm
Try to disctract yourself. Start thinking positively - about something that makes you really happy.
November 15th, 2014 6:46am
clench your fists and think happy thoughts to make you think less about crying, but its completely okay to lose it too, if you do just run to the nearest bathroom
August 24th, 2015 9:11pm
I try focusing on an object. I'll stare at it with wide opened eyes. If the tears are still coming I'll laugh it off while looking at my phone so people think those are tears of joy.
September 17th, 2014 4:11pm
I've always taken deep breaths and stepping away from the situation that makes you feel that way. There are many other ways but this is what I do!
October 26th, 2014 7:01pm
You can try to think of some happy thoughts or distract yourself if possible, like talking to someone, etc. If that becomes to difficult, then you could go somewhere private and let it all out. Everyone has their days.
May 8th, 2015 4:14pm
Take a deep breathe and tell yourself it's okay, or try to find a secluded space to let it all out, tell yourself its okay, sometimes we need to
October 27th, 2015 10:29pm
It is important to keep your mind strong wherever you go. Think of the things that make you happy and always move on with a purpose!
May 8th, 2018 1:16am
Have something to fidget with at all times. This helps take your mind of the situation. Alternatively, think of something happy to distract you. (the patronus rule :) )
October 9th, 2014 3:49pm
Just think happy thoughts. If your walking around with postiveness you wont even think about breaking down.
October 29th, 2014 12:08pm
Forcefully change your train of thought to something else. Think of a story that you really like, or a song that you heard that caught your attention. It's hard at first but gets easier.
November 4th, 2014 8:25pm
The most important thing is to try to calm yourself down whenever you feel the need to cry or loose it, Take deep breathes and explore a more positive line of thought. Distract yourself and try and think of things that are not so bad in your life and focus on that instead
November 10th, 2014 5:06am
Thought distraction can really help. If you get yourself to focus on something else, you will begin to calm down.
November 13th, 2014 1:59pm
one might try to keep it in and make an appointment with themselves to do it at the very first moment they can (for example, if you feel like crying in public, one might tell themselves they will the moment they get home) this will of course only work if you are strong enough to keep it in that long, sometimes, you just cant help it
November 16th, 2014 3:34am
The best thing I have found that helps me in this situation is to avoid thinking about and dwelling on whatever it is that's making you cry. Distractions are nice because they allow you to momentarily forget about what's bothering you.
June 23rd, 2015 6:32pm
I have found this wiki-how article has many helpful tips for controlling urges to cry in public: In addition, another trick that I use is to just keep telling myself that "I am saving my tears for later." I just keep repeating that & can get through whatever situation I am currently in that is bad to cry during, & then when I am alone I get to cry as much as I feel like.
August 18th, 2015 11:05pm
Sometimes I get the urge to cry or "lose it" in public from thinking of past events, personal issues or even just reaching my breaking point. But what helps me is I take a deep breath in and while I'm doing so I count to five in my head. When releasing my breath, I count to five again. Then I think of several positive things that make me happy. Then once again, I do the breathing process.
December 21st, 2015 1:13am
first of all,you need to calm down, stop anything you do for a while and just calm down and you can do something to prevent yourself from crying : 1. Physical movement a. Focus on your breathing b.move your eyes to control your tears c.distract yourself with physical movement (e.g squeezing, etc) d.relax facial expression 2.Changing focus a.change your focus b.think of something funny and you can also secretly dry your tears or remove yourself from current situation
- Expert in Managing Emotions
March 14th, 2016 1:37am
You can always give yourself some space. Like excusing yourself and going to the toilet or anywhere that you deem to be private to let your emotions flow.
July 12th, 2016 7:10am
Crying or loosing it as you call it can stem from two possible explanations- either it's social anxiety where you find yourself wondering whether you are being scrutinised for all your actions or second you are going through a phase which has left you vulnerable and the minute you find the trigger it kind of takes you back the memory lane. Take a stock of which of these reasons are more apt and if it's social anxiety you need to take baby steps in winning it. If it more to do with something that happened recently you need to identify the triggers and then consciously attempt to detach your self from those triggers. Hope this helps