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How do I hold back my tears when I'm in public?

12 Answers
Last Updated: 06/01/2021 at 12:30pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Lindsay Scheinerman, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

My work with clients is to help them recognize and build on their strengths to find solutions for the conflicts presented in their lives.

Top Rated Answers
January 4th, 2016 4:11pm
This is what I do while I'm trying to think of a distraction: Open your eyes wide and look up, this will keep the tears in and they'll eventually dry before spilling.
November 27th, 2017 8:14am
Try your best to think happy thoughts. Perhaps something that makes you laugh. I know it helps me :)
March 15th, 2015 3:39am
The Best way to hold back tears in Public is to keep yourself distracted with happy thoughts,Music or even pretending to be busy on your phone just try harder and harder or have someone close with you for company.
October 29th, 2015 11:05am
It's hard, but why not take a minute somewhere alone. Take deep breathes, tell yourself to be strong.
March 16th, 2015 3:15am
The first thing we could ask is why you would have to hold your tears, even when in public, since crying is no crime
May 7th, 2015 6:19pm
Don't hold them back, just go to a somewhat private place and try to calm down. Maybe take a close friend and have them help you through it.
May 20th, 2015 7:28pm
Just think about something happy and breath. In case you felt the tears can't be held try to avoid looking at people and the feeling will fade , hopefully
January 5th, 2016 4:02am
Give yourself a chance to experience the emotions. I can relate, if you would like to talk to me just schedule a time. :)
September 27th, 2016 6:58am
You shouldn't hold back your tears because suppressing your emotions makes it worse. Maybe crying in the bathroom is a good choice in public if you are afraid of being judged.
November 20th, 2018 6:22am
For myself this is very hard to do, if it’s someone I have to deal with what their saying or doing if possible I turn away while still listening to them but if it is possible my first move would be to excuse myself for a few minutes to calm down. Also looking down at the floor or talking to myself in my head to keep me calmed down. Also when excusing myself I explain why I need to excuse myself and it’s my right to do so and they should except it. If they don’t I just keep repeating myself until they allow me to step away cause it’s my right
December 25th, 2018 7:01pm
If you are already in public a good way is to breathe deeply a few times while trying to direct your thought to something positive. Try to keep your thought under control and push away the ones that makes you sad as soon as they arise. It is not the easiest exercise, if you manage this you should be very proud of you, especially if it is your first attempt. It is a bit easier if you are still by yourself and you still need to go out in public. Then you could use your favorite playlist, like a "cheer up" playlist of songs that are able to empower you, that makes you happy. At the same time you still do the above exercise, by pushing away difficult thought. This is how you can hold back your tears, but in the end you cannot deny your feelings, they will just grow deeper otherwise, once you have time for yourself again, explore them, do mindfulness exercises, find someone who can listen to you.
June 1st, 2021 12:30pm
A trick I've learned to do was to take deep breaths. Although that seems cliche, I found that it helped stop the constriction in my chest that I felt whenever I was going to cry. Blinking helps, too, but sometimes it just pushes the tears out. Another thing is to focus really hard on something, whether it be a random passerby, a window, or something on your shoe. If you distract yourself from whatever is troubling you at the moment, the less likely you'll feel the urge to break down. Lastly, you can always have and inner mantra! Mine was basically to sing the lyrics in my head of this song I liked to divert my thoughts to the enunciation of the lyrics than the thoughts that unsettled me.