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tears (was re: comm. skills seminar)

Robin Panza panzar at clpgh.org
Thu Jul 11 05:20:50 EST 1996

In article <31E3D544.31FD at acpub.duke.edu>, Mara Casar <mmc9 at acpub.duke.edu> writes:
> Lauryl Maiya J Nutter wrote:
>> ....the thing that I have found helps is that I warn
>> people about the possibility.  I can usually tell if a situation
>> or subject of discussion is going to lead to this type of
>> reaction, so if I feel it coming on I say something along the
>> lines of "Listen, I might start to cry during this discussion.
>> Don't let it distract you from what I am trying to say."  I find
>> that this keeps people from focusing on trying to comfort me or
>> trying to stop me from crying and instead focuses the discussion
>> on what the subject is supposed to be.
> Is there anyone out there who has been in a similar situation where the 
> person who's the source of your frustration has misinterpreted your 
> reaction?  How do you handle it?  

Like Lauryl, I try to point out that, for me, *any* strong emotion comes out 
as tears.  I don't generally have her presence of mind to warn the person, 
but if the tears start, I explain.  By that time, I'm generally annoyed with 
myself, and the annoyance is expressed in the explanation, which lends 
credence to the statement that I'm not putting on a helpless female crybaby 
act.  If the person continues to accuse me, I turn the annoyance on them,
saying something like, "Oh, for chrissake, I'm angry, not sad!"  And press
forward on the offensive.  I think it's important to express the frustration in
terms the other person can understand, putting the lie to the tears.

Robin P.
panzar at clpgh.org

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