One day when I was working as an admin, a couple of the office ladies began chatting with me about the fruit shop down the street. We all shared excitedly how much we loved that fruit shop. It always has the ripest and most delicious fruit at a great price and then….then….I started crying. Okay, when I say crying I mean noticeable tears began welling up in my eyes and running down my cheeks (I didn’t begin sobbing or anything). I wasn’t sad of course, but something about the conversation caused feelings in me that caused me to cry. To say I got a few strange looks would be an understatement.
Now I can understand maybe getting a bit tearful now and then if the topic is emotive, but this was fruit. That’s not exactly a heart wrenching topic. This has always happened to me for as long as I can remember but after that incident, I became more self-conscious of these random attacks of tears. Sometime during meetings with staff or worse, clients, I would feel my eyes welling up. I’d do all sorts to try and stem the flow. Looking away, pretending to sneeze, blinking rapidly and sometimes just telling myself it wasn’t happening. I met with my boss to explain my problem to her. She told me, bless her heart, that I really ought to go and see “someone” about that because it’s not normal and unprofessional. Of all the people I’ve worked for, she’s not someone I have fond memories of.
I did go and see someone though, a coach who I desperately wanted to fix me. I wanted him to help me stop this random crying business so I could have normal conversations with people. He invited me to observe the moments the tears came to visit. What was I feeling when it happened? It took a while but I eventually worked it out. Every time it happened I felt deeply heard, received and connected to the person or people I was talking to. The subject matter made no difference. It happened only when I felt that way but not every time, making me feel so out of control. I never knew if the tears would come or I would hold my composure.
At the end of the day, the coach did not help me get rid of the random tears. Instead, he helped me come to terms with them, to accept them as part of who I am. I felt a bit tricked by him at first, he helped me find a solution but it wasn’t the one I was expecting. Lately I’ve forgotten this and I’ve been trying to hide my tears again so I decided instead to write this post. To remind myself and let others know that if they’ve ever seen me getting tearful randomly when we’ve been discussing mundane stuff like, oh I don’t know, the perils of living on hill or where the best place to park in town is – it’s because I’m feeling connected and heard.
Please don’t go the other way on me and start getting offended if I’m not tearful while talking with you. As I said before, it happens when I’m feeling connected and heard but not every time. There are plenty of times that I’m enjoying a conversation and not crying – thank god. Otherwise I’d have to buy stock in tissue companies.
Some of you may well be reading this and thinking…..okay, I’ve never noticed this about Bron. That’s cool. Often the things we think are a bit embarrassing about ourselves are things people actually take no notice of. In any case, you’ll now know what’s going on if you ever do notice me wiping the tears away while we talk. Just pass me the tissues and say “I love you too Bron”.
With tears of joy