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How can I stop crying around others?

Thursday, August 24, 2023

Grief is a very emotional process. We don't know when we're going to cry (or to feel any emotion) and even if we do want to be around others, it can be difficult to not cry, especially when someone asks how we're doing or about our loved one...

Let's walk together and I'll share a couple of ways we can navigate these difficult moments. 

Welcome to Grief Questions Answered.

I'm Eric and it's my goal with this blog to answer the questions we ask in grief, to share everything I've learned about how to survive, find support in the loneliness of grief, and how to intentionally get back up and live beyond the loss of a loved one.

If this grief tip doesn't help you today, I'm confident it can AND will help you at some point in the future. So be sure to bookmark this page to come back and read later on.

Let's go ahead dig in on today's grief question -

Julie is a member of our Let's Walk Together Facebook group. She asks - “I’m always so afraid I’ll be that “Debbie-Downer” person when something makes me cry. I just get so embarrassed when I cry around people. How do I stop?!”

Julie, I’m sure your grief is really challenging to navigate and I hope this message helps. So first, grief is hard enough by itself. Second, when we’re grieving around others, it can be really hard to "put on a face" that everything is ok or to contain emotions at times. And, that's not your fault.

Let me go a bit deeper on this... Grief is kinda like emotional bumper cars in that it contains ALL of the emotions that go along with grief, and they're swirling around inside and crashing into one another...

When we lose a loved one those emotions are amplified. I'm talking about: FEAR, anger, SADNESS, pain, frustration, confusion, NUMBNESS, guilt, anxiety, relief, depression, resentment, AND EVEN HOPE, Joy and gratitude… Some these feelings go REALLY deep too. That said, when we lose a loved one, that ball of emotions grows and our emotions are amplified all in an effort to try and help us cope with what we’re feeling.

And so, in the case of crying because of the sadness, please know that what you’re feeling is normal and it’s ok. It's part of grief... You're releasing emotions as a means to cope.

After I lost Zoi, every morning when I opened my eyes, the pain hit me like ton of bricks. I would start crying and it sometimes went on for 2 hours or more! I felt like I couldn’t stop and honestly I didn’t know how to. So, I just let it come out when I was by myself. But, what I found was that by giving myself permission to cry, it helped to reduce the intensity of my emotions later on when I was around others sometimes. And other times it was still intense. And so Yes, I still got emotional around them, but it was mostly more manageable then.

And look, If you’re finding that you have to “keep it together” for family or others, then maybe it would help to find or create a private space where you can go at any time of the day to feel what you need to feel, for as long as you need to feel it… And I get this may be difficult, but even 15 minutes of uninterrupted crying in a space like this can help to reduce the pressure of the grief so that you can make it through the day or a conversation with someone else.

I want to keep going and talk a little bit more about being around others.

Here’s the thing: it can be difficult for some people to know how to respond to someone else who’s grieving or struggling with a loss.

that uncomfortableness that you're feeling may give you the urge to isolate yourself from others altogether. Here's a GRIEF TIP: DON’T do that!! haha

My friend, when I suggested a couple of minutes ago that you find a private space to grieve, I’m not encouraging isolation because that can actually make the emotions harder to manage.

What I am encouraging, though, is to find and give yourself some that space to feel what you need to feel so that you CAN connect and be around others.

If you feel like you’re isolating now, I get it. I did that too. My guidance is to reach out and post in grief support group or call a coach or your therapist - Because isolation is one of the main reasons why people stay stuck in their grief for a long time. But, The good news is: there are a lot of resources out there to help you get unstuck and reconnect with others.

But, back to the meaning of why your grief emotions are making others uncomfortable. Here’s a few reasons why:

- Maybe they’ve not experienced a significant loss in their life and they are basing a "Hollywood approach" to your grief - In 10-minutes you'll be on to the next adventure.."
- Maybe they did experience a loss and they were raised in a culture or environment where emotions were not expressed openly - or for that matter they were discouraged from showing emotions. That's a very common thing with a lot of people, especially men who are grieving... I'll talk More about that in an upcoming video.
- It could be that others may not know how to respond to your grief, they may feel uneasy or even overwhelmed by the intensity of your emotions. Again, you're doing the best you can with what you have.
- Some people may even feel helpless or unsure of how to support you through your grief and so they say something uncomfortable and then they ghost you... (no pun intended)
- Or, they may feel that they’re not equipped to provide the level of emotional support you need or may be they're afraid of saying or doing the wrong thing. I've seen that before...
- Finally some may even say some really unhelpful and hurtful things to you. Have any of these things happened to you? Comment below and let me know.

The main thing to remember here is that it's okay to feel whatever emotions come up for you. And someone’s response or reaction to how you’re grieving isn’t necessarily about you, it’s usually that it's bringing something up about them, and what they may be struggling with internally or have not resolved in their own life. Either way, what's important to remember here is for you to focus on what you need in that moment. Sometimes you may need to walk away and protect what energy you have left. It's ok. Then, come back and talk more if you feel like it. There are no rules here, just that you take care of yourself.

And BTW, if you can connect with someone who IS supportive and who can listen to you without judgement or telling you what you "should" do, then be around that kind of person, more. That kind of connection and energy will help accelerate your movement out of survival mode.

Julie, It’s ok to cry. Crying actually is a sign of courage, strength and bravery. My question to you is: can you give yourself permission to cry when you need to and in a space that allows for full expression of how you're feeling.

And, if you still find that talking with others is not getting any better, then it may be time to connect with a coach, counselor or group for support and to be in that non-judgmental environment that we all need in our grief.

I’m hoping this message helps some.

Let’s walk together.

(P.S.) Do you have a question about grief that I can answer for you? Email me at and I'll create a post here and a video to answer your question. 

I'm Eric. Let's continue to walk together. 

Hi, I Am Eric Hodgdon

Founder and President of Your Journey Guided, Inc.

  • Grief and Resilience Coach
  • Certified Trauma Specialist and Recovery Coach
  • TEDx Speaker and Amazon Best Selling Author of  A Sherpa Named Zoi

Thank you for visiting this blog. Do you have any questions about grief that I can answer? 

If so, send me an email at: and let me know. 

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