Author Topic: Crocodile Tears  (Read 5272 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

LeveeWoman

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4137
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 12:49:40 PM »
I would say "I'll give you some privacy" and walk away.  If the tears are real, they may indeed need privacy.  If it's fake, they've just lost an audience.

That's how I would handle it.

GratefulMaria

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 534
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2013, 12:51:50 PM »
I hate being "comforted" when I cry, especially by work colleagues or strangers, and far prefer to go into the toilets and have a quiet cry there to let it out my system. 

This.

When someone tries to comfort me, I end up crying even harder. When my grandfather died, my parents called me at work to tell me. I ended up waving my coworker back to her desk so I could tell her over chat, because every time she patted me on the back, my throat closed up even more.

This is a huge distinction, in my opinion.  When MIL cries, it's to get comfort -- nothing wrong with that in and of itself -- and start a huge, thorough discussion of how moving her situation is.

Again, I'm not sure that this is so much a case of "crocodile tears" as someone who has a pre-Copernican worldview.

PastryGoddess

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4504
    • My Image Portfolio and Store
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2013, 01:18:39 PM »
I hate being "comforted" when I cry, especially by work colleagues or strangers, and far prefer to go into the toilets and have a quiet cry there to let it out my system. 

This.

When someone tries to comfort me, I end up crying even harder. When my grandfather died, my parents called me at work to tell me. I ended up waving my coworker back to her desk so I could tell her over chat, because every time she patted me on the back, my throat closed up even more.

This is a huge distinction, in my opinion.  When MIL cries, it's to get comfort -- nothing wrong with that in and of itself -- and start a huge, thorough discussion of how moving her situation is.

Again, I'm not sure that this is so much a case of "crocodile tears" as someone who has a pre-Copernican worldview.

Hehe love this

I had this happen often with a former friend who used tears to manipulate.  What I learned to do is to leave the situation.  If we were on the phone and she started crying, I simply said "you seem very upset, I'm going to go now and you can give me a call later when you are feeling more calm"  Funny enough, the tears would stop and we would continue chatting.  When she did it in person, I said "I'm sorry you are upset,  I'll leave and give you a call later so we can talk" and then I would make to pick up my purse and leave.  Again the tears would stop and life would go on. 

I think the best thing to do is to leave the situation.  For someone who can't help it, it gives them time to get themselves together so they are able to talk without crying. And for someone who is manipulating you, you've deprived them of an audience which they can't stand

pierrotlunaire0

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4128
  • I'm the cat's aunt!
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2013, 01:33:42 PM »
At the DMV, we will occasionally get a customer who sobs when we say No.  Sometimes out of sheer frustration, and I understand.  But there are some who are trying to manipulate the situation.

Another manager has a brilliant way of addressing the crocodiles (and you can tell when no water comes forth, and they keep peeking at you through their fingers).  "I am so sorry you are so upset.  In fact, I am concerned that you should not be driving like this.  It would be dangerous for you to drive in this distraught condition." She goes on for a bit on how it is her moral duty to prevent the customer from driving, and without fail, the tears stop immediately when they realize that she is suggesting calling police to take them home "for their own good."
I have enough lithium in my medicine cabinet to power three cars across a sizeable desert.  Which makes me officially...Three Cars Crazy

Auntie Mame

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1492
  • Live! Live! LIVE!
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2013, 02:21:20 PM »
My mother uses tears so she doesn't have to take responsibility for her actions.  she'll start sobbing about horrible she is, how much you hate her, etc..  Then you are supposed to suddenly stop being angry and comfort HER about her mistake.  It doesn't work on me anymore.

The only time tears make cold and angry is situations like that.  When people behave very badly, you call them on it, and they cry to get sympathy.  Nope, doesn't erase what you did, doesn't fix the situation, just makes me lose every last bit of respect I may have had for you.
Auntie needs fuel, black coffee and a side car.

m2kbug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1327
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #20 on: February 15, 2013, 02:33:28 PM »
I tend to cry when I'm upset or stressed.  I'm not crying as a sympathy ploy, I just can't really control it.  It can be embarrassing.  Sometimes I can control it, but other times it just pops out.  Because of this, when someone cries, I don't leap to the conclusion that it's some sort of manipulation tactic.  I generally just talk to them as if they weren't crying.  Someone who is highly emotional might need a little bit more hand holding and direction.  I have known people who cry at the drop of a hat.  You lose sympathy for the tears really quickly.  What's wrong this time, accidentally bought 2%?  You can generally tell if they're being manipulative.  Whether or not there is a manipulation tactic, at least in a place of business, rules are rules, there's not a whole lot you can do, though you may spend more time walking them through the process or reassuring them, tears aren't going to change anything. 

My sister has been employing PastryGoddess' suggestion when one of the family members gets on one of her angry rants, something that I need to employ, not just to put a quick stop to that person's angry rant, but to not allow myself to get sucked into it and start my own angry rant and then we're fighting.   :-[  To end to conversation or give them time to regroup (even if pretending to be sympathetic but you know they're manipulating) is probably the best method. 

JoyinVirginia

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 6019
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2013, 02:56:29 PM »
My mother uses tears so she doesn't have to take responsibility for her actions.  she'll start sobbing about horrible she is, how much you hate her, etc..  Then you are supposed to suddenly stop being angry and comfort HER about her mistake.  It doesn't work on me anymore.

The only time tears make cold and angry is situations like that.  When people behave very badly, you call them on it, and they cry to get sympathy.  Nope, doesn't erase what you did, doesn't fix the situation, just makes me lose every last bit of respect I may have had for you.

Do we have the same mom? This tactic used to work on me, she used it one too many times and them I found myself not responding even when she was legitimately upset.

Library Dragon

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1335
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2013, 03:13:59 PM »
POD Red Rose!

As one of the world's easiest criers I get so frustrated at my inability to not cry.  My staff and I joke about it.  "Don't show LD that Clydesdale video, she'll start crying." 

On the other hand, walking away from manipulators robs them of their power over you.  'Yes, it's horrible that both your parents died for the 3rd time last month, but the your dog chewed up four brand new books and you will need to pay for them.  I'll give you a moment to compose yourself and when you're ready to discuss the payment plan I will be over here.'   

            Created by MyFitnessPal.com - Free Calorie Counter

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21351
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2013, 05:09:05 PM »
As someone who often bursts into tears when angry (and believe me, I wish I had control over it), I don't think that responding coldly is helpful.  The emotions are genuine, even if it may seem silly that I'm crying. I don't, however, feign tears to get my way, and have no patience with that sort of behavior.  The trick is differentiating between the two.

I'm not sure why genuine tears of anger would mean (general)you are entitled to a praticularly warm response.  If somebody yelled at me in anger or gave me the silent treatment in anger they would get a pretty chilly response so angry tears seem deserving of a like response.  If it is something you can't control, that certainly isn't on me.  I think walking away is fine.  Maybe "I'll give you your privacy" or "we'll talk later"

Lynn2000

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4765
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2013, 05:10:44 PM »
My former co-worker Emma is a very emotional person; I think I've mentioned her on here before. Her life is also a mess, in large part due to her own actions, and at one point she was additionally stressed out by a large presentation/report she had coming up. I was assigned to help her with it and I can't tell you the number of times she started crying at work and went on about all the stressful things that were happening in her life at the same time. I think the first time or two I was sympathetic, and after that I just sat there quietly and waited for her to calm down, literally thinking about my grocery list or something, and then went back to what we were doing with no comment.

I think her emotions were genuine and not an attempt to manipulate me or gain sympathy. But frankly I was tired of it and found it unprofessional (it was happening several times a week), and like I said so many of her problems were caused by her own choices. Not to be all armchair psychologist; but looking at her track record of always choosing the worst possible option in any situation, you had to wonder if she was subconsciously trying to fail. At life. Plus she had no coping mechanisms, other than crying in inappropriate times and places.

There are times when tears are genuine and appropriate--obviously--and I'm sympathetic to those. If I knew the person well and I knew their tears were warranted and that they would appreciate being comforted, I would do that. Personally, I hate hate hate crying in front of someone myself, it's absolutely the last resort for me. Someone making a big deal out of nothing, or trying to manipulate me, or someone that I don't know very well going the "tears" route with me--big red flags. I would just sit there and wait for them to stop, or get up and leave if necessary, and I wouldn't care what anyone else in the restaurant (etc.) thought. Why would I? They're all total strangers, right?
~Lynn2000

bansidhe

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2049
    • The Menagerie
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2013, 06:32:31 PM »
I'm just popping in to say that this thread has been very educational to me. I cry when someone dies and that's about it. (Well, OK...I might get a bit teary when I see little kittens sometimes.) When I encounter people who cry a lot, I immediately suspect them of being manipulative and faking the whole thing. It's good to know that that is not always the case at all.

Esan ozenki!

Arizona

delabela

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 584
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2013, 09:08:38 PM »
I sometimes angry-cry, and I sometimes happy-cry without being able to predict.  I have a dear friend who cries easily but certainly not manipulatively, and I acknowledge it and we continue whatever we are doing/talking about.

For the manipulative criers (and I deal with more than average), I kind of pretend it's not happened and go on.

CrochetFanatic

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 826
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2013, 09:37:35 PM »
I think the last time I cried to manipulate someone, my age was in the early single digits.  ::) Didn't work, either.  But I wish I could say that I haven't been accused of it.  I'm another person who cries out of anger or frustration.  Not out-and-out sobbing, but it just comes out.  The person I'm talking to is uncomfortable, I'm embarrassed, and I just ask for a few minutes to compose myself.  Outside of family, this situation rarely happens at all.

There are a few sure-fire triggers that get me going.  Being called something nasty, being slapped (hasn't happened in a long time, and won't happen again if I have anything to say about it, and I do), and getting yelled at are the three biggest ones.  If someone is roaring in my face so that I can feel the sound waves inside my head, it has the same effect as a good slap would.  I actively try not to cry, and it makes it so much worse when I can't keep it in and the person keeps following me to continue the "conversation", aka make fun of my "weakness".  One of the handfuls of times I've been in a blind rage was when someone insulted me to the point of tears and then mocked me by imitating the sounds I couldn't help making.  It didn't get physical, but I honestly don't remember much after seeing red.  He never mocked me again, though.

I don't cry to manipulate.  I prefer to just be left alone until it passes, and I apologize afterwards for the awkwardness.  People who employ actual crocodile tears to get their way in the supermarket or to swindle money out of relatives because they're "starving" or "won't make rent", then end up spending the money on, say, a new flatscreen TV (I've witnessed the former, but not the latter; that was a story I got from a co-worker who was complaining about a mooching relative) do not have my respect. 
« Last Edit: February 15, 2013, 09:41:56 PM by CrochetFanatic »

CakeEater

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 2521
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2013, 07:12:00 AM »
I'm another easy crier who wishes she wasn't. I don't look or act like a crier either, so people are sometimes pretty shocked when I let go. I'm most likely to cry when I'm frustrated over something or having a conflict of some sort. I've cried at work a couple of times over things, and I would really love people to completely ignore me for a while. Sympathy makes me much worse.

I would hate for people to think I was trying to manipulate them. I'm really not.

I also cry like a crazy thing when watching sad movies, Tv shows, advertisements...

Sharnita

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 21351
Re: Crocodile Tears
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2013, 10:11:05 AM »
You know, the thing about tears/crying is that whether the "crier" intends to manipulate or not, the very presence of tears can introduce a lot of pressure and societal expectaions about what others should do, who is the good/bad guy, etc. I really do understand that for a lot of people the crying is not voluntary but unfortunately there are still negative consequences for whomever/whatever "made" them cry.  That is understandably frustrating for the non-crier who is at a disadvantage.