If you鈥檙e a human being, there鈥檚 a pretty good chance you鈥檝e cried at work at some point. It鈥檚 natural and normal to need to let intense emotions out, and sometimes that inconveniently happens at the office. Ugh. Whether it鈥檚 because you鈥檙e burned out, you鈥檝e realized you鈥檙e聽definitely in the wrong job or something is just weighing on you, there are times when you just can鈥檛 suppress your emotions, and you shouldn鈥檛 have to! But not only can it be uncomfortable to get super upset at work 鈥 it can be embarrassing if it happens in a public way, like in a meeting or at your highly visible desk (gotta love those open-floor-plan offices, right?). So where can you go and what can you do if you feel the tears coming on? We tapped some HR pros and career experts to get their take on this tough sitch. Here are some guidelines to follow if you just need to let it out during your nine-to-five.

Casual upset businesswoman with head bowed

1. Do it in private.聽If you feel the urge to cry at work, it can be tempting to just do it quietly at your desk. Unfortunately, that may attract attention and it鈥檚 better to deal with intense emotions privately. 鈥淚f your workplace has any unused offices or even a supply closet, that鈥檚 the best place to go. Especially if you can close the door and not be seen,鈥 recommends聽Laura Macleod, HR expert. The office of a coworker you trust聽is also a safe place to go, as long as they鈥檙e okay with it. 鈥淚f possible, try to get outside the office,鈥 she adds. Heading to your office鈥檚 lobby or even outside for some fresh air can work wonders.

2. You don鈥檛 have to say anything about it afterward. If a coworker or superior sees you in tears, you may wonder if it鈥檚 a good idea to go back to them later and explain yourself. 鈥淚n all cases, it鈥檚 best to address it in the moment, not after the fact,鈥 says Macleod. If someone asks you what鈥檚 wrong or if you鈥檙e okay, Macleod says a simple 鈥淭hanks so much, I鈥檓 fine,鈥 will suffice. Once you鈥檝e recovered, leave it at that. 鈥淭here鈥檚 no need to go back to anyone after,聽and it just helps them remember the incident聽when it may already be forgotten. If you relieve people鈥檚 discomfort by saying you鈥檙e okay, they鈥檒l usually move on and no negative repercussions will follow.鈥

Caucasian women using laptop rubbing forehead

3. There鈥檚 no reason to apologize.聽鈥淧eople are allowed to have emotions and no one should apologize for that,鈥 says Michelle Petrazzuolo, human resources consultant at Petrazzuolo HR.聽鈥淎pologizing聽makes it seem like your reaction was wrong or inappropriate, and it may not have been.鈥 There are all kinds of reasons you could cry at work and, you know what? Some of them are 100 percent justified.

4. Sometimes, crying is a reasonable reaction. While breaking down聽at work is definitely聽never ideal (being sad or super stressed is the worst!), there are times when it鈥檚 not really that out of place. Petrazzuolo explains that 鈥渃ertain situations聽push most people to their emotional limits, such as being laid off or receiving difficult news about a coworker. During these times, it鈥檚 not only acceptable to show your emotions, but sharing them with others can help everyone work through their reactions.鈥 Since you spend so much time with your coworkers, they can be a great support 鈥 especially if there鈥檚 a situation where many of you are going through something similar.

5. You can offer a helping hand to a teary colleague. If you see that someone else in your office is struggling, it鈥檚 absolutely okay to reach out to them. Just know that they may want to be left alone.聽鈥淭he best way you can help is by offering to escort them to a more private area,鈥 says聽Laura Henderson, HR聽consultant and owner of North County HR.聽By taking your coworker outside or to a private room, you help them to avoid causing a scene and give them a moment to regroup before returning to work.鈥

Mid adult woman consoling friend

6. Know that crying isn鈥檛 a 鈥渇eminine issue.鈥 Just a friendly reminder that guys have feelings too. 鈥淐rying is generally frowned upon and a sign of weakness, especially for men,鈥 notes Macleod. 鈥淭his isn鈥檛 accurate. Crying is a normal human release and often those who cry feel significantly better and more positive once they鈥檝e finished.鈥 That includes dudes, everyone.

鈥淚f everyone were genuine about their feelings, both men and women, it would accomplish both removing the stigma from men who cry and changing the view that feminine traits are associated with weakness,鈥 Petrazzuolo says. 鈥淭his could have wider-ranging implications for women being viewed as better leaders in general and help women to advance in their professions to levels where they are usually in the minority.鈥 We definitely hope this happens someday.

7. Self-care can help prevent workplace tears. If you鈥檙e dealing with something really tough personally or are struggling with difficult dynamics at the office, crying at the office can become a more regular thing. If this happens, there are some ways that you can try to minimize its frequency. 鈥淕et plenty of sleep and eat properly,鈥 suggests Macleod. 鈥淲hen resistance is low, we get more sensitive and are more apt to get teary, so stay healthy.鈥

In the moment when you feel like you鈥檙e about to cry, she recommends repeating positive things about yourself in your own head. Also, 鈥済ive yourself permission to聽cry later. This lets your body and mind know you鈥檒l get a chance to release all the emotion. Then, notice and remember every time you wanted to cry and didn鈥檛.鈥 This will help you gain confidence and remember what a strong and awesome badass you are.

Have you ever cried at work? How did you deal with it? Tell us about it @BritandCo.

(Photos via Getty)