‘​’I’m sorry! I have to cry.’​’​

I am writing this after our quarterly planning meeting.

On the agenda, I added an inner compass subject: ‘‘How are we feeling and how was the last quarter for us?’’

When it was my turn to speak, I started crying. I told my team: Sorry! I will cry!

I cried because these past 3 months have been a lot, and I felt like I was spread like Nutella on a slice of bread. Doing everything, being everywhere, and being available for everyone (now, this is an old pattern of mine that I’m aware of, but it is easier to fall into the old habits than to hold on to healthy ones).

After the meeting, I went to the doctor for some medical tests. While waiting, it struck me: Why was I apologizing for crying since this is a natural part of being human?

Asking that opened a gate. Tons of memories of me apologizing for crying started to flood my mind.

  • I started crying in the admission call for a pre-accelerator program when they asked me why I began Parentool.
  • I started crying after a pitching session where judges didn’t even look at me but spent time checking their phones.
  • I started crying happy tears after going to Itsy Bitsy Gala.
  • I started crying when we had our first paying user.

And every time, I apologized for doing so and waves of shame filled my body.

Somewhere along the way, I learned that crying makes you weak.

That a person that is leading a business has to be emotionless. That if I cry, my team will lose their trust and sense of safety.

That feelings + business= are not a perfect match.

That I should be ashamed that I’m not this strong, independent, having all my sh*t-together woman.

That crying makes me a victim. And God, if you open Instagram, you will see how much we blame the victims.

You get the point.

Countless ideas and stories of demonizing crying.

And I noticed that, at least in my case, it goes like this:

I cry → I apologize for crying → I feel ashamed → I feel guilty → I start an inner rumination and lack of compassion towards myself → I somehow manage to reconnect → I show compassion to myself.

I felt like writing these rows because I believe we should normalize crying. Instead of focusing on a society that doesn’t give you the space to be human, we should instead focus on developing the skills to stay with the discomfort of seeing someone crying or being upset/grieving etc.

I felt like writing these because I see a new wave of leadership—one where leaders are humans first, where we dare to be fully ourselves without all these social norms.

I want to invite you to give yourself permission to feel and do whatever you want when you want it and stop playing after invisible rules.


Share the article!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *