Addressing Your Heartbreak in the Office

How to Deal With a Broken Heart at Work
by Joelle Zarcone
November 02, 2016
So, you just had your heart broken. You’ve cried through breakfast, eaten ice cream for lunch, and ripped up the photo evidence of you two together and happy by dinnertime.
But tomorrow’s Monday, and wine in your coffee mug probably won’t fly at the office.

How exactly does one get through their work day in one piece while feeling like the Queen of Broken Hearts inside?

There are a couple different schools of thought on how to handle a broken heart at work; you can either ignore the breakup and related heartbreak altogether or be open about your situation. What you choose ultimately depends on your individual situation: how long you two were together, what kind of environment you work in, your relationship with your colleagues, and your own sense of privacy. Regardless, sharing all of the details is probably not the best idea. After all, work should still be your first priority while you’re at work, no?

Here are some overarching guidelines for how (and why) to appropriately address your heartbreak at work.

Check for the elephant in the room

If your work family had already met your ex, or you’d been together for a decade, then it might be a bit tricky to just sweep the now nonexistent relationship under the rug. Depending on your level of comfort with colleagues, you can just wait til they ask, or briefly bring it up yourself and then move on. No need to make the nitty-gritty details of your relationship the center of attention. This is especially true if you and your ex have had an on-again/off-again relationship in the past.

Pull yourself together. Literally.

Take a shower. Brush your hair. Put on clean clothes. Just because you feel like a mess internally does not mean you should let yourself appear to be a mess outside. This is not an aesthetics thing – it’s about being professional.

There’s no crying in baseball… er, the office

Or at least, don’t do it at your cubicle, or in the middle of a meeting with your clients. High-tail it to the restroom for that. Tears are normal for many of us when dealing with a broken heart, and if you need to cry, cry! But try to keep it from getting in the way of your workload.

Say no to oversharing

No, but really. If your best friend also happens to be your boss, then sure – discussing your situation might be fine in between deadlines during the work day. But ranting about what your ex did or didn’t do publicly in the office is inappropriate, no matter how casual or tightknit your workplace.

Embrace your inner Career Contessa

A broken heart is not a good enough reason to let work priorities fall by the wayside. It can feel like achievement enough to have gotten yourself into the office while you’re feeling engulfed in the broken heart blues (we’ve been there!), but your job isn’t done quite yet. If you have a meeting scheduled, attend it. If you have a project due, finish it.  Put on your headphones and blast some Beyoncé at your desk; you can get through this.

Just about everyone (seriously) has dealt with a broken heart at some point, so know you’re not alone. Use this time as a chance to focus on your goals and hit them out of the park. Remember, you are so much more than your former relationship. 
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What did you do when heartbreak happened to you?