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How to Hide Tears at School

Four Methods:Stopping Your TearsMaking ExcusesHiding Your TearsEscaping the Situation

Although crying is a perfectly normal human emotion that we all experience sometimes, it can be embarrassing to cry at school. Fortunately there are a number of tips and tricks that can help you to hide your tears at school if you are having a rough day but don't want anyone else to know about it. That said, if someone is bullying you at school and that is why you are trying to hide your tears, you should report him or her to a teacher or school counselor. You do not just have to grin and bear it; people do not have the right to treat you badly.

Method 1
Stopping Your Tears

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    Distract yourself. If you haven't started crying yet but think you might, try distracting yourself from your sad thoughts. Play a game on your phone or try to joke around with a friend, or try engaging deeply in your math book or listening carefully and fully to what your teacher is saying.[1]
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    Create distance. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your feelings and like you are about to cry, try creating some distance between yourself and your thoughts.[2]
    • To gain distance, try imagining yourself as an outsider viewing the situation that is making you sad. You can also try referring to yourself in the 3rd person when you think about your situation.[3][4]
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    Be mindful. If you are sad about something that is not relevant to the present moment (e.g., something that happened in the past or will happen in the future), try focusing on only the present.
    • To be mindful, pay full attention to your bodily sensations, all the information coming in through your senses, and your thoughts about those perceptions and sensations.[5]
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    Smile. You may be able to improve your mood by smiling, even if you don't feel like it. This is called the facial feedback hypothesis and it suggests that the relationship between emotions and the face is a two way street: though we typically smile when we feel happy, some evidence suggests that smiling may cause us to feel happier or otherwise help us to be less sad.[6]
    • If you have a pencil handy, try putting it in your mouth and biting it with your teeth. This will raise your cheeks and facilitate your smile.
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    Change your thoughts. Try to change your mood by thinking about something really funny or something that makes you really happy. You can also try thinking about what is making you sad in a different way. [7]
    • For example, you could try thinking about something really funny you saw on the internet or something nice that your significant other did for you.
    • To think differently about what is making you sad, consider this example. Say you are sad because you received a bad grade on an exam, and that you are upset because you think it means you are not smart. Try instead thinking about your bad grade as a challenge that you can surmount, on the next exam, by studying harder.
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    Get social support. When you can, find a friend or someone you can confide in and tell them what's bothering you; this may help relieve your sadness and help you to avoid any further tears at school.[8]

Method 2
Making Excuses

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    Say you poked your eye. You could try saying that you do clumsy stuff sometimes and you accidentally poked your eye which made it all watery. Probably most people have done this at some point or another, so this is something that could very believably have happened to you.[9]
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    Say you have bad allergies. Some allergies cause tears and puffy faces or eyes. You could say that you have an allergy that sometimes gives you these symptoms. To make it more believable, try following up with something about how it is for you to live with that allergy.[10]
    • For example, to keep the conversation light, you could say that it is super annoying to have allergies that make you look like a puffer fish.
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    Say you are fighting off a cold. Sometimes when we get sick our eyes water. You could consider saying that you are getting over a cold that sometimes makes your eyes watery.[11]
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    Say you are sensitive to changes in the air. You could try saying that your eyes dry up then tear up and are sensitive to gusts of wind or sudden changes in temperature.[12]
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    Say you got something in your eye. Maybe it was some dust or a bug or some eraser residue; whatever you decide to say, first look for something plausible in your environment you could have gotten in your eye and blame your tears on that.[13]
    • Keep in mind that whatever you do, don't lie and say that you got something dangerous in your eye, like a chemical. If you do this your teacher may rush you to the nurse, which is a waste of everyone's time.
    • Also, you will cause people to needlessly worry and you may have to come clean about lying, which could get you into trouble.
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    Say you were laughing hysterically earlier. Sometimes we laugh so hard we cry. If you are wanting to hide your tears because you do not want someone to know that you were or are sad, and they weren't around you a minute or two beforehand, you could say that you were laughing about something really funny.
    • Tell them a funny joke that you know or a funny situation that you encountered in the past to make it more convincing. Who knows, by recalling this funny situation, you may even cheer yourself up!
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    Say you tear up when you yawn. Do a fake yawn by opening your mouth wide and breathing in heavily. Rub your eyes together and if someone asks, tell her that you get tears sometimes when you yawn.[14]
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    Say you are short on sleep. Whether or not it is actually true, some people think that our eyes water when we don't get enough sleep. If you want to hide your tears to someone who asks about them, tell her that you were up late last night doing homework or something else that you might plausibly have been doing the night before.

Method 3
Hiding Your Tears

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    Rest your head on your arms. If you are sitting at your desk, place your head down between your folded arms so that no one can see your eyes. Say that you're tired or that your head hurts and you need a quick rest. Let out a few tears while you pretend that you are taking a rest.
    • Only do this if your teacher won't get upset; she may call on you and draw the attention of the whole class on you.
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    Avoid talking. Sometimes our voices tremble when we are sad, which will give away your tears. Try avoiding talking while you are sad.
    • If it is not possible to avoid talking, try talking in a lower tone of voice than you normally do and speak extra forcefully. Because you are sad you will probably sound more normal even though you think you are talking extra loud and deep.
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    Blot your eyes. Find a reason to bend down, like dropping your pencil or getting something out of your backpack, and wipe your eyes with your shirt or a tissue if you have one on hand.
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    Get a tissue and 'blow your nose'. If you don't have one but are able to go get one, find a tissue. You can pretend that you have to blow your nose, but before you do, discreetly wipe your eyes of their tears.
    • Try to turn away from others when you pretend to blow your nose; they will probably think you are just being polite being by not blowing your nose in their directions.
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    Pretend to get something from your eye. Make it seem that you are trying to remove an eyelash or something else in your eye by blinking a lot or pulling your eyelid. While you are doing this, discreetly wipe away any tears that others may be able to see.
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    Pretend you have to sneeze. Do your best fake sneeze into your hands or the inside of your elbow and wipe away any tears that way. If anyone sees any tears remaining and asks about them, you could jokingly say that you sneezed so hard you must have blown a gasket (i.e., you sneezed so hard it caused you to tear up).
    • If you know that you are prone to crying, consider packing some tissues in your bag for when you need them. Or, if you don't have a bag on you, put a few tissues in your pocket.

Method 4
Escaping the Situation

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    Ask to be excused. If you are in class and you feel tears coming on, ask to use the bathroom.[15] You are much more likely to be alone in the bathroom during a class period.
    • If you are at lunch or recess, move away from others. Try making an excuse by saying something about how you need to clear your thoughts or how you want to run around on your own.
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    Minimize the chance you will be heard. Once you are in the bathroom, make your way to a stall so that you can be alone. If you are worried about making crying noises, try running the faucet or flushing the toilet when you feel that you need to really let the tears out so people are less likely to hear you.
    • If you are at lunch or recess, by moving away from others you will be less likely to be heard or seen crying.
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    Let it all out. Once you are alone in the bathroom or you have flushed the toilet so no one can hear you, let yourself cry until you can't cry anymore. After you have let out all your tears and you think you are over your sad spell, give yourself a minute to recover.
    • If you are at lunch or recess, look around and make sure no one is too close by, then let it all out.
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    Wait for your face to clear up. After crying, your face might be red or puffy. Before you head back to the classroom, wait a few minutes for evidence of your crying to disappear.
    • If you can without being seen, try speeding up the process by running cold water over your face.
    • If your face is still red and/or puffy when you head back to class, try placing your hand in front of your face and scratching the top of your forehead as you walk back into class and take your seat. This way you will cover up most of your face and it will just look like you had an itch.
    • When you enter the classroom, you can also do a fake yawn, which will scrunch up your face and help to hide that you were crying. You can try this alone or in combination with scratching your head.
    • To wait around while at lunch or recess, do your best to stay as far away from your classmates as you can.
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    Block others' view of your face. If you are sitting on the left or rightmost side of the classroom, you can continue to hide your puffy face or any additional tears by resting a hand on your face in a way that will help to block others' view of you.
    • If you are sitting on the leftmost side of the classroom, you can rest your right hand on your face, or if on the rightmost side, your left hand.
    • Be careful to not look like you are falling asleep when you do this otherwise your teacher may call on you and put unwanted attention on you.


  • If you cannot stop crying you could get a friend to distract everyone's attention away from you while you dry those tears.
  • Keep tissues handy!
  • Stare at the ground and use gravity to blink away the tears quickly.
  • If you have long hair and you are about to cry, put your head down, cover you face with your hair, and cross your arms until you have calmed down. If you are having trouble calming down, take deep breaths and think about something different.
  • A good place to cry in school is the bathroom stalls. Cry silently there and no one will hear you.
  • Think about something funny, or the day when you felt you were on cloud nine. This should help you stop your tears until you can go to the bathroom.


  • Sometimes we cry because it is a way to communicate to others that we need help. Consider the possibility that hiding your tears may not be your best option. Think about getting social support from a teacher or friend to address the underlying cause of your sadness.
  • Holding in your emotions can sometimes have negative consequences for your health, so consider letting out your feelings when you feel comfortable doing so.[16][17]

Article Info

Categories: Dealing with Bullying | Crying