I’m a crier. I cry at movies, tv shows, tv adverts, peoples stories, my past, books and so on but crying in front of people is something I still struggle with and I know a lot of people can relate. There is something that we dislike about crying in front of people. For some reason when tears start to fall we sometimes apologise for it but why should we? Crying is a natural human emotion.
I’m happy I have finally gotten to a point where I no longer fear crying whilst watching a movie with someone but crying when life gets too much I usually hide away and do it in private which is understandable, but if someone was to walk into my room whilst I’m ballin my eyes out I’d soon be able to stop crying and act as though I was fine which pauses all the emotions and thoughts I want to get out resulting in me feeling hardly any better.
A couple weeks ago I had a real good cry. It had been brewing for a while but a couple of things happened which just led to all of these tears streaming from my eyes. It was a proper cry. The cry where your nose gets blocked, tears drip off your chin and your eyes turn as red as the devil. One of those cries but ooh did I feel better afterwards. It was needed, but I couldn’t have been able to do that whilst I was around someone. I think crying involves vulnerability which a lot of us don’t like (me being one of them) and allowing someone to see you vulnerable is a big thing.
So lets rewind. We are all aware that family life, especially our childhood can have a huge impact on our adult life. Following my dads death I witnessed and heard family members crying a lot. I saw people cry who I had never seen cry before and I saw people cry who I didn’t think were capable of feeling such sadness cry. I remember one evening I had been out with friends and came home to find mum crying on the couch. It broke my heart. I sat with her for a bit but she told me she was fine and that I could go upstairs. So I did as she asked but the memory has always stuck with me. Sometimes I think I shoulda stayed with her till I felt like she was fine but then sometimes I understand if she wanted to be on her own. I’m not a parent, but I can understand that no parent really wants to let their child see them upset. Even as adults we don’t want our friends or even strangers to see us upset but I feel this needs to change. It’s okay to cry. No matter what the reason is whether it be because of a emotion, event or just to feel better, it’s perfectly normal to cry. If we don’t allow our children to see us vulnerable then what message is that sending them? It’s not just family life though. TV shows and movies made an even bigger impact on me. Those types of scenes where the child walks in on their parents crying and the parents tell them a white lie or for to go to their room or whatever. Just think about what message that is sending.
But crying can sometimes attract unwanted human emotions such as sympathy. I hate sympathy. I don’t ask for it therefore I do not want it but when I get sympathy I don’t know how to handle it. Do I say thank you? Is it pity? Or do they genuinely feel sorry for me? How do you take sympathy? Because I still haven’t figured this out but when we see someone crying we can’t help but feel sympathetic, which again is a natural human emotion but not all of us like receiving it. For me, it’s probably the main reason why I do not like to cry in front of people. Crying is then sometimes followed by a hug which can be warm and comforting but it can also be an invasion of space and too much for us when we are feeling vulnerable. I’m open to a hug, I love a good hug but I have limits when I’m upset.
If I’m around someone who is crying I suppose I think about what I would like if I was the one crying. I ask if they want to be on their own first. Privacy is a big thing for me and most of the time I prefer to cry on my own but sometimes I want my dog with me and sometimes I will message my mum to come into my bedroom. So if someone wants me there then I will usually just sit there and listen. Even if all they are doing is crying, just sitting there with them can be comforting. You don’t have to talk to them, they might not want you to talk anyway. They might just want someone to literally just be there. Sometimes it can feel like nobody has our back or nobody is being supportive (which can result in crying). Being with someone when they are feeling their most vulnerable is not only a compliment to you as they want you there but you are giving them that support that they possibly feel like they don’t have. Counsellors aren’t allowed to comfort their patients when they are crying. The first few times I cried with my counsellor I found it awkward. She would just sit there, watch me with her sorry eyes and wait till I have composed myself. Eventually this was the best form of comfort I found for me. I wasn’t receiving any unwanted sympathy, my personal space wasn’t being invaded (although I did need a hug from my mum sometimes afterwards) and I didn’t feel like I needed to rush. I could just sit there and cry till I felt like I had gotten everything out.
Crying offers us many benefits such as:
– Relieving pain
– Enhancing our mood
– Stress relief
– Aiding sleep
– Helps visions
Crying is not a bad thing. Crying when you stub your toe is a normal response. Crying when you have just passed your GCSE’s is completely understandable. Crying because someone hurt you is a normal human reaction.
The stigma surrounding mental health is slowly fading but the stigma surrounding crying is still there. Crying is a human emotion. It’s natural. It doesn’t make you any weaker or less of a person. It helps you to feel better. It helps you release those thoughts that you might not be able to release verbally. It’s not something that you should be ashamed of or feel sorry for doing and definitely not something you should be scared of doing.
So if you need a cry, cry. Let it out. You’ll feel better afterwards.
Sending my love,