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Why It's Okay To Cry

by Veronica Williams


Go on give yourself permission to cry. In contemporary society it’s not considered the done thing or particularly cool to cry. If you were to cry in the workplace or in some other public arena this might be frowned upon, if it’s a woman you may well be perceived as being over-emotional and perhaps it’s just your hormones playing up, in the case of a man however you may be perceived as in need of psychiatric care.

Why do human beings cry? We cry for a number of reasons not least of which are the following. We cry because something has made us sad, we cry because we are physically hurt, we cry because we have lost someone that we love, (grief) we cry because romantically we are broken hearted, we may cry out of frustration, anger or because we are being bullied or intimidated. We may also cry because of injustices or when we recognise the unfairness of a situation. When any or some of these factors appear in our lives we should if we are emotionally healthy cry. Crying is a coping mechanism which the body uses to get rid of pent up emotions. After you have cried you will probably feel much stronger.

As babies we cried in order to alert the caregiver that we were hungry, or we may have needed our diapers changing. Another reason that babies cry is that they are in pain or that something is wrong. As we get older we may cry if we are physically hurt or are emotionally hurt. However, as we get older it becomes increasingly disapproved of to display strong emotions or to cry in public. In the disparity between the genders a woman may ‘get away with it’ and engender some sympathy, but a man would be seen as something of a ‘wimp’ – unless he’s gay.

I personally believe that men are more sensitive than women, and feel things on a level that some women would not recognize. However, boys are socialized to be strong and assertive and display manly qualities. The alpha male is represented by the media as being strong and in control of himself and his environment. It is my contention that men feel hurts, stresses and other emotions similar to females and as such have just as much right to crying public as women.

When we as human beings are hurt it is healthy to acknowledge the hurt and respond appropriately to the hurt. For instance if the hurt causes physical pain you may cry out, if the hurt is on an emotional level you may sob or if the hurt is through grief, rage or anger you may bawl. I remember going to my doctor one day in a great deal of pain and she said something like ‘give yourself permission to cry’. I remember it clearly because the comment made me realize that we do not always think it’s okay to cry, because other people may perceive this as being weak. The reality is that the act of crying encouraged me to focus on the hurt and deal with it appropriately. Thereafter if the hurt is remembered it is acknowledge properly and I can then let the emotion go. Essentially I am arguing that you should focus on the hurt and the emotion it brings up and display the emotion.

When you later remember the hurt you should associate the correct emotion. It was a sad time or a hurt and should be acknowledged as such. You may choose to talk with the person who caused the hurt by saying, ‘when you said or did this it hurt my feelings and made me cry. If you feel able to share that you were hurt and it made you cry do not be accusatory in your tone, do reassure the person who caused the hurt. Crying is a healthy emotion, and simply means that we are in touch with our feelings. However, when you said or did this, it hurt my feelings and I have no wish for you to make me cry again, so please do not repeat the comments or the behaviour.

I am a graduate in English and have a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies. I have taught English and Media Studies for many years, and am now a retired educator. I am currently living in the Caribbean where I am engaged in writing educational resources and articles as a means of earning an income; as well as sharing the knowledge acquired over the years. I keep healthy by walking, meditating and reading my bible regularly. BCuffy09@hotmail.com

 


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