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Why are You Crying? (or not)

When was the last time you had a good cry?

Do you remember what made you cry? Do you remember what you were feeling? Did you know why you were crying?

I cry at weddings. Have you ever thought about why you're crying at a wedding? 

Crying is not always a sign of depression. I used to think that I cried because I wasn't happily married (even when I was married, LoL). It doesn't mean that I'm worried for them that they'll end up in an unhappy marriage. Au contraire, I cry empathically. It's a happy cry. I'm overwhelmed with how in love they are. It's usually around the time that they're saying their vows or expressing their love for one another that the tears start flowing. 

More often than that though, we cry to release what we call negative emotions. That's what got me thinking about it. 

I tend to be what some might call, a "crybaby".

I cry so easily, I used to get embarrassed by it. I used to gt in trouble for it. I've heard in a movie that crying is a form of emotional blackmail. Hhhhmmm.......I could see how someone could see it that way. I don't agree that it's all it is, but I could see how it could be. 

When you see someone crying, you assume they're sad and you want to help them. You want to make them feel better. And if you don't, you're an "ass", right? It can be used as a weapon. Hence, that theory. We'll get to that.

Our emotions impact everything about our life. The way we interact with the world, with each other and with ourselves.

What happens when you want to cry, but don't? You

  • Lose confidence
  • Get crabby
  • Snap at people
  • Can't get along with people, or
  • React to every little thing, right?

Don't you hate when you feel like crying and you're doing your best to hold it back.....all someone's gotta do is ask if I'm ok and all bets are off. There go the water works!

G-d forbid someone hugs me.

My brain goes into a tailspin trying to figure out why I want to cry........so I come up with all the scenarios of everything going on in my life or even in my head. 

Am I sad about something? What could I possibly be sad about? (Then you start going over everything that could possibly be making you sad.) Am I depressed? After all, look at everything going wrong in my life. (Now the brain starts naming off everything that could possibly be affecting me).

Here's what crying ACTUALLY is:

Crying is your body releasing the overflow of emotions. Only problem is sometimes, we're so out of touch with our emotions, we don't even recognize them.

For one client I have, I literally printed out a list of emotions to learn what they were. I decided on this exercise because I noticed that the only positive emotion she could ever name was "happy". That may seem like a kid exercise to you but take a look here: how many of these words you regularly use?

 

Lately, I have found myself crying for the strangest reason I've ever felt: An overflow of gratitude. My life has changed so drastically in the last few years, it all seems surreal.

Here are some of the reasons I've cried recently:

I was overwhelmed with too many decisions to make. (I found myself thinking about every time in my life that I have made poor choices.)

I missed my dad. (I wished he was here to offer advice or to tell me he's proud of me.)

I was watching a movie about a couple who's been together for 50 years (and thought to myself, "it's too late for me to have that").

When I talk about what having a best friend meant to me, what I miss most about having a life long BFF. (I was her #1 priority at one time and she knew she could count on me just the same. Until our time was done. Her life went in a different direction than mine. One day we just drifted apart beyond ever before.) These words may seem more familiar to you:

 

When I'm proud of my kids and am bursting at the seams with pride......then I realize that no one in the world could possibly feel that amount of pride for them. I raised those kids.

Funny as it may sound, but I get the same feeling with my clients. When I see them put into practice something I know they learned because we've been working together. I know the impact I've made in their life. Whether they recognize it or not, that impact is what I live for. 

A dear friend of mine shared this metaphor today that I love:  They say your eyes are the windows to the soul. Sometimes nature just needs to clean off the windshield so you can see more clearly.

To make sense of this, you can do a couple of things:

Next time you feel like you want to cry, notice what you're saying to yourself.

I've been crying a lot lately, but I realize it's usually because of an overwhelm of emotions. These days, thankfully, an overwhelm of gratitude and pride in myself and my life.

When you find yourself snapping at people easily or frustrated with yourself or a situation, take a moment to check in with yourself. If you need to excuse yourself, go and have a good cry. I won't judge........and if you need permission to cry, I hereby grant you permission. If you're embarrassed that someone may judge, then excuse yourself if you need to. 

Most important point to this discussion is that your feelings are real. No matter how hard you try to fight them, they still exist.

I usually hear men say this, but some women too: I'm just not an emotional person. I call B***s***!

Just because you don't recognize them or acknowledge them doesn't mean you don't have emotions. You can't be a non-emotional person and have an anger problem. Anger is an emotion. My guess: if you learned how to recognize your emotions, you might be able to curb your anger issue. That's your default. 

or.......

You tend to give, give, give to everyone else, then you get depressed because it feels like you're doing all the giving. You grow resentful. But you're not an emotional person, right?

If you're worried about the "emotional blackmail" theory, consider what reaction you're looking for from anyone who sees you crying. If you're going to get upset that no one is consoling you, then consider why you need consoling. Are you just looking for a compassionate connection? Are you looking for external validation? Are you looking for someone in particular to console you? Disappointment is always stemmed from expectation. If you expect someone to react a certain way, you're sure to be disappointed if/when they don't.

I have found 2 things that work for me when I get "emotional":

  1. Journaling - what I call Babble on Paper
  2. Help someone else - get out of your own head for a while. This helps you realize all that you have to be grateful for. 

My hope with this post is to help you understand yourself or someone you care about. Do you find yourself getting overly emotional at times? Do you or someone you know "lack" an emotional side? Make sure to subscribe for more insight and pass it on.

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