Have you ever had anyone tell you to stop crying? That just drives me nuts. Too often when people see tears they assume you are out of control. Not true. Actually when people say ‘Don’t cry’ (especially men, let’s face it) it’s because they are uncomfortable with your tears, not necessarily to comfort you.
This used to happen to me a lot until I learned that there was no good reason for me to feel bad about crying. I’m an easy crier, and proud of it! It took a long time for me to be comfortable with my low tearfulness threshold but once I did it was liberating. Finally instead of worrying about bursting into tears I could just concentrate on what was going on to cause the swell of emotion.
Anything could bring on the lump in the throat and stinging eyes, from a sappy movie trailer to a heartbreaking story about children violently orphaned to a genuine hurt from someone I cared about. Happiness, anger, remorse… basically I’m an open book kind of person.
I read somewhere that there are people who are born with ‘porous auras’. They feel things easily. Not to be confused with ESP, it’s just a heightened sense of empathy. I think this sensitivity is in part what makes me a good therapist but not a good companion at slasher movies.
If you’d like to read more about the self-discovery and science of crying, go to my post on PsychCentral, “…I’ll Cry If I Want To”, and let me know what you think.
Illustration courtesy of The|G|TM via Flickr