I’m sure most of you have heard someone say that they refuse to cry when they are upset. Maybe it’s a friend, family member or even yourself. Not wanting to cry can happen for a variety of reasons, but I’m going to talk about the prominent belief that crying makes you weak. Let’s begin to debunk that, because believe it or not, you should cry.
Societal pressures and gender roles play a large role in people not wanting to cry. If you’re a girl, you may have heard the saying “big girls don’t cry” (shoutout to Fergie). If you’re a boy, you may have been told that crying makes you “girly” or “feminine”- a problem within itself. And if you lie somewhere along the spectrum, you’ve likely heard whatever fits with your gender anatomy.
When we were all born, we would all cry. In fact, if you didn’t cry after being born, sometimes the doctors would be concerned. But somewhere along the line, children were told that they needed to “man up” or stop throwing a tantrum. When we’re young, what we are told sticks with us. After time and time again of being told to not cry or even being straight up told that crying is a sign of weakness, this can subconsciously make you feel that you shouldn’t do it. Sometimes the belief that crying makes you weak is internalized so much that you feel that you physically cannot cry.
After years of bottling up your emotions or being told that you shouldn’t cry, it’ll be difficult to just have a good ‘ol cry right away. But through validating yourself and your own emotions, you can work towards becoming more comfortable with crying.
You might be wondering why I’m telling y’all to cry. It’s not that I want anyone to feel sad. But rather, it’s a healthy way to express your emotions and is better for you in the long run. Some of you might be skeptical, and for that, I don’t blame you. So, here are some reasons why you should cry!
1. A stress release
If you know someone who cries quite often, ask them how they feel after. I guarantee you most people will say that it makes them feel better, even if it’s by a small amount. Why do we feel better after crying though? There’s actually a scientific reason! Tears possess a stress hormone called adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). When you cry, ACTH is flushed out of your system, making crying a literal way to let out your stress.
2. A way to express your emotions
Although crying is often associated with sadness, you don’t necessarily need to cry when you’re sad. Some people cry when they’re frustrated, upset or happy too! Personally, I don’t cry a lot when I’m sad, but I cry when seeing videos of soldiers coming home or seeing someone get the golden buzzer on America’s Got Talent. Some people might not understand it… but to me it makes sense!
3. It’s natural!
As mentioned earlier, most of us were born into this world crying. After being exposed to the real world, we get discouraged from crying by others. We’re often told by people who were told themselves to not cry and this belief is then carried onward. If you find yourself with that awful lump in your throat but don’t know how to relieve it, realize that you might benefit from a quick cry.
4. It’s an act of strength
This one might seem confusing. How can being in a vulnerable state make you stronger? Crying represents the ability to face your emotions and express them, often without taking other people’s beliefs into consideration. By crying, you go against the view that you should brush aside your problems and this is something that you should be so proud of!
Overall, crying doesn’t eliminate your problems, but it’s a way for you to get in touch with your emotions and allow you to relieve some of your stress. Whether you are someone who cries often or hasn’t cried in a few months, remember that you should always cry if you feel like you need to.