We have this strange idea that crying, or letting people see us upset, somehow diminishes us in their eyes.
That it makes us weak, like someone who can’t take care of themselves or handle what life throws our way, and I don’t know how this idea began or why it became so engrained, but it’s wrong.
Totally, 100% wrong.
One of my favorite quotes is from Charlotte Bronte:
“Crying does not indicate that you are weak. Since birth, it has always been a sign that you’re alive.”
We are human, and actually, a crying when you feel like it is a good way to “reset” both your body and your mind, to free yourself of negative emotions, and focus on what caused them and how to avoid the situation in the future.
Roger Baker, Professor of Clinical Psychology at Bournemouth University, has further thoughts about why we cry, and why it’s necessary.
“Crying does help us process faster than if we don’t cry at all, but it’s not the only thing – it’s part of a package of expressing it. If your father died, your natural reaction would be to cry.”
He adds that it’s not the passage of time that eases pain, but how quickly and honestly we’re able to look at and process the emotions that go along with it.
And Dr. Judith Orloff agrees that crying plays an important role in human life.
“Crying makes us feel better, even when a problem persists.
In addition to physical detoxification, emotional tears heal the heart. You don’t want to hold tears back. …Try to let go of outmoded, untrue, conceptions about crying. It is good to cry. It is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress.
Crying is also essential to resolve grief when waves of tears periodically come over us after we experience a loss.”
In short, you don’t need to feel badly or apologizing for expressing the full gamut of human emotion. It happens to everyone, it’s totally normal – and healthy. We should also keep this in mind the next time someone cries in front of us and tries to say they’re sorry.
Assure them there’s nothing to be sorry for, then maybe give them a cookie.