Some people shed tears easily, crying at films or in emotional situations. Being emotionally expressive has traditionally been considered a “women’s thing” and a sign of weakness and bad taste. However, nothing is further from the truth, because really crying is typical of emotionally strong people.
There’s nothing shameful about sobbing. It is a natural reaction to stimuli that causes those tears that we sometimes try so hard to hide. All this happens because we associate crying with being negative, but don’t we cry from happiness too?
Learn from each and every tear you shed in your lifeShare
Crying at films shows empathy
Films show us fictitious stories that make us feel real emotions. That’s why crying at films is a sign that we know how to empathize with the characters on the screen. We put ourselves in their place, we feel as if we were them, we see reality through their eyes, and we leave our own circumstances behind to experience theirs… All this enables us to understand their situation.
But, is there a rational explanation to all this? What is for sure is that the greater the emotional charge of the film, the more oxytocin our brain releases. A study done by Claremont Graduate School discovered that the secretion of this hormone helps us to connect with other people, making us kinder, more empathetic and more understanding.
So, crying is by no means a sign of weakness, but rather a sign of empathy, showing that we know how to connect with others, that we can feel someone else’s emotions in our own skin, and this makes us emotionally strong people, not the other way round.
Empathy is linked to mirror neurons, the large neurons that make it possible for us to put ourselves in the place of othersShare
Also, people who lack empathy have a great disadvantage in their interpersonal relationships. They won’t know how to connect with or understand what the person in front of them is feeling. This will cause them serious problems and conflicts. Connecting with others is very important for establishing healthy and supportive relationships.
At this point, it is clear that crying does not make us weak: that’s a myth! Each time you meet someone who cries over almost everything, no longer will you see them as weak, rather you will know that they are stronger than you think. Do you cry at films too?
Crying improves our mood
We think that the opposite of crying is smiling. Smiling is what lifts our state of mind, makes us feel happy and joyful. Experts even say that forcing ourselves to smile at difficult moments can help us to overcome challenging situations successfully, by increasing trust in both ourselves and the fact that facial expressions affect our state of mind. So it isn’t always the other way round, as we tend to think.
But, what if crying also improves our mood? This was the conclusion of the researchers of a study carried out by the University of Tilburg. In this research, the psychologists realized that sad films could improve the mood of those who watched them.
Perhaps you feel the opposite to all of this and you’re not identifying with these ideas at all. In this case, you should ask yourself: do you try to hold back the tears when you cry at films? The research concluded that for crying to have this effect, it was important to let the tears flow freely.
The study discovered that to begin with people felt incredibly sad. They empathized deeply with the main characters and gave their tears free rein. But, as the minutes passed, they started to feel better. Only those that didn’t repress their tears felt this well-being, whereas the rest of the people’s mood worsened.
Breathe deeply, close your eyes, hold back your tears and smile. I couldn’t have made a greater mistake.Share
So it is not negative for a situation or film to make you cry. This is a symptom of emotionally strong people, but to make the most of it you must let the tears flow. In some way, they act as a sort of relief, and even if you feel terrible to begin with, it will get better soon.
Emotionally strong people know that crying is good for them. Thanks to their tears they can give vent to their emotions, empathize with others and connect with everybody else. Emotionally strong people are not weak even if you think they are. Maybe now you’ll be aware that you’re not as strong as you thought you were. Repressing yourself is the greatest sign of weakness.