Crying is a universal expression for conveying feelings, but it is not accepted by all.
“Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. But then people cry under other circumstances and occasions,” said Doctor Stephen Sideroff, a psychologist at Santa Monica– University of California Los Angeles Orthopaedic Hospital.
Sideroff also said, “people cry in response to something of beauty. There, I use the word ‘melting’. They are letting go of their guard, their defenses, tapping into a place deep inside themselves.”
While we normally have basal tears in our eyes to keep them lubricated, we also create three other types of tears according to Diane Meriwether from Quora.com. Reflex tears are created to protect the eye from wind, smoke, or onions, among other things states Laura Schocker form Huffingtonpost.com.
The most popular tears are of course the ‘emotional tears.’
These ‘psychogenic tears’ caused by different emotions are unique to human beings.
“It’s a release, there is a buildup of energy with feelings,” said Sideroff. Lauren Bylsma, a PhD student at the University of South Florida in Tampa, said it is believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body.
Student David Propster said he “doesn’t mind if people cry in public,” but “people might look at you funny.”
According to WebMD, when someone cries, they show their vulnerability and that can make people feel uneasy or hopeless.
“I think in general, people are uncomfortable with vulnerability,” said Sideroff.
WebMD also stated that experts find that women are more likely to cry than men are. Sideroff said, “ Women have more permission to cry. To some degree, it’s changing.” Sideroff said but not completely, “It’s still viewed by many, particularly men, as a sign of weakness.”
In the Mexican culture, I have found that men are expected to be tough and not to cry compared to women, who are socially allowed access to the full spectrum of emotions.
Propster also agreed, “I think it is OK, but it’s not widely accepted. Men seen in public crying are looked at as weak.”
A great example of these negative views towards men crying was back when Pop singer Justin Bieber became emotional, and cried after performing his new single live at the Video Music Awards.
“Justin Bieber fake crying at the end of his performance made me so uncomfortable,” stated Sierra Marquina of USMagazine.com.
While crying anywhere at any time might not be appropriate, it is necessary in certain situations.
Propster said, “It is necessary when you are going through something tragic,” also adding that people need to “cry it out” at times.
Nursing student, Arlyn Marquez said,”Crying is the only way to express the pain my heart feels.”
Crying can be seen in several different lights, but at the end of the day both humans and animals cry, with tears or without—from within or without.