People cry for various reasons. Whether it’s the first sign of life or just a rush of emotions; tears are a part of life signifying our joy, sorrow, anger, suffering, hunger and desire. Naturally, crying is usually ascribed to babies, girls and women.
Crying is the first response of a new born baby as it takes in oxygen after coming out of the womb. This also serves as a way of communication until the child begins to speak.
In some cultures and patriarchal societies, masculinity is measured by an outer show of strength and brass. This puts men under constant pressure to appear cool as ice at all times. One can only wonder what damage that does -bottling up all those pent up emotions.
Men are rarely seen to cry. Boys? Maybe…
But even at a certain age they are all hushed to the socially accepted decorum.
“Don’t you know you are a man? Men don’t cry!”
From my circle of influence, I sampled some opinions:
Do men really cry in closets?
“I cry when I am watching an emotional movie. But then that’s why I watch such movies alone.”
“I cried the first time my heart was broken…”
“If the situation calls for it, I can cry buckets of tears. That’s just how I am.”
“I cry when I need something desperately from the opposite sex!”
“What! Cry? The Obi men don’t shed tears. That’s best left for women”.
Among most men though, there is a prevailing opinion that women use tears as a means of manipulation to have their way.
The truth is, women cry a lot and from the biological point of view they are more predisposed to crying. There really is no decrease in intensity in tears from childhood to womanhood or even old age. Something as minute as a broken nail could lead to a complete melt down and waterworks!
When women are most vulnerable and emotional what they require most is comfort and solace. The belief that women manipulate men with their tears is just too logical a stand for someone who is in such an emotional heightened state. That is not the time to go into the intricacies and facts of the situation. We simply want to be petted and cuddled like babies.
There are also occurrences of men soliciting love, relationship and sex by trying to appeal to the emotional sensibilities of women through tears just to score a conquest. I am sure you have heard such hilarious stories of men seeking bodily redemption and help, in tear stricken faces all for some temporary reprieve. Oops! Yes they do that.
Reconciling a grown man teary eyed grabbing tissue after tissue sniffling and sobbing over an emotional chord of a scenario, is a major leap for most individuals. They simply wouldn’t know how to react to it and would most likely chuck him down to being a wimp. But, is he too mushy or just empathic?
Conversely, he could just have the right balance of maturity that understands the fact he is in touch with his emotions doesn’t in any way diminish his manliness. He is just simply a human being who responds appropriately to situations. The socially acceptable stance of bravado male folk may just actually be an anti-climax at the end of it all: breeding men with an emotive void.
It is human to feel and respond to stimuli positively or negatively. It’s not only essential but important to express our feelings every now and then for our mental soundness and general wellbeing.
It is, therefore, not a perceived sign of weakness or vulnerability but rather a show of strength, will and discipline. Although, if anyone (be it a man or woman) is a perpetual cry baby, it will eventually make you weak – as you allow circumstances affect you negatively.
Crying could be described as bitter sweet experience. It is generally believed that where your tears start from, has a lot to do with the emotion you are feeling. Right eye stems from happiness, left eye from sadness and when you are frustrated it comes from both eyes.
Have you ever wondered why you feel better after a good cry? It removes toxins from your body and releases a feel good hormone. It also has other health benefits and has being proven to be a natural way of reducing emotional stress. This mitigates against the risk of cardiovascular diseases and other stress related disorders.
In the words of Douglas Coupland,
There are three things
we cry for in life:
Things that are lost,
Things that are found,
and things that are magnificent.
There will always be a reason to cry; there is no escaping that, either as the first sign of life or when we are gone but then there should be no judgement as to how an individual chooses to express their feelings. Men shouldn’t have to cry in closets.
Photo Credit: Volodymyr Melnyk | Dreamstime.com