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3rd Sep


Crying…Is it Helpful?

For so many men, crying has been given a cold shoulder.  If you were a man and you cried, you were described as soft, weak or faint-hearted.  Research indicates that there is a biological explanation for this too.  It may relate to levels of testosterone, which men have higher levels of.  (See this article for more on this: http://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/02/cry.aspx.  See the article for more interesting facts relating to cultural and socio-economic factors that relate to crying.) However, it is not so.  Crying is a healthy element of emotion.  Crying allows one to eject from his/her body a negative feeling – one that he/she cannot express in any other way.  Crying, in other words, is a non-verbal expression of emotions.  Crying is a sign of strength – a sign that you know how to express yourself, albeit with alternative methods.  To give it some perspective, those who work with children – teacher, parents and therapists alike – we toil with for years with our youngsters to help them communicate what they are feeling.

If you were to ask most people – “how did you feel after crying?” many would answer that they feel better.  The question is why?  The tears remove the unhealthy feelings that one possesses.  There seems to be debate as to what facilitates this and when it is not cathartic.  Research suggests there is a great social element to this.  When one has social validation and support, it is cathartic.  When the support is poor, crying is less cathartic.  This would also connect well with what was mentioned above about cultural and socio-economic factors.  In poorer countries where emotions run high and support runs low, crying will be less cathartic.

In an age when some much that was stereo-typically female has transcended the male behavior –  such as child-rearing and home domestication – it only follows that the emotions of stereo-typically female also transcends the male psyche and behavior.

What do you think?  Comment below

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