Moodscope's blog



Do not apologise for crying. Saturday April 9, 2016

"Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots."
- Elizabeth Gilbert

"We need never be ashamed of our tears."
― Charles Dickens,

Not only do we often apologise for crying but we are called names like cry baby, sook, waterworks, and told 'you act like s man/woman', 'pull yourself together',' stop being embarrassing'. Big boys/girls don't cry', 'don't be so sensitive' 'what have you got to cry about!'

Why does crying have so many taboos, so much criticism, so much negativity about it more than most other emotions? What are we so afraid of that instead of comforting someone who is crying we try to stop them and make them better?

However hard it is for women it is much more difficult for a man who cries especially in public unless they are famous. Many years ago our Prime Minister cried as he told an interviewer about how his daughter had a problem with drugs. People still talk about it. It is also acceptable for sportsmen to cry and show emotion especially if they win. Crying when one has lost is seen as weak.

Why do we have such a problem with ourselves crying or with watching others? Why are we so intolerant of tears? What are we afraid of?

Tears can be very cleansing, while the continual holding back of tears causes problems.

Some people find it easy to cry whether they are sad or happy. Others hardly ever cry.

Once when I had spent a week with my mum who had dementia, I was frustrated, I walked outside into the garden and just started to cry. I must have cried for over 5 minutes, solid tears. I was crying for my mum, I was crying for who my mum used to be, I was crying for myself and many other reasons. The tears kept coming. When they stopped I actually felt lighter. Nothing had changed but I by crying I felt a little more in control.

What do you think? Should we apaologise for crying?

Are you someone who cries easily or do you rarely cry or somewhere in between?

A Moodscope member

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

Permalink  |  Blog Home


Lou Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 5:45am

I was recounting an appointment I attended yesterday & started my tale with a very embarrassed admission that I had burst into tears, so the timing of your post is rather fitting for me!
Some times I find that my emotions overwhelm me and overflow into tears. Perhaps, as you say, it is not something to be ashamed of but evidence of how I really feel? Something to think on...thanks Leah.

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 8:13am

Lou, Thanks for your timely comment. Yes I think we should be thinking of what we are feeling instead of worrying what others think.

Jonathan Sun, Apr 10th 2016 @ 4:20pm

I often find my emotions overwhelm me. I tend to use my car as a safe zone. It is somewhere I can express myself without adverse comments from anyone -yes that includes family members. I am tired of hearing the term "man up"! I think part of the reason why I often feel the way I do is because of bottling up my emotions for so long. Therefore Now if I feel I am in the mood for a cry,scream or rant, I go for a little drive, park up and let it all out. It seems to work for me lol. Thought that I would share in case it helps others. And can you guess where I am writing this. ....yup my beautiful Car Safe Zone lol

Leah Sun, Apr 10th 2016 @ 10:52pm

Johnathon, Thanks for your honesty. To me a real man is one who can show his emotions. I like the idea of a Car Safe Zone. We all need to be able to express ourselves without adverse comments. I am glad you have found a safe place for you.

Hopeful One Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 7:01am

Hi Leah- a perceptive blog about this taboo subject. Crying to me is a natural human reaction to any intense emotion be it pain, sadness , happiness, empathy,ectacy etc. As you observe we accept crying in certain situations like an athlete winning against all odds or an athlete achieving an ambition or anyone else for that matter What we seem to not find similarly acceptable is when one cries as a response to a personal tragedy or in certain types of people like soldiers or politicians. Similarly it seems generally acceptable to see women crying but not men. There is of course a hugh cultural component. In some cultures ,mainly in the East ,crying is generally accepted but in Western cultures it is not. Personally I rarely cry even when experiencing an intense emotion. But this is new. I put it down to the meditation I do. It has created this " space " in my mind which seems like looking at everything from the perspective of a blue sky which incidentally is available to all of us. Meditation has made me realise that this is the natural state of our minds. It does not mean that I float about like some emotionless blog but more a realisation that our feelings and thoughts are just clouds that temporarily obscure this blue sky . I now know for sure that like any cloud they will pass away giving me a choice how I wish to respond.

Today is not so much a joke but more on observation of a child's mind. Did it make anyone laugh or cry or neither?

A first grade eacher was discussing a picture of a family. One little boy in the picture had a different color hair than the other family members. One child suggested that he was adopted and a little girl said, "I know all about adoptions because I was adopted." "What does it mean to be adopted?" asked another child. "It means," said the girl, "that you grew in your mummy's heart not in her tummy"

Gordon Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 7:30am

Hi Leah, Just want to say a big YES in agreement to your observations on crying. I found it hard as a sensitive boy who grew up in the 1970's loving classical music, art and poetry and was 'supposed to be tough because that's what men do'. Even after several years in the army, I never could shake off my propensity for a good old blub! I'm first to shed a tear or two at rom coms -much more readily than my wife would! I find that my tears are a way of expressing that which I just cannot put into words and release a watershed of bottled up emotions ringing feelings of release and healing. It seems to me that someone switched the price tags somewhere along the line -crying is a strength NOT a weakness. Interestingly, the smallest phrase in scripture is 'and Jesus wept'. Whatever your religious views I think this is interesting that an important figure like that should be comfortable to display such emotions even publically.

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 8:20am

Hi Gordon, I agree crying can be a strength not a weakness. I think many females find a male who can express his emotions through tears very attractive. Thanks so much for your detailed post.It has given me a lot to think about.

LillyPet Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 8:21am

That is so beautiful H. Not crying but very touched. Thank you :) xx

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 8:22am

Hi Hopeful one, thanks for sharing your thoughtful comments. It has provided me with so much to consider. I found your'observation' moving as my brother is adopted. Thank you.

Vincent Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 8:38am

Hi Leah,I will cry if the emotion is strong enough. Instead holding back tears, I will feel better after I cry according to my past experience. I like the sentence you mentioned, "Without this emotion, we are only robots".

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 9:03am

Vincent, Thanks for you telling us about your experience.

LillyPet Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 9:00am

Hi Leah,
This is timely for me too! I had a big cry yesterday and think that it was hormonal. Overwhelmed with too much to do in too little time. I am definitely very tearful when premenstrual even though I think I'm also menopausal! I cry at romcoms too, romantic happy endings make me cry buckets!

Also when I was having a very difficult time at work, about which I was very angry, I was unable to control my tears which was enormously difficult. It wasnt in front of the members of the public that we work with but collegues during meetings when I felt "under attack". Hugely embarassing. I've been known to say in a 1-1 meeting " ignore the tears I want to continue" Sometimes I'd wait for an opportunity to excuse myself for a loo break, but when I was really depressed, I just couldnt recover enough to rejoin the meeting and had to go home. Management would say things like It's not good for you and its not good for us. I would get called in to " have a conversation" which inevitably truggered my tearfulness and was told it's ok to cry in here! Thanks! If I could control it we wouldnt have been having the conversation! I was even set a no crying target! Unbelievable from people who are supposed to know about getting the best from others! Looking back, I probably wasnt well enough to be at work, but having been off on longterm sick leave the previous year, I was facing huge and very unpleasant pressure from management.
Thankfully it all feels like it is in the past, but I say that with caution. I feel like I've done pretty well to have got through it and still be working there!
I agree that tears are very cleansing, my body was perhaps just trying to wash away all the cortizol (stress hormones) flying around my body.

They were dark times, but now is good and I'm grateful to be in a much better place in myself at the moment. The tune "Enough is enough, no more tears!" just popped into my head! So sending that with a smile out to everyone. Thanks for a really affirming blog Leah. LP xx

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 9:07am

Lillypet, I am sorry you went through such a hard time. Thanks for being so honest in sharing your experience. I think people do not know how to handle another's tears.

Vivien Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:49am

Lillypet, I identify with your work situation. I too had a similar situation with my last employer - unsympathetic and also confrontational. A no crying target? What's that all about. I've also moved on - life is better than it was. Keep smiling Kid! Love you, Vivxx

LillyPet Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 2:09pm

Awww! Thanks Viv, love LPxx

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:10pm

Vivien, Thanks for explaining your work experience. I think it is so helpful for others reading this to know they are not alone and they do not have to put up with it.

Anonymous Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 4:25pm

I find it difficult to cry. I wish I could more often. Music and certain situations far removed from my life can bring me to tears. I remember Millenium Eve and seeing Nelson Mandela lay a candle on his prison steps, where he had been incarcerated for so many years; amongst all the celebrations going on to bring in the new millenium, this sight brought me to tears. I'll never forget it. Julx

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:13pm

Jul, I remember that seeing that on tv too, and it made me cry. I find lately I cry more over news stories that I see on tv and hear on the radio and read in books. Thanks for reminding us about moving moments in history that make us cry.

The Gardener Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:01pm

HO - so apt to our two adopted daughters 'you were chosen'. Because they were mix race prospective adopters were requested to go and see them, in case you found you were ready for a black baby and it was only coffee coloured. First one we went up to Essex with our three boys to foster mother (excellent\0. All the way home boys saying 'when we get her'. We found long after that the guardian ad litem reported to authorities that she'd never seen a baby so welcomed, pram surrounded by brothers.

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:15pm

Gardener, when I was younger I used to feel my brother was more wanted as he was 'chosen' and I merely arrived!

The Gardener Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:02pm

From yesterday - hope Mary does not think I was 'preaching' at her, was hoping to be jocular - relating to the famous actress? who said 'life begins at 40? 5o?Not in dictionary of quotations.

Mary Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:42pm

TG darling, I love you! I have only just read your reply! And yes - it is only now that I am following my life long ambition to write romantic novels. I now have friends all over the world who I would love to visit - and I promise you that it is mere co-incidence that quite a few of those friends are young men with muscles (it is the young men with brains who are a danger to my heart). I will look forward to being kissed by them in fifteen years' time or so! Dancing in the fountains sounds wonderful and buying a dress too young for me and then acting up to it sounds excellent advice. Thank you!

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:17pm

Gardener, I loved your post yesterday and found it inspirational and not at all preachy! I am in awe of all the things you have done in life and know I will never catch up!! Keep on with your anecdotes they are so wonderful. xx

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:19pm

Mary. "young men with brains who are a danger to my heart", I can see that as the plot for your next romance!!- or maybe it has been used already.

The Gardener Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:44pm

In tears of despair very often - felt ill late afternoon, such an awful day with |Mr G. He suggested a biscuit - had tea, dropped off, he woke me several times - I was a bit peeved 'you never said you were ill'. When I cry 'stop crying'. There's nothing left to do. I thinkg people with bitter break ups cry and cry - there is light at the end of the tunnel, not with this one. Only comfort, I can do no more

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:21pm

Gardener, You have written a very succinct piece that did bring a tear to my eye. 'There is no light at the end of the tunnel, not with this one.Only comfort, I can do no more" That says it all.

Mary Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:46pm

I don't cry. At least only at happy endings in books. I cried the other day and promptly wrote a five star review for the author of the book! I cried dreadfully at school in frustration over maths. And I cried a few years ago when my husband shouted at one of our daughters (he had all three of us crying at the dinner table because of his anger. He has never yelled at us like that again!)It might be better to cry. I scream and kick things instead. Not living things of course. But walls and doors. And then I go outside and sit quietly until the anger goes away.

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:25pm

Mary, I have never cried when happy- in fact that has always puzzled me. I used to slam doors when i was angry when I was younger. It is interesting how people experience things differently. Thanks for your thoughts.

The Gardener Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 6:50pm

Slight explanation about adoption. Childless couples were not racist, wanted a 'pink' baby (aryan) so the new child did not 'stick out' Adoption companies, in the first wave of? mixed race children found families could 'absorb' the 'coloured' baby fairly easily - we have two, raving beauties - the fact that number 5 child is currently a hell-cat makes for thining - nature, nurture or race?

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:27pm

"Nature nurture or race" now there is complex essay topic.

Frankie Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 7:42pm

I agree wholeheartedly Leah; excellent advice; I am a firm believer of "tears of healing" - releasing stress and helping us to relax afterwards - oh and there must be tea after a good cry - and lots of it! Thank-you. Frankie

Leah Sat, Apr 9th 2016 @ 10:28pm

Frankie, When I used to watch a English television program I thought all the problems in England were solved my a cup of tea!

George Mon, Apr 11th 2016 @ 9:42am

It is so great to read you extoling the value of tears, whether the underlying emotion is stress, sorrow or great joy. I was trained out of tears when very young and now in my 70s I am learning anew their practical value.

You must login to leave a comment.

What is Moodscope?

Moodscope members seek to support each other by sharing their experiences through this blog. If you’d like to receive these daily posts by email, just sign up to Moodscope now, completely free of charge.

Moodscope is an innovative way for people to treat their own low mood problems using an engaging online tool. Anyone in the world can accurately assess and track daily mood scores over a period of time. We have proved that the very act of measuring, tracking and sharing mood can actually lift it. Join now.

Blog Archive


Posts and comments on the Moodscope blog are the personal views of Moodscope members, they are for informational purposes only and do not constitute medical advice. Moodscope makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any information on this blog or found by following any of the links.

Moodscope will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. The owner will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

We exist to help people to positively manage their moods. You can contribute by taking the test, sharing your experience on the blog or contributing funds so we can keep it free for all who need it.

Moodscope® is © Moodscope Ltd 2018. Developed from scales which are © 1988 American Psychological Association. Cannot be reproduced without express written permission of APA.