Do You Need a Good Cry?4comments
Ask the average man when was the last time he had a good cry, odds are he’ll look at you like you’re crazy and say “never”. Without getting too Mars and Venus-y about it, as far as I can tell, few men see anything good about crying.
I’ve always chalked this up to learned gender behavior – that boys are brought up to be so afraid of being a called a crybaby or a sissy (or worse) – that they can’t see or feel how good crying can be.
It isn’t that I want to go around crying all the time, but many women, myself included, have experienced feeling better after a good crying jag. Sometimes I even seek it out. I really enjoy watching a sad movie from time to time. Not because I enjoy sadness or misery, and I certainly don’t like being the girl who walks out of the theater a snotty and mascara smeared mess. But there can be a real feeling of catharsis and release. It turns out this isn’t just a psychological or metaphorical release.
As I learned in a great little Q & A article in the NY Times, chemicals are secreted in emotional tears (which aren’t found in tears caused by, say, cutting an onion), which have a stress-relieving function. We literally cry some of the stress out of our bodies. Which makes so much sense to me.
Men also secrete chemicals in their emotional tears, so why don’t they ever want to sit down and have a good cry? Perhaps the hang up about crying is more stress inducing than the tears they would shed could possibly secrete?
Here’s my advice to any guy feeling particularly stressed out… give it a shot. Sit on your couch, close the blinds and lock the door so you don’t have to worry about getting ‘caught’ and put on the 1993 classic underdog tale Rudy. I don’t know many guys who can make it all the way through that movie without getting a little teary.
For my money (okay it is free because I totally own them and have seen them at least 10 times each), I’ll take a double feature of It’s A Wonderful Life and Ang Lee’s Sense and Sensibility. Sure, by the end of it I’ll be a blubbering red-nosed mess, but in a good way!
In the spirit of healthy release, what are your favorite tearjerkers? What’s the most embarrassing movie you bawled in? What song gets you every time?(I totally got choked up when I heard Kelly Clarkson sing Up To The Mountain. I’m not proud)