Let's normalise crying

by - November 29, 2020

Crying. It is something we all do. It can be from happiness, relief, sadness, stress. Yet there seems to be such a stigma around what for me shows the most human side in us. I always think of crying as the body’s way of expressing a feeling when you simply cannot put it into words. But, especially when it is out of sadness/ being overwhelmed, crying becomes something that often makes people uncomfortable. Something to avoid at all costs.

Crying in front of others seems to make them feel awkward. People do not seem to know how to react and sometimes there is the idea that you are putting someone in an uncomfortable position by showing such vulnerability. I used to feel ashamed/ embarrassed about crying in front of others - I could imagine few things worse than having a moment where everyone would see me cry. That is why I always ended up doing it behind closed doors. But, that sometimes made it harder because I felt I could only express the extent to which I felt hurt or the pain I felt when I was alone. This should not be the case. Whilst being alone when crying can at times help, we should not feel that we can only express ourselves in this way when by ourselves.

As I have got older, I have become a lot more comfortable with crying, even though I do still find myself avoiding crying in front of others. Experiencing loss of loved ones taught me how instrumental crying is as a way of dealing with pain. Crying is an essential and important part of wellbeing and it is why I want to normalise it and remind everyone why crying is not only OK, but necessary and not something to feel embarrassed about.

Tears are a sign of strength, not weakness.

Especially when you are crying because you are upset or overwhelmed, crying shows a lot of strength. You are openly showing your most vulnerable side. The bravest people are those that carry on when they are scared. In the same way, I actually think some of the strongest people are those that can be transparent in their most raw moments like when they cry. It takes bravery to be so open with someone and essentially put your most fragile side in their hands.


Crying shows our most human side.

Crying is just another human emotion. Just like laughing or feeling happy. When you really think about it, sometimes too much importance is attached to something that should be seen as normal. I am not saying by this to ignore it as a sign - it is often a sign that something is wrong and I do think it is important to check on others in these instances and give them space to express themselves. However, I do not see why it has to be so stigmatised and seen as so alien when it goes to the core of who we are and how we feel.

It is a way of expressing yourself and releasing emotions.

It is not always the case, but sometimes I feel a lot better after crying. I know I am not the only one. Apparently, crying can release oxytocin and endogenous opioids, otherwise known as endorphins. I honestly think it is worse not to cry when you need to because it means you are bottling your emotions. We all have low points and we need to let ourselves feel down and vulnerable in order to move forward. Not crying just means that there will be more of a build up of emotions. As I have later learnt in therapy, emotions do not just disappear, they need to go somewhere and not releasing them will likely result in more outbursts.

2020 has been a rough year and I know for me, it has led me to cry a fair amount. But, that does not necessarily have to be a bad thing. It is a way of coping and dealing with emotions. We do not talk about these vulnerable moments enough when they are what unites us the most as something we all experience. Let’s normalise crying- it is an emotion like any other and something we all do. It is OK to feel and be down. We all need those moments not only for closure, but to be able to appreciate good times. We encourage crying behind closed doors by seeing it as something to avoid when we shouldn’t have to. Crying highlights we are people, not robots so show it without fear.

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