Tears – I’m just leaking

I have been thinking a lot about crying and tears. I hope to do some in depth research so will probably blog a lot more about this subject over the coming months.

We all have different relationships with crying. Some of us cry easily and for some, tears simply cannot be allowed to fall.

We can cry because we are sad, angry, frustrated, frightened or even happy. We cry silently or with huge gut wrenching sobs. Sometimes a lone tear trickles down our faces or we are “misty eyed”, sometimes we “burst” into tears and it can feel uncontrollable.

Have you ever noticed the other physical sensations which occur if we stop ourselves from crying? I think it’s no coincidence that this is often referred to as “fighting back tears” because it certainly can feel like a fight. Many of you will recognise the feeing of being “choked” if we resist the urge to cry.

Have you ever noticed the negative (and unkind) language we often use?

Cracking up
Turning on the waterworks

We may be discouraged from crying because it makes others around us feel uncomfortable. It can be seen as being weak or broken or attention seeking. We are often told that “boys don’t  cry” and I remember the threat as a child “stop crying or i’ll give you something to cry about”. As a child this is confusing because I already had a reason to be crying. Was I wrong? Was my reason not enough? 

I wonder how many of you also however recognise the cleansing relief of having a good cry?

I was telling someone in my family about something today and could feel the lump in my throat and hot eyes warning of impending tears. I found myself saying “I need to cry, I’m not sad, I’m just full of emotion and need to leak a little”.

So whatever emotion causes you to “fill up” I wonder if you are able to give yourself permission to “leak”. It certainly might feel better than fighting it.

This is a subject I will definitely be returning to but would love to hear about your relationship with tears.

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Shelley Taylor, Psychotherapeutic Counsellor

British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) Registered Member 146937
National Counselling Society (MNCS) Accredited Registrant
Certified Online Counsellor