Is anyone else embarrassed of legitimate tears?

And what do you think of people who cry easily?

I’ve cried easily my whole life and my whole life my mother has told me it’s shameful and disgusting to show your emotions. Obviously this has given me quite the complex. I’ve gotten over it somewhat, I don’t cry easily anymore, but when I do, I can’t help it.

I mean legitimate tears, too, not whiny tears. For example, someone just told me about their neighbor’s 20 YO daughter committing suicide. When she got to the part about the mother finding the body, I could picture it only too well and felt my eyes pricking.

That’s really the problem. I can put myself in others’ shoes way too well. But now I’ve got this thing where I try so hard to hide my crying that I fear I may end up looking callous. When I have arguments with my SO I bite it back so hard that it hurts, and only lately he told me while he doesn’t want me crying every time we argue he doesn’t want me to bury my emotions either, but to express them. So now I kind of have to train myself back the other way. He never asked me to stop, by the way, but sometimes I have trouble communicating because of the tears.

I know there are others who cry easily on the boards. Are you guys ashamed/embarrassed of it? Those of who don’t cry easily, what does it make you feel when others do? My coworkers are two tough-as-nails people who tease people and make fun of them for crying so I bite it back all the time in front of them, even though we are in a job that might make you cry sometimes (nfp to save premature babies).

Hope this is coherent. I’m a little embarrassed even to be posting it, actually.

Same here, but not in those exact words.

Mr. Neville and his family do not think it is shameful to cry, and I’m learning from them. I still feel a bit ashamed, though, and then I feel ashamed of being ashamed…

Ugh. You know, I don’t get it. I’m tough as nails most of the time, but for some reason, feeling like I’m being chastised for doing something wrong is the thing that gets me. It’s a level of frustration I can’t handle and tears is how it comes out. I can’t stand it…it always happens at work, and it always surprises someone when it happens in front of them.

I’m not exactly known for being sensitive in a very conventional way.

I can’t stand other people crying, both genders. When I lived in all-girl dorms (Og help me), I would always tell girls to stop crying if it wasn’t legitimate to me. Once my roommate was crying for very valid reasons I wont go into, and I was begging her to stop crying, and she realized that I was a sympathetic crier and therefore hated others’ crying because then I would start for no reason. In her words “We always thought you just had a heart of stone.” Nope, just a little to sympathetic.

I used to be a regular water-works girl. Then I got a little better. Now menopause has pushed me right over the cliff again. I cry at everything. Just everything. It’s really too much. I don’t mind crying openly when it’s warranted, but every time I see a Maxwell House coffee I start blubbering. This has to stop.

But that’s entirely legitimate- the taste of Maxwell House coffee should reduce everyone to tears, it’s so terrible :wink:

So true!

I am embarrassed to cry in front of people, because once I start, I just can’t stop. I just don’t want people to see me blubbering and sniffling all over the place. The worst part about it is that if someone sees me crying, and they want to help, they hug me or say kind words to me, trying to soothe me, and that makes me cry harder. I have a very, very weird… thing. I will cry if I’m sad, yes, but I cry if I’m happy enough, too. And when someone goes out of their way to try to comfort me, I feel so grateful to them, and so glad for them, and in that moment, even if it’s a total stranger, I will love them so so much for just being kind… and I’ll cry harder. Now I’m happy and sad, damnit.

I don’t cry in front of people often. Especially not in public (in my own home, where I’m comfortable, hell, I might cry if a sausage commercial hits me the right way, but I do try to contain it and not be ridiculous). And I am terribly embarrassed if I do start crying in front of anyone.

I think the last time I cried in front of my husband was after watching the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, and at the very end… I burst into tears. But I kept hiccuping, because I was laughing, too - at myself. I was crying over a fictional story! A movie! Come on! My husband laughed and held me and told me it was okay to cry, it was a sad movie (but it wasn’t! Not really!). It had just hit me the right way at the right time. I was thoroughly appalled.

I did cry in front of my husband when my uncle died, and I know that’s okay, but I still tried very, very hard not to. I cried in private, mostly, but whenever anyone was around… I guess, besides the blubbering and sniffling and leaking all over the damn place, I also just don’t want people to feel uncomfortable. I worry that I am making someone’s otherwise pleasant day a little less pleasant somehow. Even if they are grieving with me, I don’t want to remind them of more pain. Everyone cries for everyone else in that time, I don’t want them to have to cry for me, too.

Am I rambling again? Damn. Okay, simple answer: Yes, I am embarrassed.

I cry when I’m frustrated. This earned me the reputation of being a crybaby in school, because math frustrated me (the more so because everything else came so damn easily), so I’d cry, and get teased (and yelled at by the teacher - my 4th grade teacher was a particularly heinous sadistic bitch), and cry harder, and get teased more…ugh. I deliberately flunked geometry in 10th grade, because I was in a new school and didn’t want my new friends to know what a crybaby I was, so I didn’t even try to do any of the assignments or pay attention in class. The one time I did try to understand whatever Pythagorean voodoo the teacher was demonstrating, I felt the tears coming, so I faked an asthma attack to get out of class. I don’t even have asthma.

And why are junior high and high school english teachers so fond of making children read This Animal Will Die stories? We read Where the Red Fern Grows, which wasn’t so bad 'cause I could time it so I finished it at home and bawl in the privacy of my own room, but then the teacher showed us the movie. At least that time I wasn’t the only one crying.

So, short answer, yeah, crying embarrasses me. Not so much if I have a legitimate reason, like a funeral or something, but I still tend to get tense and teary-eyed if I’m frustrated about something; I’ve had to train myself to stop, take a deep breath, and come at it from another angle. A coping skill that probably would have come in handy in elementary school, had anyone been interested enough to teach it to me. :rolleyes: Other people crying don’t bother me; I’ll give them a hug and try to make a joke (if appropriate) because that’s what I’d like someone to do for me. It’s easier for me to stop crying if I can start laughing.

Some people look OK when they cry, but my knowledge that I am an ugly crier reinforces my desire not to do it in front of others. I am also an absolute thinker so I believe that if I start crying I’ll never stop. We had a medical scare with my brother this past week and I cried a little when he first told me but it was more out of shock, and then I teared up a little in thinking about choosing not to resuscitate him if it came to that. But my father was around and he suppresses all emotion so I had to “look strong” in front of him.

My grandma is master of any emotions as well and looked at me in wonderment when I teared up at my uncle’s funeral (he died at ~52 and his daughter was playing a violin piece in his honor). :rolleyes: Sometimes my family disappoints me.

God, people’s stories remind me of myself a lot. Particularly the whole showing kindness thing that Ana speaks of…that gets me going, too. I’ve gotten to where I can pull up some sort of funny mental image - the latest one was pigs bumping and grinding to a dance song while wearing tutus, (no really) - and tune it out, but sometimes it’s just so hard. And I still haven’t learned how to deal with it when I do start crying.

My latest was one of your suggestions from a thread a month or two ago - turkeys. But it doesn’t help, because of the whole “laugh so hard I cry”… but I don’t know if the* turkey part is funny, or if it’s because it was Mika who said it, or what.

    • Not making fun of you, I just remember reading the suggestion and nearly falling out of my chair laughing - it was a wonderful suggestion and so like you to come up with something like that, and that made me laugh harder - not at you, just at… I don’t know. Probably the description you gave. It was really funny to me at the time. I cried. :smiley:

I don’t cry. I mean, I do, there’s just usually years between crying fits, and they come out at weird times. Like I didn’t cry when the grandfather I loved more than anything died, but then months later I re-rented Girl, Interrupted and for some reason cried for hours afterwards, even though I had barely felt anything the previous times I had watched it and haven’t had that experience when watching it again. I do feel very embarrassed when other people cry, and I have to turn away. Men, women, children (except very young kids, of course) - doesn’t matter, something feels wrong about crying in public. I would never, ever think less of a person for doing it though. Guy friends have told me that when they see girls who they’re close to cry, they feel something close to anger - not at the person crying, but at whatever’s making them cry. That’s close to how I feel.

Hmmm, it’s really hard to describe how I feel about it. I guess I’m so private with grief, and assume other people are too. If I ever cried in public, I’d be mortified beyong belief, so I guess I figure other people are too.

Not at all. I’m not the least bit offended and actually am happy that I could make you laugh so hard. Unfortunately, I had to switch from the turkeys one since it had lost its potency. :smiley:

Impotent turkeys, now there’s a picture! :smiley:

I’m also an embarrassed and infrequent crier. I learned to cry at movies because one of my old roommates came from a family that cries at the least little sadness in movies. Now, I’m embarrassed because I cry at the most slightly sad movie.

Also, sometimes I tear up in church. Not for any specific reason.

But, yes, when it would be normal for me to cry, there’s generally not a single public tear.

Except when my best friend got married. There I was, in the first row, with her family, sobbing because the reading (or maybe it was a psalm) talked about one spouse following the other. Since marriage meant best friend was going to be in Germany while I’m here in the States, I felt all abandoned. Talk about embarrassing.


I tear up at everything nowadays. I never used to cry so much and now the slightest thing will turn on the tap.

I think I need other funny mental images now (besides pigs in tutus). Anybody got any ideas?

I cry so EASILY I hate it. Especially during confrontations. It’s so freaking embarassing. People think I’m being a baby, or trying to be manipulative. I’m not.


Tough subject, for me.

I very seldom cry. I tear up at movies, now and then, but I don’t actually cry. Physical pain doesn’t even come close to making me cry. It’s just not the response that comes. I might moan at extreme pain, but it doesn’t make me cry. It’s not a macho thing, either. It just isn’t my reaction to pain.

Having no chance to be with someone I love does it. Being despised by someone I love will do it. Someone I love crying will make me distressed way out of proportion. Crying babies being ignored drive me crazy, even if I don’t know the baby personally. Being unable to stop a specific suffering for someone I love will do it. The rage from seeing someone, or knowing about someone causing suffering to one I love will do it too. Tears of rage are pretty intense.

Loneliness has done it, now and then. Takes a while.

The concept of a “good cry” is so emotionally foreign to me that it makes me very uncomfortable to contemplate it. I hate crying. When it actually happens I end up helpless, prostrate, and paralyzed until it’s over. It also doesn’t happen unless I am entirely alone with absolutely no chance at all that I will be interrupted. Intensely private doesn’t even come close to describing it.

Acquaintances crying will elicit some concern, an offer of help, but no feeling of crying myself. They are the ones crying, not me. I feel sorry that things are so bad for them. Then, if I find out that things are really not all that bad, the person just “cries easily” it changes how I feel about their emotions. I don’t feel contempt, or dislike. But, I don’t feel nearly so much emotion about their tears. They like to cry. Okay, cool. Go for it.

Loved ones crying is very distressing. Always. Infant cries, kid crying, lover weeping, it all leaves me with my gut clenched up, and a wrung out exhaustion when it is over. I finally realized that most of the time, the person crying doesn’t feel anywhere near as bad as my perception assumes. See, I figure in my guts that their crying response is indicative of the same level of distress that it would take to make me cry in front of someone. That is, they are just about to die in emotional agony from whatever it is that is wrong. Turns out, most of the time, that isn’t an accurate assessment.

Then there is the pop psych “get in touch with your feelings” crap. It pretty much ended my marriage. My ex decided that not crying was me keeping my feelings from her. So, she tried hard to make me cry. It took me a lot longer than makes sense to realize that she liked to see me cry. Took even longer to realize that it wasn’t ever going to stop doing it. Took even longer to realize that I didn’t have to stay and keep taking it.

So, I cried alone for a long time. (long suicide rant deleted) I got better.

So, no. I am not embarrassed by crying. I just hate it.


For me, crying happens for one of two completely different reasons: I’m either sympathizing/empathizing with someone or some situation, or I’m reacting to some emotion that generated with me (my own anger, sadness, etc.).

When it’s the first reason, I cry somewhat easily and am not ashamed of it. I think of it as “crying about someone else.” I cry at emotional scenes on TV and in the movies (though I was the only one of my friends who didn’t cry during Titanic), I cry when people tell me about sad things in their life, I cry in happiness and relief, etc. I’ve never been a bawler or a sobber, but some streaming tears of sympathy/empathy don’t bother me – even if it’s in reaction to a Maxwell House commercial (I feel ya, Kalhoun!).

The second kind of crying almost never happens, and when it does I usually make myself stop before I even realize what I’m doing. I think of it as “crying about myself.” To me, that is the vulnerable, weak kind of crying, and I hate it – even worse is if it happens in front of anyone, even a loved one. So it hardly ever does. I’ve never been one to indulge in a “good cry” (I feel ya, Triskadecamus!), and it really takes a lot for me to cry about myself at all.

But it’s kind of a good gauge for me, because that kind of crying can help me realize that I feel more strongly about something than I thought. A few years ago, my favorite uncle (who’s close enough in age to me to be more like a big brother) came down with pneumonia suddenly and wound up hospitalized in the ICU on a respirator for a couple of weeks. I went to NYC to visit him for a few days, while he was still on the respirator and no one could be sure when/if he’d recover, and I knew I was worried and scared for him but I didn’t realize how scared I was until it was time for me to go home and I started crying as I left the hospital. Crying hard, and I couldn’t stop right away. I think I was even still crying a little in the cab on the way to LaGuardia, which just … I don’t cry in front of strangers. But, afterwards, I had a deeper appreciation of how much my uncle really means to me.

I don’t cry very often. Sometimes I’ll tear up during movies (rare). IRL, I very rarely cry out of grief. I’ve never been very teary at funerals, etc…

I have a memory of when my grandfather died (I was about 13). We (my mother, father, sister, brother and I) had driven to visit my grandfather, and my mother found his body (he had terminal cancer). I remember being very sad, but only tearing up and not actually crying. In fact, I’m still quite bitter that my sister accused me of “faking” my tears. I guess she thought that only tearing up wasn’t genuine enough, and “real” grief means you’re sobbing with tears. :rolleyes:

Generally, I’m generally more likely to cry out of frustration/anger. As a teenager, I had more than a few arguements with my parents that ended up in tears due to this - having an arguement on an emotional topic and not being able to get my point across was very tear-inducing for me.

I have another bad memory of someone not believing my tears. On day, I was telling my brother about how I learned in a drama class that you could to learn to cry on cue. Basically the technique was to think of something that you personally found to be incredibly sad, and to start to cry. While I was talking to my brother I demonstrated that I could make myself cry. Unbeknownst to me, my father overheard this conversation. A couple weeks (months?) later we had a big arguement, during which I cried. My father didn’t believe that I was crying out of genuine emotion, but thought I was just trying to manipulate him by faking my tears. Apparently, just because if I tried I could make myself cry, he assumed that I wasn’t actually crying. I still feel really hurt about this (it was about five years ago). He’s not a very emotional person and I’ve rarely heard him raise his voice, let alone yell, and I’ve never seen him cry. I don’t think he sees crying as a weakness, exactly, but I think he is skeptical of emotional displays in other people. (Although, I could be wrong, as I said he’s never one to talk about emotions).