“Since childhood, I was embarrassed to cry,” says Elena, 39, decorator. – Once I had to get up and leave in the middle of a classical music concert – I forgot the paper napkins. I was embarrassed in front of my son – I could not finish reading his bedtime story: the prince is marrying the princess, and my throat gets tight. I wanted to recover from my tearfulness, I turned to psychotherapists. Together we have solved many of my problems. But the tears never went away. In the end, I was able to accept them as my characteristic, the same as height or eye color. I am no longer tormented by tears. I just take out my handkerchief and dab my eyes. ” Why is this happening?
I’ve held back too long
“Such“ unexpected ”tears are not unreasonable at all,” family psychologist Inna Shifanova answers and explains this with an example. “Let’s say the management criticized me – and I’m all in tears. But if you think about what else is happening at this moment in my life, it will probably turn out that relations with loved ones are not working out or I am experiencing a quarrel with a friend – something greatly upsets me. And the chief’s remark becomes the last straw. We often endure too long, restrain ourselves so as not to show weakness. This builds up tension, which is relieved by sudden tears. They seem to set us free. By accepting our weakness and our sorrow, we will be able to gather strength again and continue to live. “
I remember the loss
“Our unconscious keeps everything that we have experienced, everything that happened to us in the past,” Inna Shifanova explains. “A random object or a combination of sounds, smell, any detail from the present that consciousness does not even notice, can return us to the past.” If this is a pleasant memory, we feel warmth, joy, if painful, we can burst into tears, not understanding what is happening to us.
Tears are a manifestation of our openness, even defenselessness.
When we cry without holding back our tears, we have a chance to realize what our feelings really refer to. However, this is not always possible without the help of a psychotherapist. The unconscious hides some connections too deeply from us.
40-year-old Zoya dreamed of a cat. A seemingly harmless dream, but she cried the whole next day. And then, remembering him, I felt an inexplicable sadness. “Only at a meeting with a psychologist, when we started analyzing associations, I remembered that my mother once had a cat. Mom died a year ago. I was sure that I had already dealt with my grief. ” Zoya did not immediately restore this connection – that in fact she was crying for her mother.
I need sympathy
“Tears are also a plea for help,” Inna Shifanova continues. – When the need for support, for sympathy becomes especially acute, we can suddenly cry and thus attract attention to ourselves. And at the same time, we feel awkward because we “burst into tears like a little child.” This unconscious mechanism actually arises in childhood. Loud crying is the baby’s only opportunity to get the mother’s attention. As adults, we may involuntarily return to this method if we find it difficult to express our needs in words.
“Men are more used to restraining themselves, but they also cry,” says Inna Shifanova. – Tears are a manifestation of our openness, even defenselessness. And so they allow you to establish closer relationships with other people. “
What to do?
Let yourself cry
For this, choose a quiet place where no one will interfere with you being alone with yourself. Admitting your weakness and imperfection, allowing yourself to express your feelings, including sadness and grief, is what it means to live and be yourself.
The first step is to stop criticizing yourself, including being oversensitive. This is especially important if any comment makes you cry.
Ask for help
Think: do I know how to do it or am I trying to cope with any adversity on my own? We all sometimes need support, help, or just sympathy.
To cry in public – oh, how embarrassing it is! We could not cope with our feelings, looked weak and pitiful, were vulnerable in front of everyone … The writer Monica Hazy is sure that we should be more indulgent towards ourselves. Yes, adults cry – and they have the right to do so.
“I went through a divorce three years ago. Children were not planned – both were not ready to become parents then. Dispersed by mutual agreement. Now, three years later, I live without any incentive. I distract myself from the inner emptiness in various ways, but I lack female happiness, attention, male concern, reliability. ”