When a person is born, they usually do one thing first, I.e. cry. In the course of life, however, the handling of tears changes. While some people are built emotionally weak, others rarely cry. Why is that so? And why do we cry?
Emotional crying has two functions. First is, dealing with feelings and communicating with others. Strong negative feelings need an outlet. That can be crying, but it can also be the concrete solution to a problem. If you don’t cry and use either of these two tear ducts, the build-up of emotions may cause physical symptoms like nausea, stomach ache, or headache.
The Relation Between Age, Gender, And Tears
Babies already use crying to communicate with caregivers. In the first two years of life, children cry an average of 30 to 120 minutes a day. However, the motivation behind it can change from the age of two. If babies still cry out of real needs in their first year of life, they can instrumentalize crying from the age of two.
Another noticeable change occurs around the age of 13. Researchers observe gender-specific differences in crying since that age. It relates to hormonal changes that occur during puberty.
According to psychological studies, women often cry from suppressed aggression, men from empathy, or loss. While women cry about for an average of 30 to 64 times a year for about six minutes each, men only cry about 6 to 17 times a year and only for two to four minutes each.
Crying is a symptom of premenstrual syndrome. Some studies also show that testosterone inhibits tears. The reason for this, however, has not yet been adequately researched.
Besides, social factors strongly influence crying. Whether someone is built close to the water depends on their upbringing and cultural or social conventions. In some cultures, crying is an extremely private affair while in other cultures, however, it is normal to cry, sob, and complain loudly in public when bereavement occurs.
Attitude Towards Crying Has Changed – Why Do We Cry ?
Attitudes towards crying have also changed significantly over time. In ancient times and during the storm and stress phase, crying was considered beautiful and genuine. Only through the idealization of the reason was crying seen as a sign of uncontrollable emotions and thus devalued as a weakness. While strong emotions and crying were also taken for granted in earlier ages for men, today it is seen more as irrational and weak.
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Open-hearted or Closed?
When it comes to the question of how easily a person cries, his or her personality also plays a role. Some people are emotional and some people find it difficult to access their feelings. The former experience emotions more intensely and therefore cry more often. Also, it is crucial how introverted or extroverted a person is as well as how strong their need is to express feelings and share them with others.
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And are there people who cry too quickly? Or too little? Especially in shock after a severe loss or depression, those affected sometimes want to cry but cannot. That can be very painful. It can help to put yourself emotionally in the right mood through films or music.