It is the classic complaint: men accuse women of being too emotional and women accuse men of not being emotional enough. Each thinks the other could just decide to be different – if they really wanted to. Yes, it is scientifically proven that the brain circuitry for emotional processing is different in men and women. But the emotional connection is always a desired state in a relationship.
Dear Mr. K,
I can understand that my crying or wailing might make you uncomfortable, but I would like you to understand that for me, or at least many women, crying is venting. It happens, we feel better afterwards, and we try to lessen the shame of it by frantically dabbing at our face with a tissue to remove the various types of liquids that have gathered there (and mascaras cost!). Too often, when I cry, I feel ashamed, silly or weak, when in reality I am simply connected with my feelings, and want sympathy and hugs from YOU.
Crying is a show of emotion, but it is also an opportunity for us to become closer. Also to suggest to those around me that I need something – warm tight hug or a kiss. Yes, it can be uncomfortable for you but with all this in mind, how is it a simple natural and evolutionary function seems to elicit disgust in you to tell me to “Go away and cry”? (Ouch!)
But personally, I don’t think men are the only ones who want to stop a woman crying. I know if I see someone, anyone, who is upset, I feel motivated to reach out and ask the person if they are okay. Some guys can see a women’s tears as manipulative, and maybe some women do use it that way, but I do not. And when I cry it’s a very real emotional response.
Society seems to discourage crying in men, perhaps that’s why, like other men, you have been forced to cope with you emotions in other ways. So it makes sense that you might feel confused by a woman who cries often, or sometimes, because for a guy crying is a sign of weakness, it’s when they’ve let their guard down. And they seem to believe you only really cry if something is ‘really’ wrong.
If I am talking about a topic that has an obvious solution, I can probably solve it myself. If you point this out to me, you are missing the point of me talking to you in the first place, which simply to share with you my feelings so you can get closer to me. I am also ‘offloading’ emotion; it’s just how I deal with it and you are the special person I chose to do that with. Why are you special? Because I trust you to care, I trusts you to hear me, to accept me and show compassion and warmth. I don’t want this from anyone else.
My tears are my way of letting my guard down around you and relieving my emotional internal pressure. Hug me, listen to me, and simply just be near me. I know that you aren’t proud of you knee-jerk reactions (read: anger), but I consider it ‘to be a man thing’. All I would like you to be a little more patient and tolerant to me.