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Why You May Never See Me Cry November 11, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Life Balance, Mindfulness, People.

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid of what THEY might think of me.

It’s because I don’t want to have to deal with THEM and THEIR reaction to my tears.

I just want to cry in peace.  To be alone with my sadness.

I do not like crying in front of other people . . .

It’s not because I’m afraid to reveal the real me.

NOT crying in front of them is the REAL ME being the REAL ME.

It’s part of who I am at the core.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“When someone is crying, of course, the noble thing to do is to comfort them. But if someone is trying to hide their tears, it may also be noble to pretend you do not notice them.” ~ Lemony Snicket, Horseradish

“Life is like an onion; you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep.” ~ Carl Sandburg



1. uju - November 11, 2014

I like the first quote. I love to be left alone with my tears and sadness too…

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Thanks for weighing in, uju. From the comments, it appears that there is a strong preference for tearing up in private.

2. valleygrail - November 11, 2014

I so prefer crying alone. I am, however, one of the unfortunates who spring a leak under stress. I try to explain to people there is a difference between crying and leaking; alas, they look the same, so it’s just one more of life’s more awkward moments.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I do see a difference between wiping a tear or two away (during a sad movie or moving scene in a book) and releasing heart-wrenching sorrow with torrents of tears.

I’m fine shedding a tear or two in public ~> drizzling, if you will. But if there’s going to be a torrential down pour, I don’t want any witnesses.

3. Silver in the Barn - November 11, 2014

I walked into the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum this past summer and was so overwhelmed by the beauty of the gallery space that I started to cry. Not weeping and wailing, but tears had to be wiped away and I felt a bit of an ass. Then I looked over at the docent and she was wiping away her own tears. Ahhhh, that’s better.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

It’s nice that you had that docent to keep you company, Barbara.

I’m OK sharing my Tears of Joy (i.e., laughing until I cry or being moved by music, art, film, or book scene) in public ~ although I do tend to swipe them away (with my hands on “intermittent wipers”). But Tears of Sorrow are seldom shed by me when others are around ~ except at funerals, which I prefer not to attend.

4. suzicate - November 11, 2014

I prefer to be left alone with my tears. The most difficult part of my father’s illness and death was the well meaning people who thought I needed to talk…I spoke about it with whom I needed and when I needed, otherwise I preferred to be alone in my thoughts and grief. Of course, there are many reasons other than sadness and grief in which I experience tears, and those as well are personal to me. I share when I am inclined, which I usually am not.

Silver in the Barn - November 11, 2014

I’m so with you on this. We all handle grief in our own ways, don’t we?

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Me three! When dad died, I didn’t need to talk about his death, except with a few select people who knew him as well as I did.

And even then, I stopped talking and walked away if I felt that a flood of tears was about to break lose from the dam.

5. Pix Under the Oaks - November 11, 2014

I get teary pretty easy.. both for happy and sad.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I do tear up in public at times ~ mostly tears of joy, sometimes tears from being moved by beauty (art, music, sunsets, a kind gesture).

But when I want to wail . . . I don’t want an audience.

6. Jill Weatherholt - November 11, 2014

Typically I can hold my tears until I’m alone, but if the right person is around, I’ll let them flow.
Love the Sandburg quote, Nancy!

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Me too! Sometimes life gets to be “too much” and tears release the toxins. Aah . . . that’s better.

7. Don - November 11, 2014

I can certainly identify with that Nancy. For me there is a privacy about it.

Love those two quotes, especially the first one, especially the second part in the first one.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Me too! I had to go hunting for quotes to fit this post because I didn’t have any in my tool belt of tricks. These two spoke to me.

8. Val Boyko - November 11, 2014

I tend to tear up when I am touched … not necessarily with sadness. Its like a gentle heart opening release.
Pain-filled tears that come from fear, frustration and absolute loss are for private times of releasing. Those are the times with snotty red nose and streaming mascara.
You are right Nancy, it is how others react that can be the most difficult to deal with.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I feel the same ~ tearing up when touched doesn’t feel like sorrow or pain. I don’t mind sharing those gentle tears in public.

But when I want a “good cry” to clear out built up toxins, I don’t want anyone around who might ask me to “interact.” Crying time is MY time.

Val Boyko - November 11, 2014

Totally get it!!
Val x

9. ashokbhatia - November 11, 2014

Yes, there is some privacy you need at times, even if you know that sharing grief helps.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I’m selfish about my grief too. I’m disinclined to share sorrow, sadness, grief, and pain . . . unless shared input would help BOTH of us cope better with the situation.

10. Grannymar - November 11, 2014

I like the onion quote. I myself prefer to share my tears with my pillow. The tears I have no trouble sharing are those of laughter.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I am happy to laugh until I cry! Tears of Joy are OK too.

In my teens, my pillow was often soggy from shedding tears ~ I would plant myself face down and wail!

11. katecrimmins - November 11, 2014

Sometimes I need a cry to release tension. I don’t need comfort. It’s just therapy for a buildup of negativity within. Most of the time only my husband (who has learned to let me be) is the only witness.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

That’s exactly how it feels to me at times, like a build up of toxins and tension and stress that demands release. And the process of allowing the tears to flow is all the comfort I need. Having someone patting my shoulder would distract me from the task.

BFF is sometimes in the vicinity. He used to come running if he heard me crying. Now he knows to wait for ME to come to HIM.

12. JOriginal Muse - November 11, 2014

Well, this explains something… the REAL ME, aussi (also)… And whenever I should happen to “leak” I usually laugh it away, just to ease the possible awkwardness the OTHER person might be experiencing… Go figure 😉

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

If I’m watching a sad scene in a movie, I might have to reach for a tissue or two. That’s OK with me, even if others are around. Probably because they can figure out from the context why I’m crying . . . so no explanations are needed.

But if I’m going to go through a whole wad/box of tissues, I want to focus on me without worrying about them and what they’re thinking.

Of course, if you get me going with gales of laughter, you’ll see tears of joy running down my face in short order. Not a problem either because no explanations are necessary.

13. William D'Andrea - November 11, 2014

As a guy, it’s obviously different for me. Men aren’t supposed to cry; and I don’t; except on rare occasions. The last time was a few years ago, when our friend, and my co-author Andalib Marx was killed in an auto accident. Then I held it in, until I was alone. Then the tears flowed, but I made no weeping sounds. My time of grieving is a long time ended; but my sense of loss never will. However, I am now able to look back at the time she and I spent collaborating on our novel, as one of the most satisfying times in my life; and at her with very warm memories.
As I said in the book’s dedication; “Here’s looking at you Andalib Marx. We’ll always have Shellfish Shoals”.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I experienced a different reaction when Andi’s brothers e-mailed to say she was dead.

14. granny1947 - November 11, 2014

How strange…we both blogged about crying.
However, I let my tears flow.
Felt like a complete idiot but couldn’t stop.
Guess love does that to one.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

I haven’t seen your post yet, Kathy . . . I’ll swing by soon.

I never feel like an idiot when I cry. I see it as a necessary release of negative toxins . . . or as a manifestation of LOVE spilling out. I do wander off to shed my tears in private because I don’t want to share ~> my tears provide more comfort to me than receiving awkward pats on the back from others.

15. livelytwist - November 11, 2014

In addition to the reasons you gave, I don’t like to cry in front of people because I don’t want them to see me when my mascara runs! 🙂

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Running mascara looks Goth, Timi ~ or, perhaps, like Alice Cooper assisted with applying eye make up.

When I’m crying, I like to have a cold wash cloth standing by to wash my face and cool off my eyes. Crying makes them “over heat.”

livelytwist - November 11, 2014

Sounds like ‘crying’ is ‘serious’ business for both of us. 🙂

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Yes! A good cry is serious business.

16. NancyTex - November 11, 2014

I very much relate to this.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

It’s just so much easier not to have to multi-task when we’re crying. Deal with the tears first . . . then let the rest of the world back in.

17. thecontentedcrafter - November 11, 2014

So interesting reading all the comments Nancy – one good thing about arriving late 🙂 I’m a private crier too.

Do you know I thought all Americans liked to cry in public over really quite ordinary sadnesses. I was obviously influenced by too many talk shows and reality shows [which is partly the reason why I gave up TV watching altogether several years ago] so I am kind of relieved to read all this.

In my work as a life guide I have witnessed many releases of long held pain and sorrow and know how cathartic a good cry is. Those times are precious gems made of trust and growth and I value them beyond words. I think the person/s whom we allow to witness our tears are our soul trustees.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

The Americans you see on TV Talk and Reality Shows are folks of the “LOOK AT ME!” variety. They don’t care how ridiculous they look or act as long as someone is WATCHING THEM.

Like you, I would rather turn off the TV than watch their antics.

A good cry is cleansing and purifying, melting away pent up frustrations and other negative toxins. I love that terminology, “soul trustees.” They are worth their weight in tears!

18. brickhousechick - November 11, 2014

Perfect quotes, Nancy. I also do not like to cry in front of others mostly because I look like hell doing it! When I cry at movies I pray that no one notices it. 🙂 Please don’t cry but if you must, may it be in peace. 🙂

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Thanks, Maria. That’s why I love that first quote ~ it gives people a nudge in the right direction.

19. ericjbaker - November 11, 2014

Like William said above, men are not supposed to cry. Not that that’s the way it should be, but it is the way it is. Added to that my German, British, and Norwegian heritage, and you’ve got someone who is so emotionally repressed that my tear ducts atrophied. I know I know “boo hoo poor men” – pun intended – but we really are brought up to feel like crying is weak and that few things would bring more crushing shame than being seen crying.

nrhatch - November 11, 2014

Crying is seen as a sign of weakness in both sexes, especially in business,law, and politics.

When Hilary was campaigning for the Presidency, she got choked up during an interview. More than a few commentators pointed to her tears as proof positive that she couldn’t handle the pressure.

And she didn’t even really cry. Just a tear or two that she wiped away before continuing the interview.

We are a repressed species in many many ways.

20. diannegray - November 11, 2014

I love the Carl Sandburg quote. I hate crying in public and always hide away. Once I start I can’t stop and most of my crying is due to shear frustration and not sadness (which can be really annoying) xxx

nrhatch - November 12, 2014

I hear ya, Dianne. Life can be incredibly frustrating. People too. Oh, who am I kidding ~> people especially!

And when I’m frustrated with peoples, I don’t feel like stemming the tide of tears to tell other peoples what the first peoples did.

And that’s why Sandburg speaks to me.

21. Behind the Story - November 12, 2014

Lemony Snicket is right.

nrhatch - November 12, 2014

Yes, Lemony Snicket’s got the right ticket! He knows of what he speaks.

22. jannatwrites - November 12, 2014

I prefer to be alone with my tears as well. Unfortunately, I can be an emotional person so far too often, there are witnesses. (Like at the Veteran’s Day ceremony yesterday… I got a little misty and just hoped my husband wouldn’t look over at me (he didn’t – my older son was between us, and he’s in his own little world!)

nrhatch - November 12, 2014

I bet you weren’t the only one in the audience to get a bit misty at the Veteran’s Day ceremony.

Patriotism + Tissues = Perfect Together.

23. Three Well Beings - November 13, 2014

I love the quotes–both of them! I really prefer to cry privately, but sometimes when tears just come, I’m not too uncomfortable–it’s not often! I think you hit on the reason, though, in mentioning not want to deal with others’ reactions. That’s so true. People aren’t generally too comfortable in those situations and would prefer to jump in and begin offering advice or comfort or something that may not at all be appropriate to the situation. A lot of presumptions can be made and create additional tension!

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

Yes!!! That’s it. They either probe for all the “gory details” which makes me cry harder. Or they offer up sympathetic glances which makes me cry harder. Or they tell me to “buck up” which makes me cry harder. Or they offer inane suggestions which makes me cry harder.

Far better to go off and lick my wounds in private. :mrgreen:

24. Yolanda M. - November 13, 2014

A good long cry is good for the soul now and then and according to science also good for the body (releases tension etc). This is probably odd but I envy people who can cry easily. I have to see or experience something truly traumatic or tragic to cry.

nrhatch - November 13, 2014

I don’t find that odd, Yolanda. I leak a few tears when something moves me (including the death of a friend’s pet), but rarely have a good cry unless someone near and dear has died (or is dying).

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