When we are young, we are told, big girls don’t cry. I took this saying to heart. I associate one of my biggest weaknesses with crying; crying when I am furious and frustrated. In many serious situations I tell myself, I can’t cry because it is a sign of weakness. My justification in why crying is not necessary, that someone else out there has it worst. It is true, someone else out there is having it worst than me but that’s not the real reason why I don’t think it’s appropriate for me to cry. My philosophies I have on shedding tears have changed.
I am finishing up reading a book, Blink written by Malcolm Gladwell. In the second chapter he discusses that people think they show a lot less emotion than they actually do. In reality our body language, facial expressions, tone, and word choice give us away. We subconsciously speak our true emotions and feelings. The chapter talks about how people will often perceive themselves with less emotion but the observer will differ in opinion. I reflected on this on romantic relationships because throughout the years people have said to me when addressing a romantic relationship where the two did not work in the terms of, “I didn’t really care”, “I was savage”, or “I told them (something insensitive)”. In reality their actions don’t match up with what was said. I am highly guilty of this. For years I thought I am more emotionless, distant, and cold when it comes to dating. How I perceive and represent myself to others is completely different than what anyone might describe me. Whether it be a friend or a previous relationship. It is because I am emotionally attached to the person and as a coping mechanism I make light of the situation. When a romantic relationship does not work out, it is hard to accept the time and effort that was put in.
It is not about the amount of tears shed that defines a person’s mental strength. Someone could cry frequently but be emotionally stable and in tuned with themselves. Being strong is not necessarily never to cry. Woman and Men cry, this is reality. It is our resilience, confidence, and independence that define how mentally tough we are. Crying is not the indicator of weakness. So, we shouldn’t tell little girls to not cry but ask why they are crying. Reflect on why and learn to progress.