Do men and women cry in the same way? Is the process of crying the same across cultures? Does crying really make you feel better? Is there any difference in the way infants and adults cry? Can a hard-hearted person cry? If you are trying to find answers to these questions, then read these scientific facts about crying.
1. Common reasons for emotional crying.
- Loss – We cry for the loss of loved ones or money or any other precious thing in life.
- Happiness – we shed tears of joy when we experience something very positive in life like – meeting life goals and ambitions, holding your newborn in your arms or any other moving situation.
- Helplessness, physical pain and discomfort – Crying because of injury in your leg or any other body part, or maybe you have the hit the rock bottom and don’t know what to do.
- Empathic crying – Where you cry in response to the emotional reaction of someone else. For instance, you are crying with your bae who has lost his pet.
2. Gender and culture differences in crying.
Research on the relationship of gender roles and beliefs to crying highlighted that women cry more frequently and are prone to both positive and negative crying experiences across cultures. Unlike Asian and East African countries, women in Western countries are found to have higher frequencies of crying.
Another research showed that women cry 2 to 5 times per month while men cry 0 to 1 times per month. Also, women cry for longer than men. But, when it comes to serious situations like death, it is likely to make both men and women cry.
This sex difference in adults in regards to crying can be attributed to gender stereotypes. There are many cultures across the world where gender differentiation for emotion expression is pronounced. Mostly boys grow up learning “boys don’t cry” and develop the habit of bottling their emotions. Men are socialized to believe that crying is a weakness, particularly in social situations.
That said, male and female infants don’t show any differences in crying.
Wealth determines crying abilities too!
Literature on the scientific facts about crying, showed evidence of people in wealthy democratic countries crying more often than those in other countries.
3. Attachment style determines crying behaviour.
In an international journal Social Behavior and Personality, participants with dismissive attachment style, pre-occupied attachment and fearful attachment style cried less and showed mostly negative emotions while crying. Whereas, those with a secure attachment style mostly cried over positive emotions and showed higher frequencies of crying.
4. Personality is related to crying too.
Empathetic people cry more both in positive and negative situations, than people with less empathy. On the other hand, neurotic people cry more in negative situations than less neurotic people. But, they show no differences in positive situations. However, both anxious and neurotic people tend to cry more frequently and easily than others.
Also, people who allow themselves to cry have better emotional intelligence than those who don’t cry. People with less emotional quotient cry less because they are not in touch with their feelings, so don’t assess or respond to them. Therefore, they have more repressed feelings than those with high emotional quotient who can better process their feelings.
When it comes to extroverts, they cry more during negative situations and are less likely to shed “happy tears”.
5. Crying changes our perspective.
When we see someone crying it affects our perception about that person according to the study published in the Journal Cognition and Emotion. Some people view the crying individual as emotionally weak and less aggressive.