People Who Cry During Movies Aren’t Weak But Are Emotionally Strong

People Cry During Movies not Weak But Emotionally Strong

Pass me a tissue, please…I’ll admit it: I cry during movies… and books, music, and podcasts. Depending on how my hormone levels are, I might preemptively grab tissues and just watch the movie alone.

Though a lot of people smirk when they see me watch movies in tears, I’m really fine with it. Truth be told, people who cry over movies tend to have something that a lot of others haven’t really cultivated: empathy.

It takes a special type of person to have empathy. Many people out there — narcissists and sociopaths, for example — are born without it and live their entire lives without ever really putting themselves in other peoples’ shoes. This means they can’t really feel for other people. Though a lack of empathy could come in very handy for a used car salesman, it’s not always a good thing.

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Actually caring about others’ situations takes strength — a lot of it. Life is brutal to some people and if you’re able to actually put yourself in someone else’s shoes and feel that pain, it says something about you.

You’re strong enough to actually withstand that pain, but to feel it nonetheless. You’re strong enough to be strong for others. You’re strong to the point that you understand where they’re coming from and are able to actually feel what they’re feeling.

It’s never a wimpy thing to actually care for another person, even if that person is a fictional character in a movie. It shows that you actually have a heart, and that it’s a heart that can break itself for others. Though it can be broken, by the end of the movie, you know it’s been patched back together.

Being able to recover that quickly says something else about people who cry during movies: they can bounce back like no one else’s business, and are strong enough and smart enough to actually separate reality from fiction.

Of course, that’s not the only reason people cry at the movies. There are also tears that flow because you’ve been where a character has been — tears of memories that are painful. I have often found it cathartic to see movies that have people going through things I have, simply because it allows me to let some of my bottled up feelings loose in a healthier way. I’d like to see how anyone could doubt someone’s strength when they actually confront things that have hurt them in the past.

Then, there’s the kind of tears that flow when you’re really just overwhelmed with the artistic genius of a film. It’s not just something pretentious people do, either. It’s called Stendhal Syndrome in its more advanced forms and it means that a work of art moved you to the point that you’re having both physical and emotional symptoms.

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Having gotten it after watching the movie Casshern, I can honestly tell you that it takes a lot of strength to jerk yourself out of that physically-altering sense of awe.

For people who are really susceptible to the way that art moves them, actually viewing a seriously good movie, listening to a good radio show, or even reading the right comic can be a test of your ability to keep a straight face. It can also be a major rollercoaster ride — one which forces you to face and embrace emotions most others choose not to look at.

If you ask me, that’s a lot of strength to shoulder.

Maybe it’s not the kind of strength that most people think about when they think of a strong person, but it’s the most important kind of emotional strength: empathy. And to a point, intelligent acuity it takes to cry at a movie is something you really can’t deny.

Even if we aren’t lifting 100 pounds, we are exploring our emotions, and that can lift our spirits higher than anything else out there.

Do you agree?


Originally appeared in Yourtango
Written by Lindsey Kupfer

People Who Cry During Movies Are The Strongest People Of All
People Cry During Movies not Weak But Emotionally Strong Pin
People Who Cry During Movies Aren't Weak But Are Emotionally Strong

142 thoughts on “People Who Cry During Movies Aren’t Weak But Are Emotionally Strong”

  1. Avatar of Barbara

    I agree 100%. I am deeply effected by others’ personal pain. I empathize with others, real and fictional. I appreciate you acknowledging the reality of these intense feelings.
    Is this also the reason I can’t watch gruesome and horrifying movies? They truly frighten me beyond an acceptable level. I’ve never seen Jaws or Titanic or Silence of the Lambs. Familiar with the stories, I just can’t put myself through the pain of these characters.
    Thank you for putting perspective on this for me. I thought I was just a wuss.

  2. Avatar of Brandon Longwell

    You undermine your statement at every point in the article. You introduce it as yourself being overly sensitive for every form of media, then reduce it further saying it may just be hormones. You follow that up with it might not be empathy, but an appreciation of great art. You then try to convey empathy as the ability to understand fiction from reality. Ultimately you conclude with a metephor that equates emotional strength to physical strength. This article was incredibly unhelpful in further understanding a condition, was not empathetic and in the end felt like a diary entry.
    Focus and real life empathy will help immensely in writing this article.

  3. Avatar of Cal Joe

    Many of us who are highly sensitive and more empath like didn’t ask to be this way. Watch the documentary “Sensitive” if you are curious as to what this is all about, and a sequel is coming. Although some may not like her Alanis M. is highly sensitive. We live more guarded lives, we can tell what others are feeling, and even thinking, its because the human experience is essentially shared. Some of us are introvert types, we see how people can be “problems”. Asian societies might have a tendency to embrace the empath, American is more of a bullying culture so many of our sensitive people have a bad growing up experience. Bullys being often of the narcissistic tendency have their own sensitive side but it’s for feeling people out for using, the true empath gives energy, the narcissist takes energy. And .. so is the world, giving and taking energy, ebbing back and forth. Crying is just a way to freely release bad energy that builds up within us, we feel deeply, we love deeply, we live deeply. We were born this way.

  4. Avatar of Alejandra

    “Empathy is biased; we are more prone to feel empathy for attractive people and for those who look like us or share our ethnic or national background. And empathy is narrow; it connects us to particular individuals, real or imagined, but is insensitive to numerical differences and statistical data. As Mother Teresa put it, “If I look at the mass I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” Laboratory studies find that we really do care more about the one than about the mass, so long as we have personal information about the one.”

    As Paul Bloom explains in what is previously cited, empathy is actually a reflection of how biased our emotions are towards others, depending on who we do or don’t identify with. We feel more empathy towards people close to us, people of our same race, people of our same nationality, and we don’t apply this empathy to whom we consider to be “outsiders” (pure judgment). For example, you will care more about a child stuck in a well than about 500 children that just got killed in a bombing in Syria.
    Empathy is not the same as compassion, and empathy doesn’t make us better people, compassion does. To feel what the other is feeling will not improve the other’s situation, while compassion will ACTUALLY lead you to act. Feeling other people’s pain is emotionally consuming, and it is directed mostly towards negative aspects of situations. It is more likely to feel envy towards your colleague who got that promotion instead of you. On the other hand, if you were the one that got the promotion, you would then use empathy to understand how this colleague is feeling.

    I recommend this article for further information on the topic of empathy and why it shouldn’t be used to describe yourself positively: http://bostonreview.net/forum/paul-bloom-against-empathy

  5. Avatar of Alnev

    Interesting topic! I just want to strike through something or just take a point of view.

    “Many people out there — narcissists and sociopaths, for example — are born without it and live their entire lives without ever really putting themselves in other peoples’ shoes.”

    People are not just born without it. Many of them are technically victims of lack of empathy. And everyone of us have a chance to effect other people. Empathy is a choice. We can train it and help others find it. It is all about getting together as humans, looking into each others eyes, and listening.

  6. Avatar of Diana Es

    Tbt to when I came home one day while you and mommy were in middle of watching a random movie and sad music came on and I started crying Lmaoooo Sapir Es

    1. Avatar of Preksha Baid

      Maybe it’s not the kind of strength that most people think about when they think of a strong person, but it’s the most important kind of emotional strength: empathy <3

  7. Avatar of Lisa Storm

    OK. Notebook movie gets me all the time. Saving Private Ryan the very beginning and very end because the older Ryan reminds me of my father. OK and I’ll admit I get a bit teary eyed with ET.

  8. Avatar of Emily Rodriguez

    When I was in grade school they played Lassie in the library for one of our classes. The other students made fun of the students that cry like a big fat baby. When I was young, they tried to discourage being a big fat whiny baby and to grow up and hold back your tears.

    You can’t go through life crying every time you’re a wee bit upset. It wouldn’t be conducive to going to job interviews, or going to work every day after a pet dies. At some point you have to grow up.

    I’ve always thought it was an ADULT LIFE SKILL to be able to choke back the tears and not show your emotions. That’s what’s expected of people in business, in the work force!!
    Why in the hell would you want someone going around crying all day in a customer service position or managerial position? It’s ridiculous and utterly counterproductive.

    Learn to SUCK IT UP CUPCAKE! Or ridicule will ensue!!

    Also, movies are Fake, they are fiction, with actors playing parts. Why would you let something fake upset you so much? Save the tears for when a person or animal that you love dies or something really bad happens For real. It seems like insanity to cry over actors acting.

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