However, a study published by the Department of Clinical Health Psychology at Tilburg University found that emotional stability was “negatively associated” with crying for women. For men “only a significant negative relationship between emotional stability and crying for negative reasons emerged. No clear links were found between personality and mood changes after crying.”
3. A culture of expression
A study covering 37 countries found that people from “more affluent, democratic, extraverted, and individualistic countries” usually cry a lot more. People from countries like the United States, Sweden and Chile with better social resources and higher levels of freedom of expression are more open to crying. The research also revealed that the gender gap in proneness to crying was larger in “wealthier, more democratic, and feminine countries.”
So if you are wondering why you cry, lead researcher Dianne Van Hemert, PhD, might have the answer. She believes that individuals from more democratic and affluent nations cry more as their culture allows it. However, individuals from poorer nations might hold on to their tears as their culture doesn’t permit emotional expression, even though they might have more reasons to cry.
Is crying good for you? Read 6 Reasons Why People Who Cry Are Actually Much Stronger and Healthier Than Those Who Don’t
4. Unhealthy attachment styles
Your tendency to cry more may also depend on your attachment style as well. According to a 2012 study, there is a connection between adult crying and attachment style. The study found that one group of people with preoccupied attachment style showed more emotional expression and cried intensely, while the group of subjects with dismissive attachment style were found to cry relatively less.
The study stated “The preoccupied and fearful attachment style groups reported the most negative emotions while crying, whereas the secure group reported more crying over positive emotions. These results show that attachment style is a determinant of adult crying behavior.”
Moreover, Judith Kay Nelson, PhD, author and psychotherapist, reveled in her book “Seeing Through Tears: Crying and Attachment” that people with insecure attachment style tend to cry badly and improperly, whereas people with secure attachment style express their emotions comfortably and cry in a relatively healthier manner.
5. An evolutionary strategy
Facilitating bonds and relationships by lowering defenses and aggression is another unique reason why you cry so intensely. A 2009 study by Dr. Oren Hasson, Department of Zoology at Tel Aviv University, indicates that emotional tears serve as a biological signal. His analysis found that crying can be an evolutionary tool to keep you safe and reduce animosity. The analysis reveals that tears blur vision and “handicap aggressive or defensive actions, and may function as reliable signals of appeasement, need or attachment.”
Crying is a sign of vulnerability. This is a biological strategy to bring others emotionally closer to you. In an interview, Dr. Hasson said that with the help of tears “you can show that you are submissive to an attacker, and therefore potentially elicit mercy from an enemy, or you could attract sympathy from others, and perhaps gain their strategic assistance.”
He added, “My analysis suggests that by blurring vision, tears lower defenses and reliably function as signals of submission, a cry for help, and even in a mutual display of attachment and as a group display of cohesion.”
Do you cry a lot? Read 5 Reasons Why It Is Okay To Cry – Backed By Science
6. The Pseudobulbar affect
If you tend to cry uncontrollably too frequently then it might be due to the condition known as pseudobulbar affect (PBA), which is caused by a brain injury or a neurological disorder. PBA primarily involves sudden episodes of inappropriate and uncontrollable crying or laughter. As this condition usually occurs due to brain injuries or specific neurological conditions, it impacts how our emotions are processed by the brain.