EMOTIONS ARE AN IMPORTANT PART OF OUR LIFE, although at different times and in different cultures, their manifestation was and remains a taboo. We recently found out what scientists think about the evolutionary meaning of tears and why psychologists agree that crying is normal. To support the theory with life experience, we talked with women and men of different ages and occupations about the place tears occupy in their lives and why this manifestation of feelings is not the simplest attitude.
I cried very often as a child, and I cry a lot now. The hardest tears are from self-pity. Most often they happen at home, with my family, and in these conditions it is most difficult for me to calm down. When I feel that someone is worried about me and begins to feel sorry for me, that's all, I can't be stopped. Even if you hide in a corner to calm down, they continue to actively pity you. Recently I thought: if it's so hard for me to resist, then maybe I should do the opposite: throw myself into my mother's arms and surrender to tears? Mom was perplexed when I approached her, having burnt myself with soup, and theatrically burst into tears. Oddly enough, it helped calm down.
Another thing is at work. In my former workplace, I was a junior employee, everyone loved (and pitied) me, so I kept crying. When I changed jobs, I realized that no one here still knows what kind of crybaby I am, and I have a chance to improve. Now, when I start feeling sorry for myself, I try to stop thinking about what hurt me. I love "quick" tears most of all: I gave a little slack - and that's enough. This happens when I remember something that I have already experienced, with which I coped, but I still feel a little sorry for myself. In such cases, it is sufficient to simply switch to another topic. Be that as it may, others notice when your eyes are in a wet place. The main thing for me here is not to give anyone a chance to take pity on me. "Let's go!" - that's all.
There are tears for which people are not ashamed: for example, if the movie is sad, when someone died, or, conversely, if the reason is happy (when someone gets married). Such tears are very rare for me, even a little offensive: when it seems appropriate to cry, you cannot. As if all the tears were spent on nonsense, and now wait until they accumulate. After a lot of crying, I feel very good. Someone screams during stress, I cry. The nervous system relaxes, as if it is rebooting, and I feel a surge of energy.
As a child, when I hurt my head on the table, my grandfather, in order to calm me down, asked: is the whole table left? It almost always worked, and I wasn’t particularly whiny as a kid. By the age of 14, I stopped crying altogether. From everything that caused tears in childhood - annoyance, pain, an overabundance of emotions - I began to rather get angry and indignant. Even in the most difficult situations from a psychological point of view (for example, when loved ones were dying), I did not cry - I just fell asleep all the time.
At the age of 20, I began to show extraordinary sensitivity while listening to music: tears began to rise to my eyes, a lump appeared in my throat, but at the same time my soul was not at all mournful. Such tears from music are the next step after goosebumps, but with a pronounced melancholic coloration. You can shed a miserly tear under the sad album PJ Harvey, and under the touching aria of Maria Callas, you can even reach a pronounced swelling of the nose and face. True, it never lasts longer than five or seven minutes. The same music acts differently at different times: I can rejoice at the song over which I cried a little last week. It all depends on the life situation and internal tension. You can also distinguish intoxicated tears: alcohol promotes emancipation (often not entirely healthy), and in a fit of pity for oneself and one's "inhuman" circumstances, a lump may also come to the throat.
Crying is sometimes healthy, although I was taught that it is not a man's business to allow myself such manifestations of emotions in communication with other people. But crying over grief or tragedy for a long time, it seems to me, is dangerous. While you are crying, you are very vulnerable, but you need to pull yourself together - and quickly get away from the gloomy circumstances of life, or, at least, change your attitude towards the inevitable. Now I derive physical pleasure, similar to the satisfaction of tears, from laughter. If you see a reason to laugh where you used to load, your stress response may soften over time.
The last time I burst into tears was when I read an article about girls who brutally killed animals. I was scared that children are growing up sadists. Programs about orphanages and orphans, about unfairly offended people or animals often make me cry. But in general, I rarely cry. Now I work as a pediatrician, but before that I worked in the children's intensive care unit for 20 years and during this time I saw a lot of human grief. Some of the patients' stories touched me a lot, some passed almost imperceptibly. But in any case, I always tried not to plunge deeply into someone else's grief: this would interfere with my work. The head of the resuscitator must work soberly, think clearly and make decisions quickly, and pity and emotions in this very much interfere. It may be very hard, but it is still work. When patients are sick, doctors do not cry at all: this is not just some kind of code, but a professional feature. Death in intensive care is possible and common, so here they are always ready for it. And if you succumb to feelings and cry after each death, you can go to a psychiatric hospital.
In my personal life, I treat my tears with understanding: I am not a robot, I have emotions, and if I experience them, then I live. Nevertheless, I try to cry alone. I do not think that tears are a weakness that should not be shown, but it is an emotion, and why would strangers know about my feelings? This is my personal position. I am uncomfortable when they pity me, I can only allow it to my man, and then I try not to abuse his feelings. Of course, I happen to cry on the shoulder of a friend, but for me this is an extreme case. When I have to feel deeply in public, it seems that I have become more understandable and close for them, but I am not ready to get closer to everyone. Tears are very different - sincere and insincere. If someone is crying next to me, I will certainly show participation and offer my help, but if I feel hypocrisy and theatricality, a desire to gain benefits or pity, I will remain indifferent and just leave.
I cry freely if there is a reason for it. Fortunately, there are almost none of them in the form of "could not stand it, broke loose and cried". There are two ways to cry that I use regularly. First, it’s very nice to cry after a good movie. The last time this was from the painting "Man - a Swiss knife", before that - from "It's good to be quiet." In general, there are not very many such films, but, for example, Pixar cartoons sometimes seem to squeeze a tear on purpose. Instead of “squeezing out a tear,” we can say more pathetically: they cause catharsis. That is, if a work of art seeks to evoke feelings in me, I do not really resist. The second way to cry is rather unusual. At the end of a particularly difficult day, I sit down to meditate and try to relax my facial muscles. If this works out, tears begin to flow. This continues for several minutes, after which you can meditate in the usual way. I don't know where this skill came from, it is relatively new for me. It relieves stress very well.
I prefer to experience deep feelings without witnesses. I can quite imagine myself leaving the cinema in tears, but, for example, the death of my beloved cat will be going through alone. This applies to any emotion, not just tears. In my work, you don't have to restrain your feelings, but hugging and crying with every client is not a good idea.One of the tasks of the therapist is to withstand any emotional manifestations of clients, including tears. If the therapist cries in response, he may be suspected of being too involved in the situation and also not coping with the surging emotions. The therapist should say with all kinds: “Well, yes, horror. But not horror, horror. " This is probably why I try not to cry in public: many people have a hard time enduring strong negative emotions, trying to quickly fix everything or stop. In my own therapy, of course, I cried, although I preferred to do it after the session. And once I crawled under the table and cried there for two days with breaks for food and sleep.
Until I was 12, I cried regularly. For me, this was a kind of problem-solving method. She cried - everyone was scared, felt guilty and made a concession. But then I decided that I didn't like it at all. I started telling myself that crying doesn't really solve problems, and I stopped crying all the time. I can hardly remember when it was the last time. It's not that I didn't have a reason to cry - I guess you can always find a reason. It just seems to me that crying in front of someone is ugly, and sometimes even ostentatious.
When I was in school, I had a classmate who would throw tantrums with tears, snot and other delights almost every day, and it always infuriated me. She could cry from a not particularly significant deuce and calm down after a couple of minutes. Because of this, I always thought she was terribly insincere. In general, for me, tears are something very personal: if you are crying in front of someone, it means that either you really trust this person, or something really serious happened to you unexpectedly.
Every day a lot of things happen to us, and sometimes it happens that you get very upset, do not have time to think about the situation - and suddenly you feel a huge lump approaching your throat, and your eyes are in a wet place. In order not to cry in public, in such situations I try to get as angry as possible. It doesn't matter who or what: yourself, others, or just the current situation. If it works, then the desire to cry immediately goes away. But still, sometimes it is necessary to cry. This helps to throw out the accumulated negativity and relax. In such cases, you need to have a very close person nearby who could listen to my complaints, look at my red face, hand in a napkin, pat my head, in the end. After this, it definitely becomes easier for me and the strength appears to still get up and go to solve my problems.
As a child - probably like everyone else - I cried quite often, and most often from injustice (perhaps imaginary). "Well, let the nuns go!.." - such a misunderstanding plunged me into horror and despair. When I was a teenager, my beloved grandmother died, and somehow I didn't understand it right away. And one day I went to the cemetery and remembered how she told me about the afterlife - and here I started crying, crying more and more, until I sobbed with lamentations, asking her for forgiveness. At the same time, I remember that, along with relief, I felt a kind of awkwardness, almost ashamed, from the fact that I was roaring like a village grandmother. I even secretly looked around to see if anyone could see.
Later, as an adult, attending funerals and memorial services, I sometimes urged myself to cry grief. Tears appeared, but I have never reached such a mournful ecstasy as at the grave of my grandmother. The exception was the death of my best friend in January 2010. I was on tour in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk when I learned about his death, and suddenly felt such an orphanhood, such my abandonment that I sobbed at the hotel all night. They even knocked on the door to see if I could help. I thanked, apologized, but the tears continued to flow.
For a dramatic actor, tears are necessary. You can catch the spotlight with your eye to cry, but ideally when you are so involved in the fate of the hero that your tears are real.In case of "dry eyes" there is a reliable way: transfer to your own destiny (loss of a loved one or other grief). Sometimes I remember how I was separated from my country dog when it was time to leave for Moscow: she was tied at the house, but she came running after me to the station with a torn rope. Without letting us say goodbye, they thrust me into the vestibule, and they threw her into the pond. I screamed and cried, calling the whole carriage of insensitive adults fascists. As I get older, I seem to become more sensitive and overly tearful. It happens in my practice that the events of the work push to tears of sympathy that are unnecessary for the artist. Here I have to restrain myself with all my might, remembering the rule: "The spectator in the hall should cry, not the artist on the stage."
The photo: bestvc - stock.adobe.com