Uncomfortable When Others Cry?


Do you get uncomfortable when someone is crying? For many being around tears feels very squirmy. You don’t know what to say or do so you stand there awkwardly hoping the emotions will go away. The crier is usually similarly embarrassed and apologizes while trying to quell the waterworks. The problem is that you’ve both missed a moment for heart warming, nerve calming, human connection. No blame. Only recently have neuroscientists realized emotions are essential to well-being for individuals and relationships. Crying is designed to release stress and bring people together for comfort. Our culture has been slow to catch up to this new understanding.

Here’s the tip. First, see if you’re open to these new ideas about emotional expression. If yes, look inside for an example of crying leading to a happy ending. You may need to review life experiences or look to books/movies/YouTube. Next, notice what happens in your body as you envision someone being soothed while crying. Feel heart opening, shoulders loosening, gut gurgling release. If you’ve had bad experiences of emotions leading to trauma, you may need some professional help before you can relax into the simple ease of sharing brief, embodied emotional connection.

Finally, consider this…you don’t have to do, fix, or change anything when tears flow. Your job is just to be there and wait for the healing that will naturally occur. You can prepare for this by practicing the following inner guidance: Nothing to do, No place to go. All is well. We’re here.

Penelope Young Andrade LCSW
Twitter @EmotionalRx

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