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Big boys do cry, but don’t wail in public

By Vision Reporter

Added 5th February 2010 03:00 AM

I wanted a show of hands for those who have ever shed a tear for love. Then I remembered that crying is frowned upon in some cultures, especially for men.

I wanted a show of hands for those who have ever shed a tear for love. Then I remembered that crying is frowned upon in some cultures, especially for men.

By Hilary Bainemigisha
I wanted a show of hands for those who have ever shed a tear for love. Then I remembered that crying is frowned upon in some cultures, especially for men.

But that doesn’t mean we don’t shed a tear both in public and private. Some cry over an achievement, others excitement, romance, arousal, betrayal, anxiety and … name it.

Crying seems to be dotted along the whole love experience scale from the worst to the best. And it is for a purpose.

When I was still actively dating, crying had a master key to my self control padlock.

Whenever a girl in my arms started sobbing, her body shaking with emotion, tears wetting my shoulder and hands gripping me, I would find myself resolving to do everything in my power to solve her problems.

And it was extremely arousing. That feeling of power, presiding over a lover in utmost vulnerability, apparently placing her life in your hands and trusting in your ability to wipe away her tears, … was very fulfilling.

No wonder those who cried in romance often stayed longer with me in spite of my adventurous spirit.

A Tel Aviv University evolutionary biologist says tears have emotional benefits and can strengthen a love relationship.

Dr. Oren Hasson analysed the use of tears in different emotional and social circumstances and concluded that emotional tears can signal appeasement and attachment. By blurring vision, tears signal feelings of vulnerability, trust and love.

Tears can also be used to elicit mercy, sympathy and willingness to assist. Crying is known to be a symptom of physical pain or stress.

By showing that physiological distress, the crier inspires in a partner a patronising stature and responsibility of rehabilitating emotional distress.

That way, men feel energised, women protected and they get closer.
Hasson, a marriage therapist, states: “It is important to legitimise emotional tears in relationships.

Too often, women who cry feel ashamed, silly or weak, when in reality they are the winners; simply connected with their feelings.”

And how about men who cry over relationship matters? Well, that is unacceptable and I will tell you why.

According to evolution psychologists, relationships thrive on specific but mutual gender roles. While men become relevant as protectors, providers and support pillars, women are producers and nurturers.

Crying, for a woman, makes sense because she appeals to a man’s protective instinct. But when the man - the protector - cries, he jeopardises his role as the fountain of strength, from which the woman and the whole family draw comfort.

He disorganises the confidence the woman wants to have in him for purposes of investing her frail emotions in.

Crying thus becomes so unnatural that society frowns on a heartbroken man wailing like a child. If a man has to cry, society wants to see it in tears dropping from his eyes. And even then the allowance given is bereavement and extreme pain.

As for me, my standards are very user friendly. Let the women cry whenever they want and, if they are with me, that includes especially romance.

And for men, there are no specific instances prescribed for tears. For the sake of emotional stability, a man can shed tears whenever they come.

But at no time should he wail especially because of emotional disappointment or as an effort to bond. It is not manly.

Big boys do cry, but don’t wail in public

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