Your Angry Tears Do Not Make You Weak
I cry when I am upset. And sometimes it can be really annoying. Like if I want to be taken seriously when I’m upset, tears aren’t the way to go. They make it look as if I am pouting or that I cannot handle whatever is going on.
My mom had always said I was just frustrated. Well, yes, but couldn’t I have just been that without the tears? Did I always have to stream tears whenever I was mad?
Ok maybe I’m exaggerating a bit here, but it happens often enough for me and someone else to be able to notice a pattern. I thought my tears were mostly reserved for tragedy and the occasional gust of wind. What’s the deal here?
We often associate sadness with vulnerability and anger with upfrontness, even aggression. They may appear to be on opposite ends of a spectrum, but they tie back to the same thing: hurt.
When you are sad, you are hurt. When you are angry, you are hurt.
Why then is only crying, which is often associated with sadness, often jumbled with weakness or vulnerability? My mind tells me the answer to this is in the expression of these two emotions.
An angry person can push us away, but a sad person can draw us closer.
What the science says
If you cry when angry, your body is responding to stress. Chances are your stress level is higher than usual. Knowing this may help you navigate better if you feel like your tears are getting in your way.
What I say
If you are an angry crier like me, here’s my advice: cry on. Your angry tears do not make you weak, if anything they should make you appear more passionate. If there is this stigma that angry criers are weak, let’s get rid of it because the reality is it isn’t true.
An angry crier isn't always crying because they're sad. Sometimes they’re genuinely angry, infuriated even, with no sadness involved. Be sure to take us seriously. Our tears certainly don’t make us weak.