Nothing like a good cry?

June 29, 2012

in Miscellaneous, Personal

Last night I watched people weeping on tv. It was a programme about how families lived in Edwardian times but seemed to be a programme about how to make people weep. Tears dripped at every opportunity.

One man wept at discovering one of his ancestors had died of tuberculosis. Then he, or another, wept because Edwardian fathers didn’t fondle their children. Then one wept at the theatre because his family weren’t at the theatre with him.

The children wept because their father asked them politely to wash their hands before supper. A mother wept because a nanny appeared and relieved her of looking after her children for the day. The whole programme was flooded with tears.

Where on earth does all this spare grief come from? I remember seeing a relative weep at his grandmother’s funeral and then congratulate himself upon his efforts. Has weeping at will become an essential social skill?

Maybe it’s the weather?

From the wardrobe copyright Anne Wareham

Anett November 4, 2012 at 3:34 pm

I was never discouraged from weeping as a child, but didn’t weep much when I was young, except when I’d hurt myself. Weeping has caught up with me as I’ve become older, however, though I’m not a very sentimental person. I have surprised (embarassed?) more than one date by weeping (and repeatedly blowing my nose) while watching a sappy romcom at the cinema… I’ve never thought much about my weeping, until I cried at my dear farther’s funeral and one of my friends commented that it was brave of me to cry in public like that. This comment totally caught me by surprise. Did she actually mistake devastation and grief as bravery? And did she really believe that I could have chosen NOT to cry?

anne November 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm

Confusing, isn’t it? I am so very glad that that association of appropriate crying with shame is going, making your friend seem strange and rather hard. But shame at crying will soon be replaced by shame at not crying, and that could be as bad!

Charles August 5, 2012 at 4:54 pm

This may have been a long time in coming but watching the Olympics you can’t help but be impressed with how winning (and losing) so often brings the participants to tears. And it brings me to tears watching them in tears. Maybe the latter is easy to understand. Surely that’s what empathy means? To put yourself in their place and to emotionally connect with how they might be feeling.

But it is more than this, of course. If I am crying than I am experiencing my emotion, not theirs. I guess it suggests to me that we all have unexpressed distress and that these occasions provide a trigger for allowing some of that in a safe situation. I am watching the telly in the privacy of my home. Maybe for the participants it is less “safe” but they probably know that they have a lot of people around them with heart for their success or failure. And for the participants there must surely be a release of such held in feelings at this cathartic finish to their performance where distress must have played a large part.

Andy Murray loses at Wimbledon and finally we see his distress so deeply felt and partially expressed and our heart goes out to him. And now he wins gold at the Olympics and now he is more composed and his joy is more apparent. But behind closed doors tonight, who knows?

Paul Steer June 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Well I confess to crying at moments which seem to be conected to something deep, profound – even a beautiful vista can do it, or a connection made with another human being. Sometimes it catches me unawares in the job I do when someone who is suffering physical illness, suddenly says something beautiful…I am often astonished by people, as well as angered ! I have been known to cry listening to advertisements in the cinema. What a man !?

anne June 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm

Well I knew who that was before I read the name! What a man. XXXXX

Sue Beesley (@suebeesley) June 29, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I was strongly discouraged from crying when young and I still see it (mostly wrongly) as something to be fought back at all costs. But television knows the power of tears. A tearful reaction is sought where possible and never ends up on the cutting room floor. I blame Diana – the British public tossed its collective stiff upper lip into the Thames that August.

anne June 29, 2012 at 9:11 pm

Yes – my mother boasted that she never cried after she was four years old. (unlike wimpy me, of course…)

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