guide to crying

britt-eliminates-the-bachelor

I cry a lot. Like, bold-faced, italicized: a lot. If you happened to see the last season of The Bachelor, you’ll remember Britt as “the girl who cried a lot”. Well, that’s me. Never have I related to a Bachelor contestant on such a level.

It’s weird sometimes to be a “crier”, especially when you’re surrounded by people who aren’t and who, consequently, misunderstand the whole thing. If you’re like me, crying is a side effect of any intense emotion. I cry when I’m sad, yes, but most times it’s something else—it could be that I’m angry or confused or just overwhelmed.

Criers know that when you feel it coming on, you’ve got to let it out. In most cases for me, holding it back isn’t even an option. It sort of just happens. And most times, having “a moment” is helpful! You end up feeling more level-headed afterwards, so what’s the point in holding back? I’m not the only one who thinks so.

However, challenges arise when your emotional breakdown occurs in a location other than your home or in a situation where you can’t get behind closed doors.

It’s going to happen anyway, so you might as well deal with it. Here’s my advice:

1. If you’re in the city…
First, please realize how lucky you are and know that your public breakdown is not the strangest thing anyone has seen and it’s unlikely that anyone is paying attention anyway. Second, make your way to the nearest subway because everyone agrees that the train is the world’s best public crying spot. I’ve seen plenty of odd things on the subway. Sorry, but your sniffling tears are not very interesting in comparison to a person dressed as a ketchup bottle or watching a man be forced to drop his camera bag on the tracks when it gets stuck in the door. If you’re not able to be alone in your bedroom, weeping while sitting inside a submerged tube with strangers is the next best thing.

2. If you’re worried about your looks…
Here’s a quick shallow digression. In many cases, crying can actually be quite pretty.

3. Let it happen.
You’ll feel better if you do! I think it’s so important not to judge yourself, even if you don’t fully understand what’s going on. There could be something obvious that provokes tears, but sometimes you don’t even know. Either way, there is something that needs to be felt so just go with it. If you are really in a position where crying is not an option, take deep breaths and do what you can to stop it.

4. Wrap it up.
If you’re lucky enough to find a private place, I highly recommend talking yourself through it. Your thoughts don’t even need to be coherent. Just go through what you’re feeling, verbalize it if possible, look at yourself in the mirror, talk to the ceiling, whatever you want. Verbalization can be a big help when it comes to understanding what you’re feeling and why you’re feeling it.

5. Deal with the aftermath.
Typically, your biggest problems will be the nose (red and sniffly), the eyes (red and shiny), and, of course, your general demeanor. Blow your nose, give yourself a few minutes to let your face relax, then re-apply your makeup. The easiest fix: Dr. Jart and a beauty blender. Everyone at my college has likely seen me simultaneously walking through campus and patting my tear-stained face with a beauty blender at some point. The eyes are pretty easy: dab with tissues, then soak with Visine. Brush your hair, take a deep breath, and continue on with your day.

6. Be nice to yourself.
When you’re not busy crying, make sure that you take time to do things for yourself. Forget about enrichment and just do whatever feels good. If that means watching mind-numbing television, do it. If that means going for a run and then eating a chocolate cupcake, do it. It’ll probably change, too! Just figure out what it is and do it. Right now, my plan-of-attack is to re-watch season two of True Blood and eat a long-awaited Pop-Tart. I’m not saying to forgo all forms of enrichment for good. But it is okay to treat yourself. Find a balance! Watch a Say Yes to the Dress marathon and then take a spin class.

7. Set limits.
If you’re going through a time during which you find crying to be an often recurring thing, it can be helpful to set limits for yourself. It sounds silly, but it really is helpful. Set aside a time during the day–five to ten minutes–solely for the purpose of feeling your emotions to whatever extent you can in the moment. If you start feeling emotional throughout the day, put it aside and re-focus yourself until your designated “emotion time”. Again, it might sound weird but it works.

8. Embrace it.
I get that crying can be awkward. I’ve definitely been made fun of for my propensity for weeping—which, by the way, is not a nice thing to do to a person. Judging by the public reaction to Britt’s crying on The Bachelor, this is something that other people are maligned for, too. However, I’ve read a lot of comments online which indicate that this is something a lot of girls deal with. So, I really think it’s time we stop apologizing for the way we express emotion. Instead, we should A) deal with it and B) be grateful for sensitivity, because it really does allow you to experience things more fully.

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