Hello and welcome to Geeks Vs Loneliness, our spot on the site where we talk about things that may be affecting you, or people around you. Our underlying rule here is that not everything we write may be helpful to you, but hopefully something we post in this series may resonate, and may be of use to you.
This week, I want to talk about crying. In particular, I’d like to sound – as loud as the internet will let me – the bullshit klaxon on this peculiar idea that crying is some form of weakness. This bizarre human expectation that we’re supposed to bottle everything up, no matter what crap is going on around us, and constantly walk around with our game face on.
I don’t have a huge problem with the idea of sometimes putting on a front to get through stuff. As a short term coping strategy, it has its merits. It’s when it becomes the long term norm that it makes it harder to accept and deal with the emotions that are bubbling away inside every single one of us. Even the toughest, roughest person you could imagine cries. Men cry. Women cry. Animals cry. We’re all a brilliant mess of chemicals, and we’ve all been provided with this functionality to express raw emotion through tears, and sometimes very messy crying. I will maintain to the end of my days that there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. Nothing.
We’ve talked about the idea that men aren’t allowed to cry before on this site – is it any wonder that the male under 40s suicide rate is so high with bullshit ideas like that? – but this is broader. Our human instinct is to apologise for crying. And woe betide us if tears form in our eyes in public! In a situation with other people around! Didn’t we all get the memo that that’s what your bedroom is for? To stick your head in your pillow and weep there, away from everyone else?
Bullshit. I call bullshit.
Chums, if you need to cry, let it out. If you’re sat opposite someone who is crying, do check if they’re alright, and just give them an assurance that someone is there who gives a shit. But also, they might just want to cry. We all have little idea what goes on in each other’s lives, and human beings tend to breeze past one another with two dimensional pleasantries. As such, when someone presents an overt emotion, it can be a jolt. But it’s a jolt to them, too. Nobody wants to spend their life crying, and if that’s how you feel, we urge you to talk to someone. We’ve discovered across the life of this series that there are brilliant, brilliant people out there who desperately want to help, who really do care. Lots of them. Don’t believe us? Just post something in the comments. No algorithms down there. Just human beings talking to each other.
Crying is natural. It’s not always fun. It may be a symptom and sign of far deeper, troubling things that may need much more support. But it’s natural, and this whole bobbins notion that we’re not allowed to cry, and cry in front of other people, is one of the perception brick walls that we surely have to bash on and smash. Consider this article one contribution to that. And have a virtual hug, and a damn good weep, on us.
You all stay brilliant, and thanks – as always – for reading. x