When you're a kid, you can cry anytime. Then you grow up and you have to pretend like you don't cry at all.
Well I'm going to just call bullshit on that. I would like people to cry whenever they want to, without it being seen as a reason for pity or a sign of weakness.
When I'm under stress, my crying tank starts to fill. When the crying tank gets full, all it takes is a word of compassion to make it spill over.
Yesterday a friend of mine posted something on Facebook that spilled the tank. She simply said, "I see you."
Later, a classmate saw that I was struggling, and she hugged me. Instant tears.
It wasn't until I was in the car with my boyfriend that I really let it out. It was a full body convulsing. He just hugged me and let me take as much time as I needed. He didn't tell me to stop or that it's not as bad as I think. He understands that it's important not to cut emotions short. He also knows there aren't good or bad emotions. They all need to be acknowledged. And that is reason number 935 why I love him.
Your body is an expert at helping you get back to balance. And it doesn't really care about when it's appropriate to feel certain feelings. Emotions are out of your mind's control. Understanding this and not trying to change how people feel is the best thing you can do to help people feel safe around you.
Plus, crying just feels good. It's restorative. It's a form of release, just like laughing and ahem.....other things.