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Emotional reactions..

Karen Allendoerfer ravena at cco.caltech.edu
Mon Jun 2 09:31:32 EST 1997

In article <v01510100afb21a9f8e90@[]>,
Dianna L. Bourke <dlb17 at PSU.EDU> wrote:

Annette C. Holman wrote:
>>Crying is considered an unacceptable way of dealing with problems because
>>it indicates that you are going to give up.
>With all due respect to some other salient points in this message the above
>is mostly a load of crap. Crying does NOT indicate you are hopeless and are
>going to give up! It is merely a way of reacting to anger and frustration
>in what may feel like a hopeless situation at the time.

Hear hear!
While I agree completely with Dianna, 
I think that Annette's post was a very cogent explanation of where this
harmful stereotype about crying comes from, and where people get their
mistaken attitudes about it.  

I also think that a society that views crying in the way that she
described extracts a large emotional cost from its members.  

>Crying is an emotional release which calms the soul and returns rational
>thought. Once my nose stops running and and my eyes unswell I immediately
>start planning my response to the situation. It is like a summer rainstorm
>after a dusty day, everything is much clearer.

What a great way to describe it!

I'm also one who cries easily; I always have and it has nothing to do
with my resourcefulness or competence.  It doesn't mean I'm giving up.
In fact, some of the most creative and thoughtful times have come for
me in the aftermath of tears.

I think the appropriate societal response is to educate people who hold
these mistaken attitudes about crying, not to stigmatize the emotional
coping mechanism of those who do it.


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