Sta Hungry Stay Foolish

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

A blog by Leon Oudejans


2 May 2016


I cry easily nowadays. That used to be very different. What changed? I guess my trauma of the past 7 years. Several blogs account for the various parts of that trauma. WebMD: “People with a history of trauma have been found to cry more. [] That’s especially true [] if they dwell on that past. If you keep referring back to the past of trauma or emotional pain, it will generate more feelings of hurt.”

Does this crying make me a weak person? Not really. I might even be among the strongest persons you will find out there. Now I just show my emotions (lyrics, video) unlike before. Back then I was more of a “flatliner” who had difficulty in showing emotions, either positive or negative.

I have never written on this topic before. Probably as shame was just around the corner. Men are not supposed to cry. That is what parents teach their boys and – to a lesser extent – their girls. An article in my inbox changed my mind. The article in itself is lousy and I don’t recommend reading it. Its message made me look for more serious articles, like: Independent, WebMD.

It appears that we do not know much about tears and crying, apart from the obvious. Firstly, tears and crying are only related in 1 area: hurt. Tears also prevent our eyes from drying, and remove small particles from our eyes (eg, pollen). Babies show 3 types of baby cries (including tears): basic, angry and pain. From my personal experience with babies, I have learned that the basic one is the “social” one – the cry for attention. Amongst adults, only crying and tears related to pain are not considered shameful.

Hiding our emotions and tears has remarkable consequences. Scientific evidence suggests that “crying may have a biochemical purpose. It’s believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body” (WebMDlink 1, link 2). In other words: “tears even contain a natural painkiller, called leucine enkephalin – perhaps, part of the reason why you might feel better after a good cry” (Independent).

Crying also serves an emotional and a physical purpose. It’s a release of a buildup of energy (eg, happy or sad emotions, feelings). Not releasing that emotional energy may jeopardise your physical health. There is a saying attributed to the British psychiatrist Henry Maudsley: “The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”

Obviously, there is also a social purpose. When babies feel alone, they reach out by crying. Usually parents react quickly and give the baby attention. WebMD: “For various reasons, a lot of people push down their tears; they suppress them. [] One of the consequences is [that] we sort of deaden ourselves, to suppress or not even notice we have those feelings inside. The way that looks to the outside world is depression.”

Crying even has a evolutionary survival purpose. It’s much more difficult to punish someone who begs for mercy and shows regret and remorse by crying. 

The “upside” of teardrops is perfectly illustrated by this – upbeat – Womack & Womack song.

Womack & Womack – Teardrops (1988) – artists, lyrics, video, Wiki-1, Wiki-2

Footsteps on the dance floor, reminds me baby of you

Teardrops in my eyes, next time I’ll be true, yeah

Whispers in the powder room

“She cries on every tune, every tune, every tune”

Note: all bold and italic text markings are mine.


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