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NFL Male Cheerleaders
It’s Just a Game? Can becoming overly engaged in watching a sports game affect your health?
NFL Male Cheerleaders

Men Don’t Cry? A closer look into mental health

As a man, how many times have you been told that a man isn’t supposed to cry? Possibly a hundred-million times, right? This is such a cliché statement that it has become somewhat of an unwritten guy code. Although you may want to “brush” the feeling of shedding a few tears off, there are legitimate reasons why you feel the need to cry. There is no need to be ashamed of the feeling either. 

How often do you cry? 

In a statement from Johnathan Rottenburg, an emotional researcher, and professor of psychology at the University of South Florida, “crying signals to yourself and other people that there’s some important problem that is at least temporarily beyond your ability to cope” (Rottenburg). With this statement in mind, have you ever asked yourself, “how often do I cry, and why do I cry?” Clinical psychologist, Professor Ad Vingerhoets conducted a bit of research in Holland to better understand this question. Professor Vingerhoets’ study focused on the ratio of male to female tears. 

In Professor Vingerhoets’ findings, he noted that “women cry between 30 and 64 times a year, and men only cry between 6 and 17 times each year.” (Vingerhoets). While this may not be a surprising revelation, it goes to show you that men really do cry. A male’s tears can come from different life events such as the birth of a child, grief of the loss of a loved one, frustration, and even joy. In a 2016 interview with macho Hollywood actor, Burt Reynolds, he states that he chokes up when talking about what and who he loves. These people include family and friends who have supported him through his life. 

So, what makes you cry? 

In an article, provided by Cosmopolitan Magazine, men have stated that one of the main reasons behind a man’s tears comes from losing someone. “The ultimate trigger for making me cry is losing someone. Recently, I cried when my girlfriend of four years and I broke up, and when my dog of 15 years passed away, both instances revealed a sense of not wanting alteration in life” (Koman 2017) It’s evident that with the loss of someone or something you love, you get a tugging at your heartstrings. 

With a number of men admitting that they cry after losing someone or something important to them (ex: loss of a loved one), there are also men that have stated that they cry for other, different reasons. Seeing one or both of your parents crying can also cause you to cry as well. This also goes for any member of your family or a close friend. When you see someone that you care deeply about in pain or an emotional state, this can sometimes cause you to follow suit and cry along with them. 

Another reason that some men cry is that they haven’t lived up to their expectations of themselves. Some men spend a good portion of their lives, trying to reach a particular standard that they would like to achieve. These standards may include: obtaining a college degree, owning a business, finding true love, making a particular sports team, etc. They will sometimes come down on themselves too hard, resulting in them just letting the emotions flow in the form of tears. 

Bottled emotions are also a clear reason why some men may want to cry. As stated earlier, some men look to uphold an “Alpha-Male” image of themselves. The man in charge, tough guy, etc. they believe that crying may just tarnish this image of themselves they want to portray.  

Everyone cries 

Whether you wish to bottle some of your emotions up (bad idea) or just let the world know that, you too are human, everyone cries! In a familiar quote, “Crying isn’t a sign of weakness. It is a sign of having tried too hard to be strong for too long.” To dig deeper into what this quote means, it’s reminding people that everyone needs help; man, woman, or child. There is no need to keep feelings and emotions bottled up inside for extended periods of time. Doing this may cause you more harm than good. This can sometimes lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, anger, lower self-esteem, etc. With this in mind, if you feel the need to cry now, just do it! No need to worry what or how other’s will perceive you, it is a normal part of life. Crying shows a sign of just being human. Whether you cry tears from grief or joy (ex: crying laughing), crying is just as common as it is to breathe. Also, you may have seen or heard people blame their tears “on their allergies” or “I got something in my eye.” While these are all legitimate reasons, it just goes to show you, no matter the reason, everyone cries. 

Article submitted by Sade Bolling.