Rona, kabhi nahi rona, chaahe toot jaaye koi khilauna! (Don’t cry, ever, even if you break a toy!) – I’ve grown up listening to this song. My father would sing it to me in my childhood, to pacify me if I was crying. I’ve often wondered why my dad used to stop me from crying. Or for that matter, why is it still a taboo to cry? Just as we laugh to express joy can we not shed tears when we find ourselves lacking words to describe how we are feeling? Irrespective of how people around me perceive it, I can never not weep and I feel it’s completely okay to do so.
We are humans and react to stimuli. Just like a pinprick makes you instantly move your finger away from the source of pain, a situation might overwhelm a person and they may react by crying. Crying could be a way to let out your anger, frustration, sadness, or even anxiety. It is a release. A lot of us are often just one situation away from a breakdown. You cannot keep going on with a heavy feeling in your chest, can you? However, the constant advice to control our emotions projects crying as a weakness. But is it actually true?
Irrespective of how people around me perceive it, I can never not weep and I feel it’s completely okay to do so.
Emotions are extremely personal and you cannot judge a person by the way they express them. Believe it or not, in addition to making us feel light, crying is also a sign of strength. It takes courage to express yourself even when you are vulnerable. Honestly, tears I believe are a blessing when you feel a loss of words to convey your emotions, whether good or bad.
Life can’t be defined by endurance, by masking the tendency to bottle up your feelings to the brink, as bravery. It’s about venting out our sorrows too. While many of us have been stopped from using this form of expression, men, I think, suffer the most due to outdated gendered notion that real men don’t cry. They’ve grown up with parents telling them to not cry because that is what “girls do”. They’re embarrassed for something so natural by being bullied or called names, like a crybaby or a wuss. Do we have even a speck of empathy left within us? Forcing your sons to stop crying would not only render them as difficult-to-express individuals but will further reinforce the patriarchal notion that crying is a feminine emotion.
A lot of us are often just one situation away from a breakdown. You cannot keep going on with a heavy feeling in your chest, can you?
All that pent-up stress might take the form of negativity and frustration which might be harmful to your mental well-being in the long run. I’m not saying that it is essential to cry but it is important to not be judgemental when someone does so, or to keep yourself from crying out of facing social judgement. Let’s shove this stigma away and ensure that nobody is humiliated for expressing themselves.
Shedding tears does not make you vulnerable, it is just another form of expression. If we are stopped from crying heartily then how will our laughs ever be wholesome?
Saavriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV. The views expressed are the author’s own.