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Boys Don't Cry

-by Editor

For women, crying is an art form. They sob with their hearts hanging on their sleeves and tears running down their cheeks. Yes, when it comes to the battle of the sexes, this is one thing women undisputedly do so much better than men.

The fact is, women, on an average, cry five times more than men. And men For most of them 'crying' constitutes little more than a welling up of tears.

Why don't most men cry?

Men have a difficult time expressing their feelings, especially when it comes to crying. Most men from the time they were boys, are taught that crying is a feminine characteristic seen as a sign of weakness. So while I cried every morning as a child when my hair was being tugged and pulled into a neat ponytail, my brother would swallow his tears even when he fell hard and skinned his knee.

What are tears?

Tears are of three types: continuous, reflex and emotional. Continuous tears are the ones which just flow to lubricate your eyes, or when you're sleepy and yawn. Reflex tears are those which are in response to irritants like smoke, onion vapors or foreign bodies. Emotional tears are by far the most complex. They can be stemmed by happiness, sadness, anger, stress or any other deep emotion. Not only that, but they differ in chemical composition from reflex tears - and have as much as 20 percent more protein. (But unless you're going to literally swallow your tears - the extra protein is not going to be of much use.) Then of course, there are the

Crocodile tears

These are the kind most often shed by children, who don't stop their tears even when they are able to, in order to gain sympathy from others. So can tears be manipulative Maybe, but of all emotions, they are the purest. You as you have no control over when you weep and when you don't. True, you may be able to curb your crying to an extent, but you don't have absolute control.

Crying heals

Tears are the human body's manner of easing the pain. Tears help you 'let it all out' and are a kind of cleansing process. They give a physical outlet for feelings, and shift your attention from your thoughts to your bodies. Most people say they feel better after a good cry. Crying helps release all the tension, anxiety and frustrations of life. It feels great to relieve yourself of the hurt without being destructive. Also, crying stimulates the release of endorphins, chemicals in the brain that have mood-elevating effects and help you feel better.

Helps garner support�

A large part of how you feel after crying depends on how others reacted to your tears. If you start crying during an argument and your opponent stayed unmoved or mocked you further, you end up feeling worse, but if you gain emotional support, you feel better. When you cry you acknowledge the fact that things are not okay - you are helpless, vulnerable and just want to be held. Whether that 'being held' happens or not would determine how you feel after crying.

Brings about emotional development for men

By crying, men grow to develop a much better understanding of emotions. They learn to accept and share feelings with their family. By coming to terms with their need to cry they now have a better understanding of other people's feelings, and it may even enhance their relationship with their wife and children. So put the macho stuff on hold for a while guys. Sometimes when you just have to let the tears flow, go ahead. Have a good cry. You're only human after all.

'Cry, and you cry alone'

Nothing can be further from the truth. There are so many people out there who just have to look in the direction of someone crying, and their eyes well up with tears. The Titanic was not known as a tear-jerker for nothing. One look at Rose's devastated face when Jack sinks into the water elicited a welling in the eyes from even the most hardened heart. On the other hand, many people do cry alone - literally. There's a lot of stigma attached to portraying yourself as being weak and vulnerable, especially for men, and often the presence of others inhibits crying.

Crying is not a solution

Crying may ease the pain, but no matter how much you cry, you can't wish the cause of your tears away. No amount of crying will get back your lost love, take you back in time so your child passes that exam or bring you a promotion. What crying does is help you express your pain and indulge in a few moments - or hours - or days - of self pity. You accept your vulnerabilities as human beings, and by doing so you regain strength to wipe the tears away, open your eyes, lift your heads, and move on.

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