I don’t cry very often.
In fact, I can count the number of times I’ve cried in the last 8 years on a single hand – a single hand with two missing fingers.
I’d say I wonder why this is, but I think I have a decent level of self awareness and know precisely why this is.
I pride myself on not crying.
I associate strength and mental fortitude with being able to expel my emotions without resorting to a physical release.
Where this association was created, I’m not sure.
I’d like to say it’s my perception of masculinity as portrayed in society.
Everyone says it’s okay for men to cry, and yet I haven’t seen many men cry.
I think modelling behaviour is much more about what you see, and less about what is said.
If you hear your teacher saying there’s a correct way to approach a math problem, but then they proceed to take the “shortcut” just to save time for the lesson, you won’t feel inclined to use the right approach.
Similarly, if you see a police officer pull in past an amber traffic light, you’ll feel far more inclined to, as well.
If someone tells you how important it is to eat healthy, but continues to eat poorly, what do you extract from that?
I think crying is probably a good way to observe and overcome your emotions. It’s a physical exit – a sign of letting go, and detaching. Frankly, it makes a lot of sense.
Despite knowing this, I still operate in rigidity.
I think there’s an influx of escapism because we don’t know how to deal with our feelings. I’d say it’s why alcoholism is a thing, and why the male suicide rate is substantially higher.
I can easily empathize with a man who’d consider going to those extremes, to prove to themselves they don’t need to cry.
It sounds so absurd, but I think this thought process is not uncommon.
Worse, and at the core of this reflection, is that the behaviour is cyclical.
If I don’t see any man replicating this behaviour, I won’t pick it up.
If I don’t pick it up, my eventual kids won’t either.
Perhaps it makes logical sense to cry, not for me, but instead for my kid?