Coping with Crying
If you’re not a world-class crier but are often around those who cry, it can make you feel awkward, useless, or just uncomfortable. That’s because when someone cries, it shows their vulnerability. In general, it is thought that people are uncomfortable with vulnerability. When the crier exhibits vulnerability, it’s shifting the level of intimacy of the environment. Just being in that more intimate environment makes the other person uncomfortable in some cases.
Be aware that if you do nothing, you can make the crier feel worse.
So, how can you — and how should you — respond to a crier? Here are four tips:
- Try to do something supportive. What that is depends on the situation and how well you know the person, ”So hugging someone you aren’t very close with might not be appropriate, while simply listening in an empathetic way would be suitable,” Bylsma says.
2. Don’t assume you know how to comfort them.
The less intimate the relationship, the more it is appropriate to begin by asking how you can help and be supportive.
3. Know that criers who tear up in a very large group generally feel more uncomfortable than those who cry in front of one or two people they’re familiar with.
Findings have been, that even in a large group, the criers welcome support from those they didn’t know well.
Next: “Trying NOT to Cry”