Why We Cry…

February 20, 2014

"There's no crying in baseball!" avowed Tom Hanks in "A League of Their Own." We laughed because we recognized it as true.

Sports have long sent messages that crying is a sign of weakness.

Yet, according to research, women cry 5.3 times a month and men cry an average of 1.3 times a month. (Moist eyes count as crying)

One main reason we cry is to experience emotional catharsis -- a freeing of intense, repressed feelings we can no longer block out.

Tears of happiness in sports are tolerated; tears of sadness are not.

The key is who sees you cry.

If a person witnessing you cry is supportive, then crying can be helpful.  If a witness isn't supportive, an athlete feels ashamed.

Youth sports in America have become more emotionally intense than ever before yet kids lack the mental coping skills to deal.

Shouldn't the adults around them at least let them emote negative emotions appropriately through crying without shaming them?

Tom Hanks was right. But that era has gone by. It's a new era now.

Go ahead and let it out.  Cry.