"I know all there is to know about the crying game..." Boy George
Crying is a natural and organic way to express and release emotions.
Yet crying in relationship is not always easy: Some of us cry very often (over-crying) and some of us find it hard to cry at all (blocked cryers).
Both of these extremes have advantages and disadvantages, and both don't facilitate a healthy expression of feeling in relationships.
In this talk, we unpack why and how partners avoid or over-emphasize crying in their intimate relationship through examples from our marriage and the clinic.
Practical tips will help you learn the art of relational crying today.
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You know, I've really been thinking a lot lately about my struggle with crying and that I am unable almost to cry, even when I know that it will be a real emotional release.Speaker 2:
And I know that, I mean, I can cry actually fairly easily, but a lot of the men I work with , um, it's really hard for them to cry. So let's talk about it. Let's talk about today. We're going to be talking about the crying game, the art of the relational.Speaker 1:
I always think about the U2 song . Oh , is that YouTube you to knowSpeaker 3:
You are listening to the potential state podcast with your hosts, Dr. Sal and gullied Romanelli.Speaker 2:
Hi, my name is Dr. Estelle Romanelli, and this is the potential state. And today we're going to talk about the art of relational crime. So let's start with men because it's, I guess it's just easier. We are taught not to cry because crying is feminine. It's vulnerable. It's not efficient. It's not manly. And then, and then with women, we see the two versions. Right? Okay .Speaker 1:
I feel like with women, there's a real split between the women who like cry and, and don't, you know, it justSpeaker 2:
Waterworks are always open. I mean, I don't knowSpeaker 1:
If necessarily waterworks were always open, but they can access it. And then women who are actually maybe three and women who like over, overSpeaker 2:
All of our over cry crying is almost like a default place for them.Speaker 1:
Um, and then there are women like me who really struggle to access the,Speaker 2:
And let's just say, what about crying? Crying is a natural, organic release of energy.Speaker 1:
Yeah. It's your body releasing the emotion that is sadness or even laughter, right? Like when you laugh really, really hard, that one, I don't have a problem with that . And then sometimes, you know, your eyes well up with tears, but anytime that you're feeling a huge emotional surge trying to lose sadness then,Speaker 2:
So let's talk about those two versions of over crying and not crying at all or blocking crying . So let's talk about the over criers. Okay. So I feel like a lot of times that this alone in the clinic, especially if they see themselves as the victims or the martyrs, they cry a lot. Now what happens when you, when you turn on the water works a lot. And often what happens is people really back off, because basically when you start crying, you're the other person is like, oh, I hurt you. I did something wrong. Then what happened is people back off, they don't give you any constructive feedback. They don't challenge you. They don't stress stretchesSpeaker 1:
Kind of comfortable . Cause it's like, oh, I don't,Speaker 2:
I'd have to cheer them up and over. And after a while, it's just annoying and heavy and energy. Every time you're crying out to cheer you up or say, it's okay, the conversation then becomesSpeaker 1:
About like making you feel better rather than whatever,Speaker 2:
Whatever the content was we're talking about. And what happens is we start avoiding and then you're kind of caught in this. We referenced the drama queen episode. Then there's obviously a drama there's always heavy. We can't just have , uh , a conversation that's practical to talk about whatever he's talking about and move on. Yeah ,Speaker 1:
That's interesting because I think it also has to do in general with the way we cope with someone sharing their emotion. Right. Especially when it's kind of the negative emotions like sadness, then we kind of don't know how to be around that. And so we just want to like, make it stop, right ? Like just make to stop. And so then I think, especially if you're, if you're interacting with someone who's quick on the waterworks, you're like, oh, well I don't even want to broach the subject because I don't want to go , want to get into all of that.Speaker 2:
And if you were the waterworks person over , over time , it's going to happen. Is it because you're crying all the time, you're going to start becoming flooded. It's always gonna be like a default. I'm crying. And then I , and then you have to stop because it's my go-to shot . It's always break. It's a basic blocking of blocking attraction to blocking challenging conversation. Okay. I turn on the water and I'll stop . And then I have to stop everything I have to calm down. And then I can basically, I'm not growing. I'm not moving.Speaker 1:
It's um , kind of emotional manipulation. Yes.Speaker 2:
Yes. So that's one extreme, right ? Let's talk about the other one that people that they find it hard to cry .Speaker 1:
Yeah. That's, I mean, I'll, I'll own my shape , I imagine. And I'm happy to explore this now, but that that's also a form of emotional manipulation, right? Like , um, emotions, like sadness don't penetrate me. It's okay. I can brush it off. I can keep going. Like you can't hurt me. I think that's wow. That's actually an insight right here. I think that's a big one. Like, you won't hurt me. You can't hurt me. Um, and it's not even necessarily with like guard up. It's just like the flat , like it won't, it doesn't, you know,Speaker 2:
I think I tend to have two versions of it . Cause I can't even find the words . I think there's like two versions of it. There's the people that grew up with, oh , with waterworks parents or why the work siblings are like, I don't want to be like that . I didn't do a corrective script. Check out the episodes on intergenerational script or I've talked more about men because that's what I know better. It's like, or managed to get socialized at crying is bad. So they just shut it all down. Right. That's just, they have no access to that.Speaker 1:
I think it's really interesting as a parent to see with kids, you know, the, the approach of like, like do we say to our kids like stop,Speaker 2:
Why you crying? Or don't be a cry baby.Speaker 1:
Right? We don't,Speaker 2:
We don't say that. Right . But I see this all the time in the clinic, we socialize boys. Don't whine . There'll be a cry baby. When would the girl crash ? [inaudible] so from a very young age, we're kind of almost like ,Speaker 1:
Um, like we're, we're putting like a negative value almost on crime. Like , like get your crying out of the way. Like th that's not efficient. Right. We had something like that. That's not efficient. That's not helpful. You know where, whereas, because we don't, we don't want to just be even just for a moment in the, like, that's really sad. I'm really sad for you. And that always makes me think of the movie inside out, you know, where like sadness, you know, joy is just so frustrated with sadness all the time until she sees that. Like she's able to actually, by just being with Bing bong , gotta watch the movie is able to kind of just like give him the space to let the emotion work through his body. And then, and then he's able to kind of like move on.Speaker 2:
So when you block crying over, over time, what's going to happen is you're going to kind of limit your emotional rage . You're missing out. And unlike the depths and the Heights of the other feelings and whatnot .Speaker 1:
Sorry, but I'll say , uh , cause, cause I do this, right. Like I have a very hard time accessing tears of sadness. Um, and I think that it's, I am now paying the tax because I know that that's a form of release and I'm unable even to like access that, right. Like I've literally kind of like severed my, my body's ability to get out the emotion through tears. And so I have to find another outletSpeaker 2:
And the tax, by the way , the relational tax of not crying is that people always assume you're okay. Yeah . Knew that they're going to try to push you and challenge you or they're like, okay, she's always, okay, so your pain is not seen.Speaker 1:
Right? Right. Or, or, and even if I, even if I bring it up or raise it right in the surface and we talk about it somehow it doesn't have the same gravity because it's like, okay, well you can just dust yourself off and move on. But like you've done every other time since,Speaker 2:
You know , I'll just give one example from a couple of weeks ago in family therapy, it was so the grandfather always told the father don't cry, be strong. Crying is not efficient and crying is feminine. And then the sun was reflecting that he's telling his kid who's four years old to stop crying, stop crying. And then he said, wow. And we sending realize what we're seeing here is three generations of men who are denying themselves and actually limiting themselves emotionally limiting the emotional range and turn them into bots , these little bots that don't feel anything. And I think over time and we see this, I see this a lot with men, but we also see this with women that just prevents the visceral vitality of life , referenced the episode. What's your, what's your emotional range. Okay. So how do you change this?Speaker 1:
How do we change this? Because it's something that I am legit struggling with.Speaker 2:
I , and see which one are you? Are you an over crier or are you blocked with Klein ? And if let's start with, if you're a block, if it's hard for you to cry , let's start there. Okay. Okay. So first thing I'd say is start by verbalizing your pain, just share what's happening. You don't have to force the crab . What is hurting you? What is pain? Sometimes it actually helps to kind of just go into these kind of fetal vulnerable positions, just position yourself, even if you're not credible to , to force it. So I foundSpeaker 1:
Recently what I try to do because I'm mindful and I'm trying to make this change is that I try to find spaces where I feel really, really safe, whether that's alone or just with you , um, where I can, just where I know that I can have this release and I won't be judged or you won't be trying to fix it or you won't try that or you won't even talk like you'll know, I think because it's something that we've worked on. And then, you know, to just kind of give me that space, but, but, but witnessesSpeaker 2:
And also don't be afraid to go into that, the lower, the more darker feelings. And he referenced the episode, the QT or joys in her pain. And if you do cry , um , my tip is don't make eye contact. Sometimes you just, if you're practicing this and you just kind of don't look and then you get to, you know , like judge , like self-aware or self-conscious like ride the wave . Yeah . Just enjoy, just let that pass through and enjoyed the least yourself . So that's, if it's hard for you to cry now , if you are an over crier or if you're for a waterworks thing. So the first thing I'd say is , um, when you are in this relationships and this all the time in therapy, when , when we recognize that one of the partners was waterworks person, you will kind of have this agreement that we're going to keep working, even though you're crying, right . We're not going to say crying as a time out and you have to always pause and re and retreat or to comfort do we can , I can keep. And a lot of times they'll actually say like, please keep working with me. Like, I don't, I don't want you to stop right now. So first of all, it's to clarify that crying is not the end of the interaction. Yeah.Speaker 1:
And I think that's especially good for example, for women at work, because I know that sometimes like I'll speak for myself and from other women that I've spoken to that sometimes we do get emotional at work and we are feeling either frustrated or not heard or, and it does surface these emotions and can lead to crying. But that doesn't mean that the conversation needs to come to a halt or it doesn't mean that the focus needs to shift. It certainly doesn't mean that we're less professional. It just means that we are expressing and kind of releasing this emotion. But we are well capable of continuing to hold the conversation.Speaker 2:
And we don't have to see crying as being unprofessional. Crying is a healthy release of emotion. Again, if it's more, if it's on a range, right , we don't want to reach the extremes. So first of all, have that common language next, when you are crying, when you feel the needs are kind of , when the waterworks over now trying to verbalize the pain behind the tears, what is happening for you? And as you're doing it, ask your partner, do you don't have to fix or heal me or pity me, just let me work through this. It's really that way. Because a lot of times behind a tears, it's not, it's not necessarily pain. It can be anger, fear , frustration, disappointment. Yeah. And the second I can learn to verbalize it, I won't have to do the waterworks because I'll be less and less afraid of confronting stepping into the crucible because what we want you to re we want to reach a level where it , whether I'm tearing up or not tearing up, I'm entering the crucible, going into intimacy. I'm not justSpeaker 1:
Doing waterworks, which immediately makes the conversation. So I think it's, we want to feel the emotion rather than kind of just use the physical in order to kind of block exits. If that makes sense. Yes. Because , because, because we're not saying stop crying if that's what comes up, but don't let the crying stop you from feeling the emotion, right? Whether it's, whether it's cause you're, you're crying so much. So then the interaction stops or whether you're not trying at all like my case. And then you're not, you're not feeling the emotion fully because at the end of they sound with the crying it's about the feeling and the crying is on the side of that aspect of that, that journey, the crying of a symptom, it's a symptom is a signal is an overflowing. I didn't, I don't know what that meant, but at the end of the day, try to learn the art of relational crime. This was Gilead, Romanelli , Romanelli , and where the potential state we'll see you next time go have a good cry.Speaker 3:
You've been listening to the potential state podcast for more information, visit firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for listening.