We all know that one person who can’t help but cry at the drop of a hat. Whether it’s during a Disney movie or in the middle of an argument, they always find a way to cry. I’m not pointing any fingers but…it might actually be me.
Being an incredibly emotional person is actually pretty tough. There are so many moments that are appropriate to cry yet so many that aren’t — and I manage to cry during all of them. In fact, I cry so much that my sister started calling me Rachel Green (“Rachel always cries!”).
A lot of people think crying is a bad thing. I used to get yelled at for crying so much — sometimes I still do actually. I tried to stifle my emotional side, because I never wanted people to see me as weak or annoying. But, if college has taught me one thing, it’s that crying is actually cathartic.
Think back to your first day of college. You felt so ready. With the outfit completely planned and your dorm finally decorated; you believed you could take on the world. That’s when the syllabi hit you. Exams, 8 a.m’s and clicker points. This isn’t high school anymore; you’re gonna have to put on your grown-up pants and figure things out for yourself.
Suddenly, you don’t “got this.”
It’s safe to say that we all cried on our first day of college — and that’s okay. Sure, it might feel a little embarrassing to cry in the elevator on the way back to your dorm, but I’m sure you felt a lot better afterwards.
I cried immediately after my classes were over for the day in the middle of the busy campus. Unfortunately, I bumped into someone I knew on my way to get a sandwich while tears were running down my face. I tried to act casual, but she could tell something was wrong.
At the time, I pretended it wasn’t happening. I smiled and continued on my way to get my sandwich. The thing I remember most about that interaction was how ridiculous I felt about crying over something so silly. Later, I was actually able to joke with her about it.
Stress is a tricky thing. You can either nip it in the bud and move on with your day or it can eat away at you for the rest of the week. For a long time, I liked to ignore my stress so it wouldn’t get in the way of everything else I had to do for the day.
Heads up: ignoring your stress and any other negative emotions is just a huge waste of time. When you purposefully push it to the side, it seems to gnaw at you even more.
So, I stopped trying to act stone cold and learned to embrace my emotional side. After crying about something it feels like a weight is lifted off of my shoulders. It’s such an incredible release of emotions.
Crying makes it easy to accept your emotions for what they really are and move on with it. It feels like “okay, I’ve cried. Now let’s move on.” Just let it go. You’ll feel better afterwards even if you do feel a little bit silly.
I feel like that’s what makes it even easier to let go of your problems, though.
The situation doesn’t have control over you anymore. Now you can feel silly enough to make fun of yourself and recognize how insignificant your problem may have been.
Once I became more comfortable crying with myself, I felt okay to openly cry in front of others. It’s really scary at first. You never know how people are going to react when you cry.
If they’re really your friends, they won’t care if you cry in front of them. They might even cry with you. It takes a lot to open yourself up to someone and make yourself so vulnerable by crying in front of them. Your friends will understand that — and they’ll love you even more for it.
It’s actually helped me grow closer to my friends when we all cry together — and when we laugh about it when it’s over or even while we’re still crying. When you cry in front of other people, you feel more aware of your emotions. You’re able to tackle them easier and move on from the problem with a smile.
Shedding tears has taught me how to have power over my own emotions.
At this point, I’m able to joke about how emotional I am. I laugh with my friends when I cry about seeing a dog on campus. So, yes, I am Rachel Green. She really does always cry, but that’s okay.