You’re a guy. You NEVER get sad. At least, that's what we're supposed to think.
Most men refuse to let others see our tears, because we assume it's a sign of weakness and our enemies will use it to destroy us and everything we love. Sound about right?
Well, it’s time to throw that way of thinking out with the garbage, because seeing a guy cry in public is like seeing a white tiger in the wild: Rare and beautiful. Women may cry nearly seven times more often than men, but here's why dudes should sob uncontrollably -- like a child who just dropped its ice cream -- with pride, not shame.
Crying keeps you from hulking out
Guys tend to bottle up our emotions. The problem with that is it doesn't make those emotions go away -- they're still inside us, calling all the shots. The guy who doesn’t cry is the guy who probably does bad things to himself or others, like Bruce Banner in one of his "moods," and that’s no good.
Fortunately, crying helps clear out all that pent-up crap inside your head by releasing hormones and boosting neurotransmitters that decrease your stress levels, make your pain hurt less and improve your mood. Hot damn!
In fact, crying makes 88.8% of people feel better, according to a University of South Florida study. No wonder a 2011 study of 150 college football players found that the happiest athletes were those who felt comfortable openly expressing their sad emotions.
The interesting thing is that tears from onions or sriracha don't really have those health benefits, according to research from Minnesota's St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center. It's gotta be tears from thinking about all your problems. Opening up the spigot on them balls helps you deal with pent-up feelings, and feels pretty GD good after.
Tears show people you are not a robot
It is a well-known fact that robots can’t cry. (Yet.) You, however, have emotions...and believe it or not, a good solid cryfest can make people like you more.
People like crying together. They do. It's why we watch sad movies in crowded theaters. It's why, after an argument with our boys, we hug it out, have a drink, and laugh about it later. Dr. Oren Hasson, an evolutionary biologist from Tel Aviv University, explains that crying in groups can function as "a mutual display of attachment and as a group display of cohesion," adding, "This is strictly human."
Crying blurs our vision, which evolutionarily signals to others that what we're feeling at the moment is even more important than looking out for saber-toothed tigers. A Penn State study found that, when men cry, people consider us more honest. Most college athletes even respect a player who cries a little after a loss.
A group of guys crying together may be the most beautiful thing next to a shooting star or a ’78 Stingray with a new paint job.
Crying keeps your body in shape
More guys die from heart disease than anything else. The last thing anybody needs is for their heart to explode. Good thing that crying may keep that blood pressure down. Just tell people it’s for your heart!
"Because un-alleviated stress can increase our risk for heart attack and damage certain areas of our brain, the human ability to cry has survival value," explains Dr. William Frey from the University of Minnesota.
Plus, tears contain anti-bacterial properties, to help prevent nasty infections. And if you sob hard enough, it definitely feels like a killer ab workout, right?
Women think it’s sexy!
If you are man enough to cry, it shows that you're actually capable of caring. Even though men's sexual arousal is reduced when women cry, experts say that it may have the reverse effect when you show emotion.
"[I]t's sexy when a guy lets down his guard," Dr. Scott Kudia advises, adding, "This is a well-balanced man who is secure enough in his masculinity to be emotional. He is likely to be a good communicator and has no problem letting [women] know how he feels, either with words or displays of affection."
Dr. Judith Orloff, a psychiatrist at UCLA, further explains, "The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man...is someone who has the strength and self awareness to cry. These are the people who impress me, not those who put up some macho front of faux-bravado."
So c'mon, guys, let those puppies flow!