For example last night I watched the trailer for Overwatch and got so excited I started tearing up. I don't know why, anything that triggers ANY sort of strong emotion in me brings it on. Always has.
My wife makes fun of me for it. I don't see anything wrong with it.
Also a guy -- no beard -- but (and I'm not joking here)... I watched that exact trailer just now and teared up a little.
As for movies, I have two examples: Up (pure emotion) and The Fountain -- the scene towards the end where he talks to the high priest and Clint Mansell's music takes over.
For me, I think it's generally sort of really EPIC things that do it. Really huge scales also tend to do it, for example some of the star size comparisons, or David Deutsch's talk about relativistic jets, or just contemplating the fact that some black holes swallow a solar mass per day.
Sometimes it's just "beauty", e.g. I couldn't help tearing up when Carolyn Porco showed the "Saturn Eclipse" picture in her Ted Talk. Some of that, I think, was because of the realization that we humans had actually sent a thing out there to take that picture.
(Btw, I think I'm generally considered a bit of a cold fish among my friends/acquaintances, FWIW. Humans are weird.)
 https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Saturn_e... (WARNING: Image is HUGE!)
 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5usqdjsr6Vw (I won't link you to the exact time because the video deserves to be seen its entirety. If you really want to skip, skip to 15m15s.)
I've found that as I age, I've become more emotional (and simultaneously better at dealing with it). I never cried in movies as a child/teenager, but nowadays I find myself choking up during particularly emotional moments in movies, shows, and life. Sometimes I just look at my son for a minute and the same thing happens. I try not to cry around people, even my family, but more because I'm conscious of the effect it has on them (upsetting or, in the case of other people, just awkward).
My theory is that, as I've developed a stronger sense of empathy and experienced more things in my life, I have a more direct emotional connection to events I witness. From what I've read based, this seems to be fairly common.
Tycho, from Penny Arcade, said it best: "When I was younger, I would have resented some of this stuff - it would have seemed ham-handed. Manipulative. I could have discern what they wanted me to feel and valiantly refused, or (if it were executed especially well) felt a version of it which might have been similar in color or shape. I would feel it in deference to their craft.
That’s not really how it works now. Children carve something out of you, a place for themselves; people can twist the knife in that spot, and it just bleeds and bleeds."
It's a good thing.
So probably you're experiencing being a bit more female in your hormone levels.
(Best source I've seen on this is probably an endocrinologist doing a BBC program, which sorry I can't cite for you).
This is a little loaded..
My first introduction to the term as a teenager was in Earthly Powers. Didn't get it then, but as I get older (and like you after kids), I find I tear up at stories of sacrifice and generosity.
I think my empathy is growing as I'm getting older.
I am aware that some people just hardens up or getting more or less traumatized if they experience really traumatic events or periods and I don't think it is that useful to look at war-like events as it kind of go outside a useful scale, but in personal tragedies a lot of people people seems to go softer.
Maybe you have to learn empathy. There are many signs that says it's at least partially so.
Your view bears merit though and I will have to consider it. Thank you for sharing it.
And my kids still make fun of me for crying at the end of "Winnie the Pooh", but I've always done that. And I maintain that Christopher Robin leaving Pooh and his childhood behind is cry worthy... even more for Pooh than Christopher Robin.
I've always been an empathic person, but some chemicals changed when I had a child, and now a crappy movie trailer with the right cuts and a soaring soundtrack can get me teary.
I'm also moved by wonderment and perspectives of scope and scale, which is probably why I reread the same handful of novels every few years, including Larry Niven's Known Space series. If anyone has other suggestions producing a similar effect, I'd be interested.
By reflex of my upbringing, I choke down any strong feelings by default and chalk it up to self-control. It doesn't make me hurt or feel any less, but some people recoil from emotional expression in men or can't help themselves when they sense vulnerability, and you don't find out which it is until the dam breaks. It's made me weaker as a person, a worse partner, and not as good of a friend as I'd like to be, but it's what everyone is used to. I'm expected to keep it together when others are angry, panic, or get flustered so I can guide everyone back on track. It's a big source of stress for me, but I have to find other outlets than letting flow my tears.
That's an incredibly apt and succinct summary of what the film was (to me, at least!). For me, it's really all about that very fragile bond with another human being -- whether that's a girlfriend, parent, wife, lover or just a friend. When you see that "I understand what you mean" look in their eyes... that's when you melt. That's what that penultimate scene meant (to me): The high priest understood and saw that he was becoming "obsolete" in the face of the conquest... and the Conquistador saw himself reflected. (I'm not saying conquest was a good thing. Still, it happened so we need to deal with the aftermath.)
EDIT:  I really wish I was better at explicitly saying "that moment really mattered to me" to my friends. I'll try doing that more -- maybe with a little gamification thrown in.
I had some tears that time. Occasionally movies make me feel emotion, but not quite to tearing level.
So _intense_. Even years later, just reference to it gives me goosebumps.
I wasn't all that upset with it though. The deaths weren't that traumatic..
A masterly piece of animation, that.
So, I guess the guy in this post has many triggers and I only have some, say - thinking of Up - old age and loneliness, lifelong fidelity...
The first ten minutes made me so upset that I spent the rest of the movie fighting my body so that I wouldn't start bawling. It would have been such an intense and loud cry that I absolutely would have had to run out of the movie theater.
After the movie I drove my friend home (~30 min), but I couldn't say one word to her because I was still so deeply upset that my lips were trembling.
I don't cry much, in fact, I really can't cry when most people ordinarily would. But in the rare circumstances where something can make me cry (whether it's very sad, or just incredibly beautiful) it is always with maximum intensity.
I try to do this with all intense emotions be it overwhelming sadness, fury, despair. Feels better than holding back or forcing it out.
Let it all out, there's nothing to worry about. Just... cry.
The recent Jungle Book was similar, my eyes were misty the whole movie. The Martian had similar effects.
I hardly ever cry otherwise.
Maybe you express differently than I do? I'd be glad about that. If everyone was like me we'd have no love balads - only long play records with lots of sniffling. ;-)
Oh man. Feels strike inbound.
It's a strange thing. I'm so embarrassed about it I had to use a throwaway account.
It also has a tremendous healing effect. While I do have plenty of friends I am naturally a loaner and deal with things privately in my own ways. I found that when I've had enough, simply taking a drive in the car and just letting it rip makes me feel infinitely better. So, cry it out. Seriously :)
Anyway, nice to hear about the experiences of others.
> I cry so little my wife had me tested for
> Aspergers...and she was right. I tear up about once a
> year at most
I do miss the no-tears-ever part of me sometimes, but I suspect that the deeper emotional growth I've gone through over the past 9 months since she died will ultimately be for the best for me.
I'm genuinely curious because I've had some frustrating experiences with crying in the workplace / around work that seemed a bit unfair to me (at the time I was a young'n who still assumed "fairness" was a thing). Someone would cry at work and they'd be coddled, yet if someone else raised their voice and showed "anger" they'd be in trouble. Seemed a little silly to me.
I can't think of a time when I've had to yell uncontrollably. I can think of many times when the only thing I was capable of doing was crying.
But I agree there should just be a protocol for handling both and neither should be a big deal. Management should want to take time to sort either out.
> Someone would cry at work and they'd be coddled, yet if someone else raised their voice and showed "anger" they'd be in trouble.
My wife makes fun of me for it too, but then I make fun of her for lots of stuff, so that's fair.
Emotional people are unpredictable, and unpredictability is a turn-off for most rational and stable people (who I like to surround myself with).
Depending on your goals in life, being "the rock" typically gets you better long-term social results.
Seriously, there's nothing wrong with feeling emotion. Emotion and logic are NOT, as people in our field so love to proclaim, mutually exclusive.
Your emotions frequently cue you in to valuable information in a situation. Emotional people are actually very predictable -- they are showing you their feelings and in a way communicating their needs.
How can you seriously think that repressing your emotions make you a stable person? This literally goes against all of the literature on the subject.
I never said not to feel emotion. Stoicism simply doesn't act on it without first checking other valid logical responses. Understand what you're dealing with here.
Extremely emotional people are only predictable in that they are going to behave unpredictably and irrationally.
What I find hilarious is that I explain what's gotten me superior results in life and everyone argues with it rather than try to understand why.
In my opinion guys in general are way too emotional in how they behave, saying stuff like 'super awesome', 'this times 1000' and so on. It makes me feel really uncomfortable. But that does not imply that i'm stone cold. I'm far from it. When I was recovering from a surgical procedure, boy was i emotional. For months. But that was privately. I just avoided public spaces, I'm much too reserved and in that sense you are right MbcroBerto: I felt really unpredictable, even to myself, let alone to others.
People are different. Some people like to follow the same routine and be very stoic and are content with that. Others would rather explore and experience variety and new things and ride the peaks & troughs. Both have advantages & disadvantages.
Steve Jobs was known for crying often, so being emotional and successful can certainly go together.
(Being stubborn and illogical = emotional in this sense)
As I said elsewhere, I'm not dead inside, I still see just as much beauty out in the woods as you do. I just don't lose my mind anymore in most situations.
It's also really fucking exhausting.
Try getting into a "defcon-4" style argument yet don't raise your voice, don't change your tone or tempo, and don't worry about the outcome as much -- just maintain control of your emotions. It's amazing what happens and how the other party responds.
The exhausting part is being the rock when there's a crisis. When your spouse is freaking out about running out of money for rent. When rent is being raised and you have to figure out how to raise it less. When kids get injured and need the hospital.
Or when your team is freaking out because everything's going to shit and production is down and you're running out of time on features you promised to Big Users/Clients TM.
When everyone around you is panicking and freaking the fuck out, but somebody has to fix the situation. That's when being the rock matters.
Who even gives a shit about arguments? Arguing is for fun.
And then, yes -- when it does matter, you know what already gets you best results.
As a kid, excessive emotions made me feel toxic because there is no solution to emotional issues. I learned how to block those emotions and voila, I'm now a great cog in the economy. I can get stuff done without emotions affecting me. I am pretty good at conflict resolution (not domination).
I have a very nice rational life but a few relationships did make me realize that my go to solution for any problem is blocking emotions. Not really healthy IMO.
The people I know who cry the most happen to be the most self absorbed people that I know. They do not have more empathy. The most caring and emotionally generous people I know do not cry very much.
The linked page mentions it, and theres more data later in the book.
I don't know why people place so much emphasis on empathy, as if it's some magical ingredient that other animals lack, or that it's some integral component to society.
Other animals have empathy too, and empathy has little to do with moral reasoning. Empathy doesn't make humans special, intelligence and the physical composition/dexterity to make full use of our intelligence is what makes us special.
Yes, absolutely. And the glorification of empathy leads to immoral behavior. Empathy without skepticism, intelligence, or reason leads to being manipulated by immoral people into immoral acts.
If, by "social results", you mean "well-connected" or "successful", then I agree.
What gets annoying is when I'm even slightly upset or having a disagreement with someone, my eyes want to water. I'm not even that upset, my eyes are just freaking out. I always have to be like, "I'm not that upset or trying to make you feel bad, my eyes are dumb, sorry, let's keep talking."
I can tear up over facebook posts, thinking about one of my kids leaving home, running out of wine (okay so I just go get some more, but I could, no I don't drive after I drink wine or anything).
I'm lucky my wife does not make fun of me.
Some public individuals cry easily: definitely John Boehner and possibly Elon Musk.
How much did you cry during the last episode of Game of Thrones? I was gasping for air between the sobs!
Strangely, after becoming a father, I feel like I'm even more sensitive and can cry at the drop of a seemingly innocent comment. I bet I cry almost daily.. But after it occurs, it's refreshing. I feel stronger.
I hear it's pretty ordinary. You need to be more sensitive so you can keep up and empathise with your kid.
As someone who comes from a family of people (read: Chinese and Southern) who house an intense stigma around crying, it's been a struggle for me to better empathize and understand crying for other people.
I think the author nailed the use of personal logging here - it's not about extrapolating onto others, it's just another form of self-reflection.
I found this article very fascinating.
The article is just one person's experience, though, and I'm assuming they're an outlier. I don't think most people cry often enough to consider keeping a diary of it, but I really don't know.
To counterbalance the article's author, I've cried maybe three times in the last 4 or 5 years, and that covers a pet dying and a break up from a long relationship.
> I tried to categorize cries as they were happening (because I wanted to create a real-time crying dashboard)
Sure, who hasn't wanted to create a real-time crying dashboard?
See the honesty and emotion on these comments really makes me feel I'm hanging out with a good bunch of people. It's so refreshing compared to the toxic communities of the other large social sites.
I'm a cryer. I cry a lot, I'm also clinically depressed with social anxiety, which makes social interaction difficult, so my emotional are mostly on the surface anyway. Crying for me is the best form of emotional release. I cry at the big ending in films, I cry at the end of amazing books (The Green Mile totally destroyed me, I was in business class on a plane at the time, blubbering my eyes out...).
On balance though, I also get very angry often. I guess you can't have one without the other...
I don't think I cried during my episode, but it was an incredibly stressful and uncomfortable period.
I'm very into personality typing and identify as INTJ for Myers Brigg (Which is the smallest subset at ~1-2% of the population). I met a girl the other week that I found out was INTJ as well and we connected instantly on a whole new level - still blows my mind when I talk to her; and we were both able to share that very quickly. But we're both very stoic and have our guards up in public until we click well with someone and can relax.
Last time I cried was watching the most recent episode of Game of Thrones. And then watching YouTube reaction videos of that episode, a little less crying with each video. Hodor...
Literally every single Disney movie gets me to cry. Usually towards the end, around the climax when the soundtrack let the harps and violins kick in.
Not sure if it's me or Disney has some special Crying Department which meticulously orchestrates a crying storyboard.
My money is on a Crying Department. The entire business of Disney is in creating and exploiting emotions.
Personally, I'm tempted to start a similar log but for the exact opposite reason: I cry so little that I don't remember the last time I did, and I would like to.
I recently changed jobs and moved to a new city. When, after a long hiring process I was given the job, I cried a little (like 10 seconds), out of joy. Then, once I arrived in the city, it was hard to find a new home but I faced it without victimism: I decided to move, so I had the obligation to face whatever hardships would emerge along the way. But the day I finally found a home and everything started to settle, when I finally had the keys, I sat down on one of the rooms and, beer in hand, cried, but out of relief and joy also.
When I was younger I used to cry easily, but as I'm getting older I just don't cry often anymore. Somewhat it has become a reaction reserved for existential highlights, so to speak.
If you're unable to "suspend disbelief", what is the actual gain from that experience if no engaged entertainment value is received? Does it only come from being a so-called "grinch"?
I noticed this the other day talking to my brother. He was excited about a new episode of House of Cards? I think. I watched it, it was cool. The representation of all the forces and intrigues inside American politics. Interesting! But then I tried to small talk, and said regarding the current election (and I am not American, btw): 'You know, I think Hillary is as corrupt as Sanders and Trump!'. He said with a blank face 'Oh sorry, I don't really know about that'. I immediately felt the disconnect between us.
I follow American politics mainly through Stephen Colbert and other comedians; I'm not too analytical and dry as to just read serious journals or political books: I like entertainment, but entertainment that contains at least a little bit of information about reality. I just can't spend a weekend watching a fictional series when I could be learning something about the real state of affairs, even superficially.
And I just don't want to judge people that like to do that, I even consider it as the normal, balanced thing to do. But I do feel how other people judge me for my preferences of entertainment, but I just can't help it.
I'd really like to know how spreadsheet data gets turned into that awesome D3 diagram!
Could you talk about how you kept track of this when you were away from your computer? Any app etc?
did you make a record right then? or just a mental note and then trancribed later?
I apologize for focusing on the logistics part of it :-)
Sports, natural disasters, simple day-to-day actions. Whenever i feel there is real and genuine altruism.
I rarely cry by sad or melancholy reasons.
In my self help group for recovery from abuse even some of the women could not cry. We thought this was from bigger people saying, "If you don't stop crying I'll give you something to cry about" and also we thought they were bloody liars, unable to admit to us that our crying upset them and they didn't want to feel (just as they took substances to avoid feeling)
We have got to make this a non-issue. Its so insane to me that in Western culture someone isn't allowed to express a perfectly normal aspect of their physiology. Its like shaming someone for puking. It may not be pleasant but not doing it is way worse.
I sincerely believe we should be pushing back and HARD when we're shamed for crying. "We" being anyone because, lets face it, women are shamed for it too.
Also because of it's reservation for truly impactful events random crying can seem fake or artificial. 'Attention whoring' as the kids like to call it.
You cry at a funeral, you cry at getting a parking ticket. If you cry at both you're kinda putting them on the same level eh?
The parking ticket thing reminds me of a teenager I worked with once who got a speeding ticket. He started getting really choked up about it. To your point, was it really a big deal? So he got a speeding ticket. He should put his big-boy pants on, pay it and move on, right? Except, what we found out later was that he was crying because he knew what his abusive father was going to do when he got home.
So yeah, sometimes they are on the same level. Context matters.
Yes, I think that's the issue. Crying should not just be for rare events or an indication of extreme emotional distress. People cry for all sorts of reasons.
Makes me wonder...
Would I want a emotion tracker (app or hardware) which lets me study ME? Yes
Do I want it in the cloud or to be made money from? Not at all. An opening up of emotions opens me up to a lot of abuse.
There have been numerous studies where facial expressions can affect emotion. It is a positive feedback loop . The situation I described above isn't a facial expression per se, but does anyone else feels like eye strain or irritants (soldering?), makes them more emotional.
Edit: just realized it's Google voice so probably less of an issue.
For example, I cried reading The Devil in the White City when the Ferris wheel started moving for the first time.
I've had the 'lump in the throat' moments, sure, but not breached the wall to have the dam burst in quite some time. In fact I think the last time I properly cried was when my dog was euthanised and that was 12 or so years ago. That was the first time I'd seen my Dad completely broken too.
As noted in the article, different people have different sensitivity levels that their emotions must meet before the waterworks start. Just because you cry less than the author does not mean that her amount of crying is abnormal.
Personally, I cry just as much as her if not more.
Moreover, why does everything have to be a condition? Maybe this person cries more than others. Ok, so what. If they only cried once a week or something, then they probably wouldn't have been compelled to write a post about it.
This person's way of working through life events is by an outpouring of emotion, don't be so quick to label and demonize it because they deal with their emotions differently than others.
No, that's some ridiculous amount of crying. I wonder if it's severe depression or Pseudobulbar affect or some hormonal disorder.
For example, we might think of a breakup and say to ourselves, "I put two years into this relationship and now I've been dumped. Everyone is going to know that Sarah doesn't want to be with me anymore. What's worse is I wasted all this time only to breakup and be further behind in my relationship goals. I miss Sarah. This is awful." Those types of thoughts are natural and can certainly make you cry
CBT or REBT teaches you to challenge those assumptions. "This is not awful. This is merely inconvenient. I'd rather be sleeping next to Sarah tonight, but I was single for eight months before I met her and I can certainly sleep alone (even though I'd rather not). I wish Sarah still wanted to spend time with me, but I can't change the fact that she does not. We got along pretty well for much of the time and everyone knows that. People breakup all the time and my friends will understand that we gave it a good try. I would like to meet someone soon so that I am not alone, but I've learned that I can be reasonably happy alone for long periods of time"
If you were emotionally honest, and genuinely logged every time you were frustrated, would we be playing arm chair data scientist saying "this person has some major anger issues!"
Obviously we won't know until it happens, just like we didn't know there were insightful things to be found about crying before a woman wrote this article.
Would you rather see an individual that's happy sometimes, sad sometimes, and an autonomous human being, or the human equivalent of the cow from Hitchhiker's Guide that wants to eat itself?
The positive side is that it gives you a fuller picture and experience of the world. Whether it's better to be a "a fool satisfied or Socrates dissatisfied" is one for the ages though.
If you believe in fairy tails and that you are one of the few choosen righteous who gets eternal happiness you might very well believe you're happy all the time. You might also be full of a lot of shame/guilt put on you which causes you to say you're happy when you're really not.
> Why are progressive politics are such an engine of grief?
Nice loaded question.
You are putting yourself at serious emotional risk if you allow your happiness to be driven by another person, regardless of who it is.
IMHO, your emotional success should be based upon things you can control, and if it's not, then you need to make more rapid decisions as to who or what is allowed to take part in your life.
Yes, a relationship is an emotional risk. But without risk, there is no reward.
A log of her moments of joy, warmth, love, contentedness, etc. might show that relationship in a very different light.
- C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Yeah, you can get hurt. For sure, be wise about who you become emotionally dependent on. But not having your emotions entangled with another's is to miss one of the great joys of being alive.
Also, I'm not sure if you know what IMHO means, but it stands for "in my humble opinion". I don't need a citation to have opinions, I have wisdom and experience. And they've shown time and time again that people who put a majority of their emotional state in other peoples' hands are quite often disappointed and live messy, uncontrolled lives.