Hacker News new | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Crying (robinwe.is)
672 points by sinak on May 27, 2016 | hide | past | web | favorite | 242 comments

I am a big burly guy with a beard - and I get overwhelmed and cry regularly. Not even from sadness, just from general emotion.

For example last night I watched the trailer for Overwatch[1] 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.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FqnKB22pOC0

Since we all seem to be in a sharing mood...

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[1], 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"[2] picture in her Ted Talk[3]. 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.)

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gQliI_WGaGk

[2] https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Saturn_e... (WARNING: Image is HUGE!)

[3] 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.)

Another guy here.

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.

Having a kid did that to me, too. I've always been a bit of a crybaby, but now I kinda lose it when children-related kidnappings or deaths happen in movies or TV shows or the news.

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."

Exactly same experience, I also became a crybaby about children related incidents after becoming a parent.

This explains why "think of the children" is such an effective trick; its users are abusing the most fundamental emotions of parents.

For me it seemed to correlate directly with the birth of my son. My theory is that his birth, the emotions of it, the sleep deprivation, and the neuro-chemical onslaught that most likely happened during that same time (it was easily the most emotional period of my life), have fundamentally rewired my brain to be more emotionally reactive (my wife would balk if I used the term "sensitive").

It's a good thing.

There is apparently hormonal changes in fathers-to-be including lowering of testosterone levels that could account for these anecdotal changes in mood response to stimuli.

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).

> So probably you're experiencing being a bit more female in your hormone levels.

This is a little loaded..

That's a nice theory, but it seems to be common to get emotional with age - senile lability if you want to google it.

My first introduction to the term as a teenager was in Earthly Powers[1]. 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.

[1] https://books.google.com/books?id=PsJyuYIL-_MC&pg=PT6&lpg=PT...

[2] https://books.google.com/books?id=RRV0DbfOsqUC&pg=PA207&lpg=...

I think there is a difference between senile decay, and the fact that when you are getting older, you have witnessed the fragility of life in ways that most teenagers luckily have not.

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.

Empathy definitely has to be exercised and trained regularly to work well. As I understand it (not an expert but I've read up on it on the Internet), children are pretty much incapable of it until ~4 as there's some mental development necessary. If you spend lots of time in an environment where you're not conscious of building your empathy and remembering to use it, your ability and tendency to do so will wither.

I've noticed this in myself, and had put it down to getting lonelier as i get older. When i was talking to school or university friends every day, i was grounded in reality, somehow; now i only see real close friends every week or few weeks, i'm off in a little emotional world of my own where any little thing can take on subjectively huge proportions.

Interesting. I too have noticed a similar thing as I have aged. I developed the theory though that when it started happening things that did not impact me directly (such as movies) that it was more a case that I was feeling emotional about something else in life and that this was emotions seeping out where they could. I especially thought this because it didn't seem to always happen.

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.

Having a kid. That did it for me.

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.

This x 1000!. I can't believe how much my children changed me- and I am a pretty tough guy otherwise. Glad to hear I am not the only one.

Definitely Not. Me likewise. Something does change when you have kids, it's not just exclusive to the mothers, us fathers get it too.

Replying to myself since I can't edit: looks from HN like maybe my son's birth did it :) A lot of things changed then, that could well have been one of them.

Seconded for "Up". All the sad scenes involving the wife. This movie, and only this movie. Makes me cry every time. I'm a 40 year old man.

I have just met you...and I love you.

"The first ten minutes of Up" is an incredible cliche. Everyone has that reaction to it that's not a robot.

I saw The Fountain in theaters with a younger friend, and while I was moved, he "didn't really get it". Not that he didn't understand the events of the movie, but he'd never experienced the frailty and desperation the kind of personal, intense bond with another that the film evoked. He'd never loved and lost.

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.

> he'd never experienced the frailty and desperation the kind of personal, intense bond with another that the film evoked. He'd never loved and lost.

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[1]. 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: [1] 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.

Sharing my cryiest ever video clip, when Stanford Professor Andrei Linde celebrates physics breakthrough: [1]. I've seen it thirty times and I cry (oh, the tears) every time. I also cried at the end of Real Steal.

[1] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZlfIVEy_YOA&index=113&list=L...

Toy Story 3 for me since the summer I saw it for the first time was the summer before my freshman year of college and consequently moving out.

I had some tears that time. Occasionally movies make me feel emotion, but not quite to tearing level.

I watched Toy Story 3 alone in my apartment and cried like a baby at the scene with Andy and the girl at the end (manly man n+1 in this thread checking in). I'm not a very emotional guy, but some emotion now and then is nice.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas[1] I should have seen it coming but it was a freight train, never did a movie hit so hard like that. War though a child's eye is worse than the adult perspective of war.

[1] http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0914798/

Grave of the Fireflies http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095327/

I could not smile for days after watching that one. One of the greatest movies ever made, but when I recommend it to anyone, I always warn them that if they are depression prone, they should not watch it at all.

So _intense_. Even years later, just reference to it gives me goosebumps.

Yes. That's one of the best movies that I've only seen once. It occupies a rare intersection between shows that I consider excellent and shows that I'd rather not watch again.

I saw that recently, expecting something very sad, based on what people told me.

I wasn't all that upset with it though. The deaths weren't that traumatic..

Charlie Chaplin's movies. Modern Times is very funny, but the end scene. I cry every time. City lights, ditto, the end scene is so strong. And Limelight. And the Gold rush...

So strange -- I don't cry really at all, but I find I have the same emotional reaction to such large scale or "epic" visually arresting things. Amazing how often you find out something you thought only you went through was shared by others.

Up... oh goodness, yes... I first saw it on a flight. Middle-aged IT consultants shouldn't be sitting on a plane sniffling over a goddam cartoon!

A masterly piece of animation, that.

I hardly cry (and make no attemps not to cry) but I have to concede that "Up" is very well written and its very hard to avoid getting emotional in certain parts.

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...

Yeah, "Up" is really in a league of its own on the "tearjerker" scale -- not that it ever does it gratuitously, mind. It's just that it imitates life very well in that it can sometimes be very sad and also uplifting(!) at the same time.

"Up" definitely triggered the strongest emotions in me of any movie to date. Perhaps it reminded me of the loss of my grandma a few years earlier.

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.

Let it out, don't hold it in. Close your eyes, focus on your intense emotions, breath in and let it out, gently and fully.

I try to do this with all intense emotions be it overwhelming sadness, fury, despair. Feels better than holding back or forcing it out.

Or, in so many words: Cry!

Let it all out, there's nothing to worry about. Just... cry.

I thought I was the only one.. yes. Up - it said more emotionally in those first 10 moments with no dialog than most movies do in 2 hours.

The recent Jungle Book was similar, my eyes were misty the whole movie. The Martian had similar effects.

I hardly ever cry otherwise.

Real life events don't make me cry. Seriously, I've had break ups, deaths.. you name it. But damn, the opening to that movie did.

Jeez I must be dead inside :(

Not at all. Just because you don't cry, doesn't mean you don't feel. Does it? I think what they are talking about is a certain bodily way of expressing a strong emotion. I too am "built too close to the water" as the Germans say, but often, my tears are an expression of my lack of ability to otherwise express.

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. ;-)

Not really, neither Up nor Toy Story 3 did it for me as movies (a very unpopular opinion I know). I choke up watching a movie or TV show from time to time, maybe more than I'd like to admit, but I don't share the popular opinion about those two movies.

40 yard old with basically the same story as the guy from `Up`. Can't have children, long term very solid relationship. As much as I cried at the opening to `Up` - and it was a whole lot, `Marley and Me` is just absolutely devastating. Can't even look at the cover to that movie.

Dude +1 for The Fountain. Cried through that entire movie and probably for 10 minutes straight when Izzy talks to Tommy after she collapses in the museum.

Thank you for The Fountain recommendation. It got me too, and it's one of the few Aronofsky films I hadn't yet seen. It was due to expire on Netflix in just a couple of hours & racing to finish it before it timed out added to the experience.

[2] is less than 300KB? I appreciate warnings on terabytes.

Ah, I was thinking of pixel size, because actually displaying it requires that it be decompressed. If your machine is memory-constrained just having an image that size (decompressed) can be crippling. I remember it bringing a machine I had several years ago to a crawl for that very reason. Maybe I'm just showing my age here :).

>The Fountain

Oh man. Feels strike inbound.

My eyes tear up really easily, and it's just strong emotion, even just nostalgia. It's very difficult to control, and the sensation is often rather nice. But my girlfriend is from Asia, where there's a serious taboo against a man crying, so it's a problem. She can't understand that I'm not sad or fearful, I'm just feeling strong emotions, often pleasant emotions.

It's a strange thing. I'm so embarrassed about it I had to use a throwaway account.

Crazy. I thought I was the only one. It happens to me too at odd moments like if I'm describing a movie I recently watched that I enjoyed.

I'm also a big, macho looking guy. I think just about anyone who knows me thinks that I'm dead as a rock inside. But I cry quite often. Never in public and always in complete solitude. I never really cried until about 25 when I had to split up with my fiance. I don't know what happened, but it flipped a switch and I've been incredibly emotional ever since. It was strange at first, but I learned to appreciate it. I feel like I can connect with people a little better when they're sharing their pains with me.

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 :)

I cry so little my wife had me tested for Aspergers...and she was right. I tear up about once a year at most. Most of the time when I do start to get overwhelmed my first reaction is "WTF IS THIS?" and beat it down like a $2 mule. It isn't that I'm completely without emotions, but I really do have less than "normal" people.

Anyway, nice to hear about the experiences of others.

I don't think I've got Asperger's, but I also have a sort of instinctual reaction to clamp down on any emotion that deviates too far from a standard flavor of okay-ness. Not sure where that comes from. Sometimes jealous of people who seem capable of those big emotional responses.

WHEEE! 8-)

    > I cry so little my wife had me tested for
    > Aspergers...and she was right. I tear up about once a
    > year at most
It's important to not conflate crying with feeling strong emotion. I was clinically depressed for a year and cried a sum total of once during that time.

Speaking of Pixar cartoons, I thought the way that Inside Out presented depression as the absence of both joy and sadness was really telling. I don't know if it's always true, but it seems like often depression doesn't even allow you to feel cathartic sadness, only a miserable numbness.

Speaking as someone with Asperger; I think Asperger is not about having less emotions than neurotypical persons but more about the trouble expressing those emotions to others or even oneself.

I don't think I have Aspergers... but same here. I cry maybe once a year. Reading this thread makes me think, I'm some kind of heartless robot.

I never really cried much in my teens or 20s until last year when my partner passed away (I was 29). That seems to have really shaken up how I express emotion and I suspect it's a lasting change that I now cry significantly more, both in frequency and scope of what I react to.

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 get a little choked up when I see paintings of horses. I have no other connection to horses. It's very quick and generally jumbled with thoughts of "Uhhhhh, what in the world is happening right now?"

Out of curiosity, have you ever checked out the paintings of Xu Beihong? He's famous for painting very expressive horses.


Haven't seen them before. They're a bit abstract, but after a couple of drinks they'll probably do it.

Horses are absolutely beautiful, loving, intelligent, fragile, kind and elegant creatures, so I won't hold that against you. That said, my soft spot from horses (which I otherwise have little mental connection to) probably comes from growing up around them.

Serious question: what else happens around that time? How long does it take you to "recover" from a crying episode? Are you unable to perform other tasks during an episode? Etc.

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.

There are healthy ways to express your anger. Raising your voice at your coworkers is not one of them, and is out of line.

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.

Who said anything about raising voices at coworkers. From my perspective (which is one with zero psychology or medical training), these are two expressions of emotions. You just proved my point here. If the same situation makes one person cry and another person stone / red faced with "anger" why is one treated so tremendously different from the other? From my POV, you have two people unable to control their emotions in a work environment.

Not all emotions have equal rights. Sadness elicits sympathy, rage elicits fear and hostility.

Anger is more likely to trigger fear in other people. Anger is also more likely to lead to action, and therefore possibly mistakes. Being sad is just safer for the business.

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.

I think I understand what you're saying, but the GP is correct, and did respond to what you said

> 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.

I'm certain it's person by person, but for me it doesn't really interfere and clears up pretty quick. It's just little quick bouts.

This started happening to me the moment my wife got pregnant with our first kid. Before that, even tear-jerker news stories didn't affect me; now, I get choked up over anything (but especially over hopeful science news stories - the Philae lander, possible breakthroughs in solar power, that kind of thing).

My wife makes fun of me for it too, but then I make fun of her for lots of stuff, so that's fair.

Ditto. See _A_Clockwork_Orange_

I have found that emotional stoicism elicits are far greater response in nearly all people.

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.

The type of emotional stoicism and detachment you're advocating for fit under the simple description of either a doormat or a sociopath.

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.

Stoicism != sociopathy.

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.

I guess the people who do agree with you don't feel the need to argue. And those are probably the more stoic types. :-) But for what it's worth, I agree with you, bub. Being able to respond with some emotional distance does not mean emotions aren't experienced, nor does it imply that you suppress them. And people who are more reserved and/or feel less comfortable with other people's "emotional livelyhood" do tend to respond not more attracted to that, but just less turned away.

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.

I actually believe you that your life is better than average, but you must have noticed that such statements are more often wishful thinking than a careful measurement. I suspect that's why people don't hang on your every word when you speak about it. We have no way to know if your life actually is great by my metrics.

I disagree. I have a friend who is occasionally weepy, but often they cry with joy rather than sadness. They can see something beautiful and appreciate its beauty so deeply that it causes them to shed a tear of happiness. It's a wonderful thing to see. It's like they're more attuned to beauty that I can't perceive. Like how a high-sensitivity radio receiver can detect very faint signals that others can't.

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.


And I'll easily argue that Steve Jobs' emotional states made him miserable, well-hated, and ultimately it ended up killing him because he stubbornly took an extremely emotional physical situation and didn't approach it with a rock-like proper state of mind.

(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.

> being "the rock" typically gets you better long-term social results.

It's also really fucking exhausting.

I find it the opposite. Now I do get fired up about certain things (I'm not dead inside), but I've found that ever since I stopped getting emotional during things like arguments, they've become far easier and even more enjoyable.

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.

Eh arguments, that's easy mode.

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.

You're missing my point, but simultaneously agreeing with me. Stoicism during an argument is the self-induced test to determine results. It's easily created and pretty repeatable in a scenario that doesn't matter so much. That was just a simple example that you can control.

And then, yes -- when it does matter, you know what already gets you best results.

I find it far less exhausting to be calm than to be emotional.

Emotional stoicism gets real world tangible results. But it doesn't let us explore our emotions in depth.

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.

I'm personally in the emotional stoic camp but find it easier to trust emotional people because well, they can't easily hide their true emotions.

Crying is correlated with empathy, which is among the most important traits a human can have.

"Correlated"? Statistically?

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.

Yup. https://books.google.com/books?id=DR15NJb8bJcC&pg=PA31&lpg=P...

The linked page mentions it, and theres more data later in the book.

That you see.

> Crying is correlated with empathy, which is among the most important traits a human can have.

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.

"empathy has little to do with moral reasoning"

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.

The "depending on your goals in life" part is important I'd say! I, personally, find "the rock" types pretty creepy, because life is about emotional connection to me, and that's the one think I'll never get from them. :(

If, by "social results", you mean "well-connected" or "successful", then I agree.

Cool to read someone else is the same way! My eyes have always watered when I laugh, when I'm really happy, or just excited about something.

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."

This happens to me all the time. Mostly with emotional moments in movies or animated films. However, more interestingly with things like Google's commercials. They do very well with blending their technology and emotional connections.

You should try watching the Thai life insurance commercials

Those Google commercials made me cry too. I also felt manipulated each time they were on.

Military jet aircraft with afterburners lit, flying at low altitude do it for me. No idea why. Perhaps something to do with attending air shows at a young age.

Oh, don't get me started on this stuff: https://youtu.be/xIoRWIgzvbM or this: https://youtu.be/aoNSBPhaDjM . I guess it's something about the combination of engineering marvels and how deadly everything is.

I think that's a great trait. Bearded guy here, I get the same thing from certain songs. I can't hear them or sing them without choking up. I attribute it to the musician's bardic gift.

Another bearded guy here: Some Elliott Smith songs make me tear up a bit, but at the same time the sadness also me makes me happy -- I don't quite understand why, perhaps I have a bittersweet tooth. I also cried at the end of Field of Dreams.

A further bearded guy here, and you know what, the main thing i'm learning from this thread is that we bearded guys cry a lot at some really unexpected stuff. It's Apollo 13 and non-human primates for me.

I have a beard and cry also. I'm a sap for funny, kid videos and things that remind me of my kids.

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.

I cry too but only if something sad happens to someone else. Whenever something bad happens to myself, I just feel numb and try to block out all emotions. But if I read about some injustice or tragedy somewhere in the world, I get all weepy.

There are known genetic factors for crying easily.[1] My oldest son and I cry easily; my wife and youngest son don't. By "crying" here I mean tearing up in response to both positive and negative emotions, including emotions expressed by others. My oldest son and I are about normal when it comes to outright bawling or crying in response to physical injury.

Some public individuals cry easily: definitely John Boehner and possibly Elon Musk.

[1] http://blog.23andme.com/health-traits/too-many-teardrops/

Also a bearded male, a combat veteran, etc... I cry on the regular, and always have. Do you show those emotions around larger audiences? I'm very openly emotional, like you're describing, around my wife and immediate family members but, quite naturally now that I think about it, keep it from bubbling up around friends, etc...

I did the same thing last night! I fired up the overwatch trailer for my girlfriend and started crying quite a bit. Then I put on the Soldier 76 clip, and cried even more.

How much did you cry during the last episode of Game of Thrones? I was gasping for air between the sobs!

"Take her to the moon for me" [0]

[0] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv3eI9w9YkM

Never heard of this game before. This trailer is pretty awesome and quite emotional too: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=oJ09xdxzIJQ

I had similar effect after watching the trailer of The Witcher 3 Wild Hunt.


Glad I'm not the only one tearing up to the Overwatch cinematics!

You'd be referred to as a big girl's blouse round here.

Saw the trailer. It seems to be a blend of the incredibles, batman the animated series, and warcraft. I wanted to like it but it doesn't seem to be very original. And the hair modeling on some of the characters it's really bad. Like plastic wigs. It seems to be aimed at small kids. Thumbs down.

the game is top notch though

For anyone else who was surprised, like me, that there was so much crying recorded in this article, you might find [a certain Reddit thread][1] interesting. I had been under the impression that basically no-one cried ever, but it turns out that some hormones just seem to make it happen.

[1]: https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/4g1pgu/serious_t...

That was incredibly interesting, thanks!

I am actually going through this right now, as I have begun to take female hormones this year. I don't cry as often as the author does (not yet, anyway), but it's increased noticeably.

So the author of the article is a male -> female transsexual undergoing hormone treatment?

I don't know, but prior probabilities suggest not. Notice, however, that it is not just M2F transsexuals who have "female" hormones in their bodies. Almost everyone has them, and some people (such as females) tend to have more of them than others.

I'm intrigued by the "almost". Are there people with 0% female (or male) hormones?

There are at least people with hormone insensitivity. An example is a phenotypically female Olympic athlete with AIS[1] (had female sex organs) who was chromosomally male (XY). It caused a bit of a controversy at the time.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Androgen_insensitivity_syndrom...

I don't know, but all sorts of things can happen, and I didn't want to exclude people who somehow just have one or the other. (This is the kind of matter about which I expect not to be very knowledgeable, so I just moderate my language towards the "I don't know everything, might as well make it so I don't exclude people" end.)

I'm really glad someone had the courage to share this data.. Growing up I was always under the impression that it was wrong to cry, and it probably exasperated some of my depressive episodes.

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.

My family made me feel like crying was a bad thing, that it was weak to cry and that there is something wrong with you. Never feel this way, anyone who says or thinks this is really wrong, emotions are what make us human and we should be glad to feel things!

Likewise, I'm a lot more sensitive after becoming a dad.

I hear it's pretty ordinary. You need to be more sensitive so you can keep up and empathise with your kid.

This is awesome. I think so much study goes into anger management and trying to understand why we get angry, but it seems that other emotional outburts are often shunned in discussion.

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 had no idea that people cry this much. It's like pulling back a curtain.

Kind of the same for me. More baffling for me, however, is the range of discrete emotions she was able to categorize. If I tried, I would probably end up with buckets "upbeat", "fine", and "down".

I found this article very fascinating.

If we go by the name (Robin), it's a he. :)

Robin is a name used by both sexes, e.g. Robin Wright and Robin Williams. Additionally, the author's website indicates they belonged to an organization for women.

Yeah, I just confirmed and came back here to write it. It's She. At the risk of sounding sexist, that relieves me a bit :)

I also had no idea.

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.

Ya I don't understand it either, but it seems that other commenters are the same. I once went on a date with a guy who told me he sheds a tear daily -- until now I had never heard of anyone doing that.

People don't. This person does ... and I think it's ok.

Same. I haven't cried since i was a little kid in the 90's. I've always found strange when people cry at movies and such.

Not being critical or anything, but I was also floored. My spouse and I pretty much never cry. Different strokes, I guess.

I know, right? People don't usually discuss these things publicly and you just sort of assume that everyone's relationship with crying is the same

Incredibly interesting, and waaaay more data than I expected. The fancy d3 weighted tree/forking chart was fascinating.

> 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?

It's called a sankey diagram if that helps. And, yes, they are the coolest.

That helps a lot, thanks! I've mostly used Highcharts but now am going to have to dive into d3 to play around with some of this...

It seems this was made with Google Charts.


Hmm, I checked the source when originally reading it and thought I saw a d3 link but you are correct. Thanks for clarifying.

I love this thread. I've been a long time HN lurker, but only fairly recently did I create an account and start contributing.

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 almost never cry. Some of my friends joke that I cry once a decade, but honestly that is pretty close to the truth. I'm not ashamed to cry, and I don't try to not cry, or anything like that, I just almost never want to cry...

Same. I get called heartless for it sometimes. But I think I'm emotionally stunted overall anyway.

Long distance relationship, infidelity breakup, family illness, and bedbugs all in a year? Yikes, glad they already had a therapist to speak with.

Having gone through a bed-bug fiasco (it's long past now, thankfully), I'm surprised that category didn't make up a larger percentage of cries.

I don't think I cried during my episode, but it was an incredibly stressful and uncomfortable period.

I don't think the article mentioned bed bugs.

It's in the sankey diagram.

You're right of course, that whole image failed to load for me on the first visit. That's a beautiful visualization.

It's shown in the data

Everyone is an emotional being; whether they show it to the world regularly or not. I'm normally a very stoic, "serious", sometimes up-tight and irritable person. I know I've turned off many people from the way I interact. But get me in-front of someone I can truly connect with, and I'm a whole different soul - I laugh, smile, my heart flutters, I'll cuddle up to a partner, the works. It all depends how comfortable the other person makes me feel.

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.

Fascinating dataset. I think ending a long term, long distance relationship (and then finding out he was married all along), probabaly skewed this dataset upwards.

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...

If you think about when RR Martin first published Game of Thrones in 1996, you realize that was back story twist he planned two decades ago.

I cried at the end of that episode because I hate puns

At risk of spoilers, I don't think that's a pun. It's just an abbreviation.

It's a pun played in meta-reverse and it sucked

No, there's no word play involved. There's no joke in their either. It's just a misheard word.

The data collection, analysis, and emotional honesty of this post are extremely impressive.

Disney movies.

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.

> 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.

In Creativity Inc. they describe specifically going through story beats for maximum emotional impact. Disney movies apparently adopted Pixar's methods, so actually you're not far off with the Crying Department thing.

It's amazing how much variability there is in how much people cry. Also, the intensity obviously varies a lot: I've never cried for longer than maybe 5 minutes.

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.

Since everyone is talking about their crying habits - I have this very annoying tendency to get teary eyed/cry when having intense discussions with some people. Especially if there's any hint of negativity in it. Awkward for obvoius reasons. So I just tend to avoid these.

The crying post is good, but also the rest of the website. Amazing amount of data.

I dunno... I find the notion of crying as a reaction to fictional (or even non-fictional) media... foreign. I find this notion foreign. (Man, just a goatee, almost 33). I do consume fiction, but I just don't 'suspend disbelief', as it is called. Call me a fiction grinch, but it's just the way my brain works.

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.

This is fascinating to me. Do you consume fiction purely for analyses of the writing/acting? Of course, either of those things done poorly can quickly make one focus on the fabricated nature of it, but to not have any real capacity to entertain fantasy as reality when there are no obvious negatives or doubts to point out seems to be a rare thing.

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 definitely prefer non-fiction. I do make an effort to connect with people about current series/movies. But it is an effort, not something spontaneous. I feel bad sometimes that I can come across as too analytical. I'm not! I feel awe and deep emotion looking at documentaries, for example, or at the space station footage of the Earth. That is mind-blowing and very moving.

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.

Fiction can help you learn meta stuff.

No doubt about it. My background is in the humanities! I started out working for a literature magazine and going to college to study philosophy. Then my brain wandered and decided that it wanted to learn about programming, machine translation and related stuff. I do like and value fiction, and you're right: fiction can give you 'big picture' ideas, metaphors and can shape the meaning of our whole experience.

This is super interesting, I've found that as I've aged I cry a lot less than when I was younger. If gender makes any difference, I'm a woman. I found that when I was younger I cried a lot, at all sort of things. Now I find it difficult to cry, and I kind of miss that emotion, because I think it's an important part of what makes us human :(

Can anyone explain how the visualization with the header '? -> ?? -> ???' (a little past the middle on the right hand side) was generated?

I'd really like to know how spreadsheet data gets turned into that awesome D3 diagram!

Per the author, the '? -> ?? -> ???' is actually a small amount of non-categorized data. (I listened to Robin give a short presentation on this earlier.)

This is _so_ well done!

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 :-)

My crying is triggered by positive stories. Most of the times, specifically by solidarity demonstrations.

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.

I read somewhere the author of Starship Troopers, Robert Heinlein, wrote that when he realized he couldn't cry he took steps to learn to do so. I am a man still learning.

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)

So many people here admitting they cry with an undertone that they feel various levels of bad for doing it. @donatj even said his wife makes fun of him when he cries.

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.

Maybe crying is seen as an intense emotion for rare occasions so when someone seems to be crying every weekday or over trivial things it demeans the powerfulness and impact of crying.

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?

Sure, there are attention whores but the existence of an outlier of people doesn't seem to me to be a very good reason to shame most people for something that our bodies are designed to do.

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.

This. I'm a grown-ass adult and cried when my father left after visiting. Was it because I was too much of a wimp to be alone and needed my parents? No. It was the shock of having seen someone I'd known my whole life age noticeably, a feeling of simultaneous concern and powerlessness over an array of health concerns, and anticipatory grief centered around the certainty that he will one day die and we both will experience incredible pain as a result.

> Maybe crying is seen as an intense emotion for rare occasions so when someone seems to be crying every weekday or over trivial things it demeans the powerfulness and impact of crying.

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.

Then what do you do for the rare events?

You use the level 1 or 2 crying for normal stuff and you crank it up to a 4 or 5 for the rare occasions

Whatever you feel like.

I feel this way. I had little problem crying at the funeral of my grandpa. There are almost no other situations where I find it appropriate.

Can't agree more with you! I'm a woman and my family always shames me for crying - from when I was a teenager even until now in my middle age crying over the death of a family member. It's just absurd - they have called me things from weak to "sensitive" to "emotional" - but I know better now that crying is a totally normal and good emotion and ignore them. I wish these perceptions didn't exist though.

If this began happening to me I would consider it a serious medical issue. Crying on a daily basis? That seems debilitating.

Looking at the "heat map", it looks like the OP needs to start going to bed on time, like 10pm, on a regular basis. It seems she is staying up late and crying a lot during that time, perhaps because emotional things and overwork are getting her at that time. Put the phone on Do Not Disturb and check out at 10pm.

Or the opposite: She was already feeling those things and could not go to sleep because of them.

What a great study! We engineers and rational-thinking oriented people tend to disregard how our emotions affect us on a daily basis.

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.

During allergy season my eyes are always on the verge of tearing up. Then even mildly enthusiastic conversations will cause my eyes to fully tear and that makes me feel emotional. It is embarrassing and often leads me to abruptly end conversations.

There have been numerous studies where facial expressions can affect emotion. It is a positive feedback loop [1]. 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.

[1] http://scienceblogs.com/neurophilosophy/2010/04/16/botox-may...

i read this and sent my wife a link. she wanted to know why i was analyzing her crying. i told her i just wanted to run a neuralnet on her crying data.....


Weirdest save I've ever seen dude. Kudos. :)

Just an FYI that there's a phone number in that screencap. I imagine most HN readers wouldn't exploit it, but better safe than sorry.

Edit: just realized it's Google voice so probably less of an issue.

This is such a wonderful blending of genres. We techies often can seem (or be?) detached from emotion. The rigor with which analytics were applied here ("real-time crying dashboard"!) is genius. So funny and so true.

I don't cry often. But a common types of cry I have is in narratives when someone achieves something.

For example, I cried reading The Devil in the White City when the Ferris wheel started moving for the first time.

Weird anecdote. Grief can lead to health damaging anger, when sometimes you need to cry. Pardon the metaphor but it really feels like leaking the pain out instead of keeping it rotting inside your head.

I haven't cried for years, and I don't wear that as a badge of honour either, it's just never been a thing for me.

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.

Is anywhere near this amount of crying normal? I have never tracked but I would suspect it would be more like 1x every year or two if we remove allergies.

It really depends on the person, the culture and family they grew up in, their physiology, etc. For me, one of my primary reactions to anxiety and stress (or especially the feeling of release once a stressor event is over) is crying, so that's at least a couple of times a month. Some people just get overwhelmed with emotion (not necessarily sadness, any type will do) or have found crying to be a useful physical reaction because of the hormones that get released and the often cathartic feeling of being able to express your emotional state, even in private to yourself.

Hey, girls cry more (typically) than guys.

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.

For me, crying was mostly related to lack of eating and working out, lack of sleep or from too much work. The triggers were real, relationship problems, work related issues, you name it. But as long as I eat well and work out, I can take on a lot of personal problems without crying.

Holy wow, I am genuinely surprised. I would never have imagined that it's possible for grown-up people to cry more than one or two times per year, let alone cry enough times to gather stats about it!

I cry, maybe 3 times a year, and tear up maybe 10 times a year. Last year was really rough, so it was a bit more, but I have no idea how someone could cry -that- much and still have a livable life.

Well executed analysis. It takes real commitment to follow through and track these results, then actually do something with the data. Better than a lot of TEDx talks I've seen lately.

I've had a lot of 3's and 4's, and a couple of 5's in the past year. It's been rough. :(

After staying up for 3 days straight coding with caffeine, I had a cry spell. It was like a religious experience.

I think I have cried twice in ten years. I don't cry if possible, and certainly not in public.

Go Cats

Edit: I have retracted this post; it came across in a way that I did not intend it to. Thank you to those of you who explained the response I received.

Unfortunately, now that you've retracted it, we'll never learn from it one way or the other. :(

Why the downvotes? Did you all read the entirety of my post? As someone who almost never receives downvotes on HN, this is frustrating. Please provide constructive criticism rather than leaving me in the dark.

While it's bad manner to complain about downvotes, you're probably receiving them because your post comes across as speaking from a place of authority ("you have this condition," without any credentials "I am not a psychologist.")

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.

Because people who try to diagnose other people with disorders out of the DSM over the Internet after a brief interaction with their life are generally considered to be in a state of arrogance.

I downvoted because this is an armchair diagnosis by a non-professional, based on data that wouldn't be enough for a professional to make a diagnosis.

> I've always considered myself to be a bit of a crybaby

No, that's some ridiculous amount of crying. I wonder if it's severe depression or Pseudobulbar affect or some hormonal disorder.


The crying is associated with relatable emotions. The fact that crying is so routine for them is probably a little neurotic (in a clinical sense, not in a pejorative sense). The person is probably a good candidate for some Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) or Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT). That can be useful to challenge some of the narratives that we tell ourselves and others when we think of things that make us sad.

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"

She's already in therapy, which accounts for a lot of the crying. And I think finding out your partner is married to someone else would cause a lot of crying in anyone who's otherwise emotionally healthy.

What's your baseline? Your own crying frequency?

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!"

Notice how you substituted "crying" with "frustrated", and then proceeded to build your argument on that. I do get frustrated to various levels of degrees with all kinds of things (stupid bug in my code, people not putting away milk in the fridge). Do I need to cry every time? Hell no. And neither people around me. I've known some crybabies, but even they didn't cry nearly as much.


If I understand you correctly, I can see what you mean about emotional openness being a more feminine trait, and understand your implication that homosexual males may lean more towards that behaviour too (stereotypically, at least) - but I really don't understand what race has to do with this?

If mixing our analytical culture with feminity resulted in a surprisingly insightful article that wouldn't have been written otherwise, it's possible that mixing it with gayness will produce some other surprising insight.

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.

This site is full of circle jerking over diversity virtue signalling. Why would you "be hated" for participating in the dominant fad?


Please don't take HN threads on generic ideological tangents. Especially not a thread like this, which is full of people relating specific experiences.

Because the world is a fucked up place, and ignoring it doesn't make it any better.

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?

Being emotionally invested in the well-being of others has its costs, especially when looking deeper into things exposes you to injustice you could have ignored before.

That seems like an argument for minimal emotional involvement in others.

It's just a fact, presenting the negative side of such involvement, because that was sufficient for pointing out the flaw in the parent post's reasoning.

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.

The important question is how did they determine the people were happy?

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.

Is hedonistic happiness actual happiness? Philosophers have been discussing this for a very long time. You should consider this in your 'analysis'.

> Why are progressive politics are such an engine of grief?

Nice loaded question.

Notice how many cries are due to relationship-based issues.

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.

> You are putting yourself at serious emotional risk

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.

So your recipe for, "emotional success" is to not be affected by other people?

Got it.

Is it really wrong though? Making your emotional state dependent on others is a terrible thing to do to yourself, because people can be fickle and change. Emotional independence is tremendously helpful for emotional well-being.

"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything, and your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket - safe, dark, motionless, airless – it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. The alternative to tragedy, or at least to the risk of tragedy, is damnation. The only place outside Heaven where you can be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell."

- 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.

I've experienced that "great joy" too many times. For some people, the harm is a lot more than the good... you get used to the good quickly, but it takes a lot more time to get used to the harm.

More or less. Set goals that are within your control - I find that mine are more tied to personal health, intellectual pursuit, and business. Not many people can affect those, but I sure can. Personal responsibility is a great thing.

One thing I noticed is that the breakup basically drowned out all the other triggers for crying.

Citation needed. You seem to be quite certain that control is the means to happiness yet have not offered any reason to believe this.

Not control over other people, but control over situations that put you in an emotional state -- where possible, at least. Death is one thing we can't control.

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.

Applications are open for YC Summer 2019

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact