Neuroscientists working on the psychology and physiological of crying have a clear message to communicate: crying is good for you! There’s even evidence that crying can reduce your risk of heart disease (along with other stress-related illnesses). And although many people are embarrassed to cry and tend to associate frequent or intense crying with some kind of underlying weakness, in truth it means just the opposite—that you’re mentally tough.


    Our tendency is to see people who cry as being emotionally weak. Rarely is crying during movies interpreted as being mentally tough, but if we can set our negative stereotypes aside, we can see how emotional outpourings like crying can help us socially to connect to others by helping them see how well we relate to their emotions.


    Crying during movies means you possess the ability to relate to the emotional state that another person is experiencing based on their situation and facial expressions. Although you know that this pain belongs to someone else, for example an actor in a movie, you know what it feels like to hurt, grieve, yearn, or rejoice and you can relate to a fellow human being who is showing the same emotion.


    Empaths have to be mentally tough because emotional outpourings can drain physical energy. Connection like this to fellow people on the planet is an important social skill that is often overlooked or undervalued. The ability to relate in important ways will help you be successful with your education, career, and romantic partnerships.


    Researchers studying crying during movies found that several personality traits were found to be associated with crying and sadness. These include empathy, extroversion, femininity, self-esteem, and prior levels of stress. Women who were observed to be crying during a movie were more likely to report being sad to the researchers after the movie, as compared to men who were observed to cry but who reported no emotional connection to the film.


    Mentally tough people are thought of as being able to take the leadership role in social interactions, which seems to conflict with the image of someone who cries at movies. However, being extroverted was one of the surprising personality trait results of the above experiment. The researchers found that these personality traits were associated with crying during movies along with ego strength or levels of self-esteem, which is the mental toughness in knowing oneself to be worthy of respect.


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