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bookish1's avatar

What do you do when you feel like you need to cry, but can't?

Asked by bookish1 (13040 points ) July 15th, 2012

Do you distract yourself? Try to think of something funny to change your mood? Or do you try to force the tears out and get it over with? How do you do that?

I am pretty dry-eyed these days and when I feel like I need to cry and can’t, it’s very draining. Sometimes I’d just like to get it over with and move on to something else.

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19 Answers

DigitalBlue's avatar

I watch sad movies or listen to sad music until it comes out.
If that doesn’t work (though, it usually does), I do try to seek out laughter. Laughing can be a huge relief, and sometimes it helps the tears to come, too.

lillycoyote's avatar

I cry, when I can; your body was designed to cry for a reason, and when I can’t cry, I don’t “distract” myself. I find solace in whatever music I can; whatever music comforts me and/or
“contains” my pain.

Bellatrix's avatar

My Nana used to say everyone needs a good cry every now and then. I think it’s true. I don’t force it but I don’t try to hold it in either. There are days when I can burst into tears very easily. Music can bring on the tears if I am in that mood. As a child I was found sobbing behind a chair after listening to that Bobby Goldsboro song Honey. Similarly, I remember listening to the Alan Parson’s Band song Time and it made me think of my dad and off I went. Absolutely sobbing. Music takes me back in time sometimes or just a line in a song can make me think of a person I have loved.

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stardust's avatar

When I need to shed tears, I let it happen. If I’m feeling sad, I let myself feel sad. Distracting myself from feelings is something I used to do in the past and it landed me in quite the mess. Lesson learned.

Judi's avatar

I never cry appropriately, I’ve just resigned myself to it. I cry when I do and if it makes people uncomfortable it’s their problem. At least I’m semi retired. I used to cry in bosses offices way to much.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

Nope, can’t hold it in anymore. The fountain sets forth…..nothing stops it!

bookish1's avatar

@stardust: I agree with you, that you should not distract yourself from feelings. I used to be able to cry copiously when I was sad, haha. But testosterone does something physical to your tear ducts. I’m not kidding. My question wasn’t about trying to hold back tears, but about being physically unable to cry even though you feel like it would help.

@Judi: I used to cry in professors’ officers way too much!

Coloma's avatar

Yes, always best to not distract yourself and feel your feelings. Let them come and they will wash through you and be over quickly. What we resist persists.
If I am feeling blocked a sad movie always works, usually an animal movie like “Black Beauty”.
haha

If you can get through a sad animal movie without crying you need some serious therapy. lol

fluthernutter's avatar

Just because there aren’t any actual tears left doesn’t mean there isn’t any crying left. You don’t need tears to cry. But dry crying is exhausting for some reason. Try crying in the shower.

[hugs]
Hope you’re in a better place soon.

gondwanalon's avatar

I tell myself to “Cut the crap” and “Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go out for a hard 10 mile run”.

downtide's avatar

I very rarely cry even when I’m feeling sad, and it’s been a long time since I did so. Weepy movies and videos usually do the trick for me.

Bill1939's avatar

While it is not good for anyone to hold their emotions in and not allow their expressions, some situations do not allow for that. I think you are asking about what to do when emotions intensify but you would rather not display them. I try to imagine what others around me are thinking and feeling about the circumstances at this moment. Not about me, however. If I thought that they might be, then my feelings could take over.

The more you seek to understand another, the less you focus on yourself. The more you imagine the experience of their suffering and joy, loves found and lost, their hopes and fears, your feelings about how your life is at the moment, become less important, but not unimportant.

flutherother's avatar

I feel like this very rarely. The last time I just waited and two or three silver tears appeared. My last gift to someone I loved.

Ponderer983's avatar

I wish I had that problem. I am the exact opposite and cry over spilled milk. I try to hold it in but can’t. Sigh. Tears start to roll

bookish1's avatar

@Bill1939 : Great advice, and thank you, but I was actually referring to being physically unable to cry, rather than wanting to avoid crying due to the circumstances.
But on that note… it’s often easier for me to cry now if I am thinking of other people !

9doomedtodie's avatar

When such conditions arise; I usually don’t cry, I try to keep quiet instead. I start crying when I feel I am alone, sad, and bored silently though.

snapdragon24's avatar

Have a bottle of vodka…just kidding ;) although alcohol can definitely play with your emotions. However, usually when you feel this way, its because your more disappointed than sad. Or your not as sad as you think. Ive felt this way before…just watch…the silliest thing is going to make you cry. Let me know when that happens!

lillycoyote's avatar

@snapdragon24: Not necessarily a completely unacceptable option, as long as you can keep it under control. After my mother died; I had run that scenario over in my head any number of times, what it would be like when my parents died, but nothing prepared me for the reality of it: this is the real thing! This is real life! This is really real and it is forever! I know that is a lot of “reals,” but that is how it was for me. I wasn’t imaging scenarios in my head, it had actually happened, and I had no problem crying, but in the first weeks after my mother died I started experiencing anxiety on a level that bordered on panic attacks and they made it very difficult for me to function.

|I could kind of manage at work, where I was busy, and on my lunch hour I took long walks around downtown and found ways to distract myself, but when I got home, in the evenings and at night, I was pretty much a basket case of not just grief, but of overwhelming anxiety. I went to my doctor and he prescribed a 3 week regimen of tranqulizers, which I only took after I got home from work, and after 3 weeks I was still having problems and I got a refill for another 3 weeks and then, after 6 weeks, I was done. I wasn’t over the loss, certainly. I still had a lot of grieving to do, but the anxiety and panic had subsided to a point that I didn’t need the tranquilizers anymore.

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