A while back I read a great article in which the author stated:
A good cry is an excellent physical release. Studies show the natural chemicals in real tears help flush out emotional tension, producing calming endorphins. Unfortunately, many of us grew up hearing ridiculous messages around showing deep emotion:
Crying is a sign of weakness
Tears are manipulative
Only babies or wimps cry
Suck it up!
I'm sure you can come up with more messages that you grew up thinking that crying shows. I actually spent most of my life being terrified for people to see me cry. Even as a child, I thought I was ugly when I cried, face all crumpled, forehead red, so I would do everything in power so that no one would see me cry. By the time I reached my 20's, I had heard, “You're so strong!” so many times, I felt that it was my identity, and if I crumbled, my inner voice would say, “Don't act like a baby. You're strong, remember?” So, I shut down.
One of my clients cried during one of our first coaching sessions together. She said, “I'm sorry. I have a tendency to cry at inappropriate times.” Her statement and apology struck me, and I was curious as to what she assumed was an “inappropriate time”. I mean, there we were, discussing and coaching around her life. Her LIFE! Life is full of emotions, revelations, breakthrough moments, and there is no reason, EVER we should apologize for having emotions. It's what makes up HUMAN. Apologizing because we think the other people around us are uncomfortable is bullshit. It's not their job to fix you. It's not event their job to hand you a tissue, or to pat your back, but they'll do it to make themselves feel better. It's okay- I do it too, but my food for thought here is the next time you feel the need to apologize to others for crying; don't. You don't apologize when you're happy, so don't apologize for being sad. And if someone you're with is crying, and you're uncomfortable and want to fix it, simply ask, “What do you need right now?” It may be a tissue, or a hug, or the other person may just need your presence. Just to be witnessed without judgement can be one of the most thoughtful, kind acts one can do for another.
Try it…and see what happens.