Odd question, but what is average crying frequency?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by BlackholeKG, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. BlackholeKG

    BlackholeKG I saw you making fire

    I've been a little concerned for a number of years now, as I've noticed, since I started moving into mid-adolescence and then beyond into adulthood, I barely ever cry. Like, almost never. Weirdly, when I do cry, it's always when I'm talking to another person (well, specifically, it tends to happen when I'm talking about something difficult going on with me to my mother, which is practically the only situation when tears are ever shed). It's strange, almost as if for me crying is a specifically social function, such that I don't cry by myself regardless of my mood. I also wonder whether it might be something to do with me tending to be rather closed off even in my own company, and so I only cry on the rare occasions where I "let something out", and tears accompany it?

    The only time I can remember crying on my own in the past 4-5 years or so was a strange occasion several months ago where I was going about my business as usual, had a particularly depressing thought, and suddenly broke down in hysterical tears for about 10 minutes or so. 10 minutes after that I was fine. It was pretty bizarre.

    Meanwhile, my sisters seem to be crying all the time, over things that are often pretty trivial, and I hear other people talking about how they spend a lot of time crying, and I'm just...? For a long while I was worried it meant that I was somehow emotionally stunted, or even that my issues weren't that valid, because if they were really that bad I'd surely be crying about them.

    So, uh, how often do you guys cry? What is normal in terms of crying frequency? How much variation is common? What triggers you to cry? These are questions that have been at the back of my mind for a while now.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  2. Kaylotta

    Kaylotta Writer Trash

    anecdata: i have dysthymia (chronic depression) and i don't feel like i cry a lot. i'm more likely to cry in social settings, I think - something about reaction to another person? getting out of my head? but i've rarely been able to do the "i need to have a cry so tears!" thing that some people do, and I'm not on a hair trigger.

    things that make me cry:
    • (well-made) inspirational commercials, like Olympics commercials
    • really good movies (I wept like a baby at TFA)
    • the hopelessness of existential dread and also depression
    • probably other things?
    i usually cry when overwhelmed more than anything else. overwhelmed with sad or happy or angry, doesn't really matter - it's just an overflowing of emotion. if i'm really sad, chances are i numb out and get depressed. it might result in a cry, but may not.

    sometimes i can cry on command. not often though.
    • Like x 1
  3. applechime

    applechime "well, you know, a very — a very crunchy person."

    i consider myself an easy crier (i'm really, really sensitive and emotional), but frequency definitely varies. sometimes i'll go months and months without ever crying, sometimes i'll break down multiple times in a week. it very much depends on what's going on in my life.

    what are we counting as 'crying,' though? any tears at all? or just full-on weeping? 'cause i'll shed a few tears with just about any strong emotion. anything that makes me Feel Things is likely to make me a bit teary. really happy stuff, frustration, the manipulative wide-eyed puppy SPCA commercials, a particularly beautiful piece of music. you name it, i've cried about it.

    full-on gasping, heaving Ugly Crying, though, is something i only do at Peak Stress Levels. the last time i really cried was because i thought my cat was dying. that plus being a few weeks into 3 different types of new medication triggered a HUUUUUGE meltdown. that was like. what, four months ago?

    oh, wait that's not true. i For Real cried during a session with my therapist a few weeks ago. it wasn't sobbing, but it was definitely crying.

    so! mark me down as being on the opposite side of the crying spectrum.
    • Like x 1
  4. strictly quadrilateral

    strictly quadrilateral alive, alive, alive!

    Mostly I cry when I feel like I don't have any control over anything, which is fairly often but not too. I often /feel/ like crying for other reasons, but never actually make it to tears.
  5. BlackholeKG

    BlackholeKG I saw you making fire

    Hmm, I wonder why everyone seems to cry for such different reasons?

    As for me, I don't shed any tears except for the reasons I mentioned, of any kind. When I do cry, it usually tends to be pretty full-on, though.

    Hmm, I think I did actually water a lil' when watching Gravity. That's a statistical anomaly, though, and literally the only time I've had a reaction even close to that to media, as opposed to some of my siblings... the "water horse incident" is an infamous event in our family history.
  6. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    I cry once every week or two. Last time it was because a teacher wanted me to leave the room while he talked to another student. The time before that it was because a librarian said I was laughing too loudly and it might disturb the other people at the library (I was watching Tucker and Dale vs Evil). Before that it was because dad had different political opinions and I was crying as I screamed at him to die over the phone. It doesn't take much because I have zero strength to hold back emotions and am more of a raw nerve than a human being!
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016
  7. Kaylotta

    Kaylotta Writer Trash

    oh i forgot one. space. i will cry about space. i full on teared up in Interstellar when they enter the warp bubble. And believe it or not Mass Effect gets me teary too.
    • Like x 1
  8. rorleuaisen

    rorleuaisen Frozen Dreamer

    I typically cry maybe once or twice a year. More often when I was in school. My triggers are basically anxiety attacks and overload. On rare occasions I will have feelings while watching a movie that make me well up on the inside, but usually don't actually result in tears. Maybe because I habitually do not express myself and supress stray emotions.

    Movie feels are weird because I sometimes just get tuned in to a movie that I may or may not have seen a dozen times, but the one time I tune in to it, I experience an emotional response. Very few things trigger that response my first time watching it.
  9. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    i try to cry as little as possible because the stuffy nose + headache that comes after is sensory hell for me and people tend to ask me things while i'm at my most incomprehensible and it's very stressful and i just cry more. although i'd consider that more purposeful repression rather than me being someone who doesn't cry easily.

    i randomly got a bit teary at the pokemon superbowl commercial though, it surprised me.
  10. Secret Squirrel

    Secret Squirrel certainly something

    I would guess I cry on average once or twice a month? I actually really like to cry, it's not the most pleasant but it's sort of an emotional processing for me that's hard to have otherwise. Also I am usually both centered and tired after, so it's good for falling asleep (it's been that way my whole life). Things that trigger it are usually external, especially songs and movies, but what I end up continuing to cry about is usually internal, such as stress or guilt. I will sometimes purposefully watch/listen to things that trigger crying if I feel like I need to.

    That said, I dislike crying around people. I used to outright hate it because (complex issues) but it's less stressful now. The last time I cried around people was in December because my brother was in organ failure and almost died (he's doing well now!), but before that I don't even remember? I really do try to avoid it. Fake Edit: No, wait, I cried in February because my hosuemate thought her cat was gonna die and she was crying and then I sympathetic cried, and then cried in earnest later (when I was alone) because he's such a sweet kitty he doesn't deserve this will his sisters understand where he went this isn't fair to any of them (he was fine, turns out we misunderstood the phone call from her husband).

    So, I would say for me, crying is primarily an emotional processing function, and secondarily a social bonding function (sympathetic crying). I don't regard it as a way to communicate internal distress because I would much rather do that with words. However, it sometimes accompanies that attempt at communication despite my efforts.
  11. Mercury

    Mercury 17 Quicksilver Scribe Tramples The Unrepentant

    I'm pretty sure what kind of hormones your body produces can have an affect on how much you're able to cry. Age seems to have something to do with it, too - I used to mostly be an angry crier (what a useless reaction, let me tell you) but a stoic otherwise, but the older I get the more sentimental I get. Of course, it could also be that estrogen production ramps up in dfab people past 30, so. Shrug.

    Regardless, your experiences strike me as perfectly normal. Some people are weepy and some people are pretty stoic by nature, human reactions are varied and infinite, etc. etc.
    • Like x 1
  12. Ducks

    Ducks 79 Plural Fowl Illuminates The Legendary

    I cry a lot myself, usually from being overwhelmed in a social situation (ie any time I am expected to talk about my feelings) or sad because depression (before antidepressants I'd spend at least an hour a week on the floor). This is less than healthy though, i tend to avoid talking about feelings because I can't talk and cry. So everyone thinks I'm really stoic when I actually have the internal stability of a wet tissue.

    As long as you can examine your feelings and talk about them honestly, whether or not you cry is not really an issue.
  13. BPD anon

    BPD anon Here I sit, broken hearted

    Today I cried because I was told not to use my cell phone during class again by the teacher after class.
  14. oph

    oph There was a user here, but it's gone now

    This is true.
    • Like x 2
  15. unknownanonymous

    unknownanonymous i am inimitable, i am an original|18+

    i don't cry much, and when i do it's usually when i'm angry or frustrated or overwhelmed. and sometimes when i'm sad but only when i'm sad about stuff happening to me, not when i'm sad about stuff happening to other people.

    fiction, though i do like it and it does give me feels, and other media don't ever make me cry. (well, most of the time. i think i cried over something that was going on with @Norm the Genie in the weirdmageddon tango rp before, but since it's norm [my absolute fave character] and he's one of the characters i'm playing in that rp, i think crying over that is different than the usual type of crying over fiction. especially since, haha, the thing that made me cry was that a certain pairing involving him wasn't gonna be wt canon and i'd gotten really invested in it.)
  16. WithAnH

    WithAnH Space nerd

    I hardly ever cry. I cried when my grandfather and honorary aunt died last June and I don't think I've cried since, except for a few drops over the sad and stupid and infuriating story of Alan Turing. But I think that might be unusual and maybe unhealthy - I've failed a PhD qualifying exam and ended a 5 year relationship without shedding a tear. :/
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2016
    • Like x 1
  17. Deresto

    Deresto Foolish Mortal

    i think it's possible to be so sad about something your body goes straight to apathy. i've been so depressed i couldn't cry if i wanted to, it's a thing. melancholic, i think it's called.
    • Like x 2
  18. Everett

    Everett local rats so small, so tiny

    Idk, a few times a year now? like 6? I dont keep count. but its not my first stress response.

    i used to cry more often out of frustration/possibly overload, but its been a bit of a while since i last was in a situation to cause that. if that sentence makes sense? dont remember how frequently, but it wasnt unheard of especially during high school/my first go at college. still happens occasionally but its more a matter of things not frustrating me as much.

    and fictional things do sometimes make me tear up:
    theres one scene in Undertale that has made me cry 5 separate times (playing it twice, watching 3 other playthroughs) and actually once i cried bc i listened to the song associated with that scene

    and for some reason there are a few points in Hamilton (the musical) that make me at least a little teary. thats happened three times this week i think? lol

    and also jeez, a few years ago i made it 5 minutes into the last episode of Madoka Magica and had to stop because my entire face below my eyes was just covered in tears and snot and i was like sobbing so yeah I get the ole catharsis type emotional release thing.
  19. TwoBrokenMirrors

    TwoBrokenMirrors onion hydration

    I would probably cry a lot more often if I didn't view crying in front of other people as a terrible thing that should be avoided at all costs, and thus have perfected the art of not letting myself do the thing to such an extent that I avoided crying at my own grandmother's funeral (though admittedly that was hard, and if I'd been made to talk I would have broken). Whether the fact that sometimes I really WANT to cry and can't actually seem to make myself do the thing in anything other than short, unsatisfying bursts is related, I don't know.
    I once went and sat by a river and cried for an hour straight in distraught wails to try and let out all the pent-up stress, but I'm not actually sure it helped very much. I don't tend to feel lighter or more centred or anything after I cry, just sort of numb and resigned, like I've done all I really can about all this stress and now have to go back to shouldering it and it sucks.
  20. applechime

    applechime "well, you know, a very — a very crunchy person."

    data update: have performed several rounds of experiments and come to the conclusion that the average person* is 100% guaranteed to cry during hamilton's "it's quiet uptown"
    this data is unbiased and i am a scientist**

    *me, highly emotional kintsugi user applechime

    **citation needed
    • Like x 4
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