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Saying Sorry When We Cry

Updated: Oct 25, 2022

“I’m so sorry, I don’t know why I’m crying.”
“I’m sorry, this is just bringing up a lot for me.”
“I never do this, I’m sorry I’m crying.”
“Forgive me…I’m sorry.”

These quotes break my heart. They come from friends, loved ones, clients, and more. I’m fairly sure I’ve said something similar myself when I’ve found myself crying in front of others. Even as a therapist at Remain Connected Counseling, it is hard to cry in front of other people!

Why Do We Apologize For Our Tears?

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I’ve recently been struck with the question of why we feel the need to apologize for our tears. Whether they are tears of joy or sadness, tremendous grief, feeling overwhelmed, or from laughing with friends – tears can feel…what? Wrong? Weak? Unsafe? Uncomfortable – for ourselves or others?

In the Fall of 2021, I was reading a book about the pandemic in 2020 to a group of children. I found myself fighting tears. I had a choice – should I let myself cry in front of these precious and sensitive children, or find a way to hold the tears in? I let myself cry and had to pause several times to be able to go on with the story. The children were amazed, with surprised voices observing that I was crying and asking me if I was OK. Those sweet children instinctively knew that they wanted to comfort me, and because I was not ashamed of my tears, they were able to see that it was OK to cry about things that make us sad. It was uncomfortable, but still a profound moment for me (and maybe for them?).

Shying Away From The Uncomfortable

Our culture often shies away from feeling uncomfortable. We hear: Do what feels right! Go with your gut! Follow your passion! We must prevent suffering! Trigger warning! These are not terrible ideas, of course. Suffering is not something we would wish on anyone, but it can’t always be prevented. People have to find their way to healing from what they’ve lived through. This can be messy, and often includes tears.

What is it about crying in front of others that makes us feel uncomfortable? So uncomfortable, that we often feel the need to apologize for it? I suppose it can depend on our own experiences with tears.

A Counselor's Experience With Crying

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I know in my own life there have been times when I hated that I was crying. When it felt weak and like I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring out. Through the years, I’ve realized how cathartic crying can be. In fact, in college, my friends and I would joke about needing to watch a movie that made us cry so we could get it out! I have learned what an incredible gift it is to be able to cry with someone else, to comfort or to be comforted.

Perhaps we also fear that we might be burdening others with our troubles. As if, by sharing them with another person, we might be weighing them down. In fact, I believe the opposite is true. By sharing with others, we lighten our burden, not because we’ve put it onto another person, but because our burden is lightened through the sharing.

Sharing can feel hard or awkward or scary, and there are many reasons why we might not want to share. We might not feel sure we can trust someone, or we are concerned about how someone might feel. We could fear what they might think, or we might feel shame about what we’ve done or had done to us.

Find A Friend Or Counselor You Feel Safe With

I hope that I am someone that anyone could feel safe sharing what is weighing on them. And, that if they need to cry, they will feel safe to cry with me. Whether that’s a friend or one of my counseling clients, I hope that I am safe. And, I hope, after reading this you will seek to find people who feel safe for you. People who you can talk about the uncomfortable stuff with, and who will not shy away from going there with you. Whether that be in counseling, with family, or with a dear friend. For, in bringing things into the light, we find a way to feel comfort and freedom again. And, maybe, we will feel like it’s OK to cry if we need to.

“I will turn the darkness before them into light, the rough places into level ground. These are the things I do, and I do not forsake them.” Isaiah 42:16

“Love never gives up.” 1 Corinthians 13

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Talk About The Uncomfortable Stuff In Therapy With A Counselor in Smyrna, GA

Finding a space where you can feel comfortable enough to cry and fully express your emotions doesn't have to be difficult. At our therapy practice in Smyrna, GA you can start to feel the comfort and freedom of talking about the uncomfortable stuff. If you are ready to meet with a counselor you can feel comfortable with follow these simple steps:

  1. Reach out to Remain Connected

  2. Schedule your first therapy appointment

  3. Embrace your emotions and talk about the uncomfortable

Types of Counseling Services We Offer in Smyrna, GA

In an effort to provide you with counseling services that meet your needs, our caring counselors offer a variety of therapeutic services for teens and adults. Such as therapy for anxiety, depression, stress, and burnout. As well as life transitions therapy and trauma therapy. Our marriage counselors provide support for your relationship through Christian marriage counseling. We also offer pastoral care and Christian counseling. With online therapy, these services are available to anyone in the Atlanta area or throughout Georgia.

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