To your horror, you look over at her and see her eyes filling with tears…again. To be fair, men are starting to cry a bit too now, averaging up to three times a month, roughly half of the episodes that a woman will go through.
Apparently, men are not so embarrassed anymore about it either. Women despite their experience with tears seem to have more difficulty in doing it in public. Some have difficulty doing it in front of their partners, and of course, some are deeply embarrassed about crying at work.
Some women will happily admit to having a loose faucet and will cry readily even at lesser things. There are so many reasons to cry; joy, pride, pain, anger, and sadness. A book, a TV show, a film or even just watching a crying child can turn on the waterworks.
So, what is a man to do when faced with this situation?
If you feel uncomfortable around a crying woman, there are plenty of things you can do to deal with tears.
First, steel yourself and be calm, tears are just a response to an emotional state. Although the jury is out on this one, tears also could have the function of relieving stress. Tears are just tears, nothing bad is going happen, so stand your ground and do something.
Women have different reactions to men. While women like to know that you are there for them, men like to offer solutions. The best thing you can do with a crying woman is just simply offering your physical presence.
This can be as simple as a pat on the shoulder and a sympathetic expression, down to a loving embrace. In the same way that a mother will disappear a child’s tears with a kiss, your hug could be the physical comfort she needs. If you find it complicated trying to find the words to express your concern, don’t say anything, just hold her.
Just let her cry
Though you might find them frightening there is nothing wrong with tears. Tears will actually help her get whatever is troubling her out of her system.
Her tears are an emotional release, and sooner or later she is going to feel better. In the meantime, hand her a hankie or a glass of water and wait patiently until the tears dry up.
Do what she needs to feel better
You can often fix a kid’s tears with a band-aid or an ice cream, but you will have to know what gives her comfort and do it. Ice cream does work on some women, so does chocolate or a cup of tea.
Going for a drive, or taking a walk through the trees are all calming things to do. Maybe she just needs you to run her a delicious hot tub and then lend her a sympathetic ear.
Just listen, no “solutions!”
A woman needs to be listened to, especially a woman who has been driven to tears. She might just need to get something off her chest. Use your good listening skills and don’t argue or suggest. Ask her leading questions and offer her space to talk. Even a simple uh huh, and then…will be sufficient to allow her to open up.
You don’t need to judge her or tell her she is wrong to cry about it. All you need to do is create a space where she can get it off her chest.
Once she has cleared the air, then you can both move on…until the next time.