Ask the Rodfather: Real people DO cry!

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 These wise tales, have damaged generations of people, particularly men.  Crying is a very natural emotion that has nothing to do with strength or character.  For some its a pressure release, relieving the body of stress.  Many women may cry after a stressful day, while many men compartmentalize, stress.  Some believe the compartmentalization of stress its is one of the reasons women out live men.

Most women don’t have societal pressures to keep a stiff upper lip.  However, women who chose a career in a male dominated field ,often find themselves under scrutiny not just by men but other women. Crying is not acceptable.  In today’s political world, if President Obama cries, he is viewed as a confident secure man. If a Hillary Clinton cries she is viewed as someone who is weak and ill equipped for the job.


Some parents can decipher an infant’s cry.  Hunger, boredom, or just being uncomfortable from being in one position too long.  However, as a child ages its important that parents talk to children as early as possible.

Some parents out of frustration, spank or shake a crying child.

(Unfortunately, what the child learns from the parent, is violence is the appropriate response when you don’t understand or unable to communicate) 

  Using real words, kneel down so you are face to face and ask him, why is he crying? why is he upset?  Ask him as you touch his head, do your head hurt?  Does your Stomach (not tummy-using real words builds his vocabulary ) hurt?   Comfort him as you asks these questions, by rubbing his back or arms, this reassures the child that they’ve done nothing wrong.

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“This will not happen over night” Understand he doesn’t have the vocabulary skills to accurately identify what is wrong but you eventually, get there.

Fathers and Sons

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So much pressure, unresolved anger. Young boys killing children in public schools.  The number of young men carrying guns to school vs young women is 50 to 1.

One wonders how much of the violence is connected to stress?  While many women freely talk about stress and feelings with other women. Men rarely do, for many men, feelings are a sign of weakness and discussions about feelings is uncomfortable.   Men can express anger however,they often internalize sadness. Men rarely ask for help and rarely seek the help of professionals, Therapists or Psychiatrists. (Especially men of color)  The myth again is, a real man figures it out on his own.

The father figure has the greatest impact on a boy.  Don’t cry, be a man!  The first emotions many boys learn from their father figures, is anger and aggression.

The father figure shouldn’t be embarrassed when his son cries.   Even in the company of other men.  The father figure should be open to listening  to his sons and daughters  feelings. In the long term, he may discover that everyone benefits.

 Father figures should not be ashamed to cry in front of their children.  What the child learns, especially the males, is crying is normal .  When President Obama openly wept for the children and the parents of Sandy Hook Elementary School.  He changed lives of many men in America.


I found this Article on

Health Benefits Of Crying Include Reducing Stress, A New Study Suggests

Mila Supinskaya Glashchenko / Shutterstock

During the study, participants were assigned to watch either sad videos to elicit emotion or neutral videos for 17 minutes before undergoing a stress test. Those exposed to the sad videos designed to prompt tears maintained stable breathing rates during the stress test. What’s more, their heart rates actually decelerated immediately before crying and never rose above normal levels during the stressful task. On the other hand, the non-criers experienced increased respiration and heart rates while undergoing the stress test.

“These results suggest that crying may assist in generally maintaining biological homeostasis, perhaps consciously through self-soothing via purposeful breathing and unconsciously through regulation of heart rate,” the study reported. This is the physiological reason you feel better after having yourself a good old-fashioned ugly cry.

Miss. Maneerat Junlobun / Shutterstock

Dr. Judith Orloff, author of The Empath’s Survival Guide, explained on her website that there are three different kinds of tears: reflex, continuous, and emotional. Reflex tears clear irritants from your eyes. Continuous tears keep your eyes lubricated. Emotional tears help your body rid itself of stress hormones and promote healing. The health benefits of emotional tears are why Dr. Orloff is a big proponent of breaking the stigma around crying.

“The new enlightened paradigm of what constitutes a powerful man and woman is someone who has the strength and self awareness to cry,” she said. “Try to let go of outmoded, untrue, conceptions about crying. It is good to cry. It is healthy to cry. This helps to emotionally clear sadness and stress.”

Yep, crying actually calms you down. The University of Pennsylvania Penn School of Medicine noted on its website that turning on the tears helps the body rid itself of toxins and hormones that contribute to elevated stress levels. This in turn helps lower your blood pressure.

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I cry all of the damn time. However, allowing someone to see me cry fills me with shame. In my family, crying is a big no-no. Growing up, my brothers and I were taunted and called “big babies” whenever we would cry. So we all learned not to — at least not where anyone could see us.

Though it was communicated to everyone in my family that crying was looked down upon, men and boys receive this message more often than women and girls. This is can be detrimental to mental health because research suggests that suppressing emotions can lead to increased rates of depression, poor coping skills, and suicide.

I’m saying this as much for myself as I am for you. There is zero shame in crying. Crying is healthy. Crying is a natural part of being human. So if you’re feeling sad/angry/stressed, go have yourself a good cry. It’s pretty much guaranteed to make you feel better.



I discovered the healing of tears late in life. Sometimes a good cry after a stressful time is like rain on a summer’s day. It cleans and clears the mind.  With the exception of a movie theater most of my tears are private.

If you are having a sad moment, stressed or overwhelmed and your feeling the pressure, don’t have a drink or take a pill..  Let nature happen, after all crying is normal. Allow yourself to feel.


Life Questions? Ask the Rodfather is on Facebook and Has monthly Podcasts on You Tube