In episode 325, I received a question from a listener looking for advice on how to overcome crying when an argument occurs in their relationship. In this post, I dive into more detail and offer my thoughts on why it’s okay to cry.
How can I overcome crying when I get upset or in an argument in my relationship? It seems like when there’s an argument in my relationship I cry.
Thank you for the question. I think this is something that a lot of people have thought about. Just for context, I’m a bit of a crier myself. Always have been. I’ve cried in arguments, I’ve cried in fights, I’ve cried in f**king muay thai class. I’m not constantly walking around in tears, but for one reason or another, they come easily.
Here’s the thing. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I don’t think you actually need to stop crying during arguments. You aren’t doing anything wrong by crying. Sometimes crying isn’t even directly related to how intense or upsetting something is. It’s just a reaction that you have. Rather than trying to force yourself to stop crying, you might instead focus on not being derailed by your crying. For example, if you find that your partner or anyone you are arguing with is sidetracked or critical of the fact that you are crying, you could simply say that you cry a lot and that you still want them to understand your point. The point isn’t that you are upset, the point is whatever you are trying to communicate about. Sometimes when you dread the prospect of crying and you are so worried about it happening, you can actually kickstart the crying. There’s nothing wrong with crying. You know it happens to you frequently, so try not to be surprised by it and instead treat it like an involuntary response. In your mind, you might even think of it as just a funny or annoying quirk. Like getting a sneezing fit.
There are truly bigger deals than whether or not you are crying. Your hopes and wishes in the conversation or argument are important so don’t forget that. I do understand that it’s not always useful to be a blubbering mess. If you are gasping and sobbing and heaving, it can be hard to engage in conversation. So, if you need a moment to let it pass, that’s totally okay. Just like anxiety or panic. Sometimes, taking a step away and letting it take it’s course is the best option before returning to the discussion at hand.
It is also possible that you are crying so frequently because you are so focused on holding it back and even holding your feelings back in general in other circumstances. Perhaps being more authentic about your feelings and processing them on your own, with a trusted loved one, or a therapist would help it feel less like there is an ocean behind your tear ducts just ready to escape at any moment. The tears may also be an indicator. You don’t need a “good” reason to cry, but if you were to pay attention to them, the tears may be telling you something. If you find yourself crying your heart out every time you talk about relationship issues with your partner, it could be that the surface-level conflict actually represents a much deeper issue to you. Maybe you feel like you are not being heard or you are worried about admitting some difficult truths to yourself. On your own time, ask yourself what those tears are trying to tell you if anything. Just be assured that crying does not invalidate your point. It doesn’t imply that you are being unreasonable or anything. It just means that you are feeling emotion in that moment.
Take a break if you need to. Say that you can’t talk at the moment and plan to come back to the topic at another time. Make whatever choice is best for you given the content of what you are talking about. The crying part is really secondary.
You can listen to this on Episode 325 of the podcast!
Thank you for the great question!
If you know someone else who might benefit from this, please do share it with them. Send them a link or shoot over a screenshot, and share it on social media to show your support – you never know who needs to hear this type of information.
Got a topic or a guest you’d like to appear on the show? Or interested in having Duff answer a question on the podcast? Please get in touch! Email Duff and maybe you’ll hear it on a future episode!
Want to help out the show and Duff the Psych?
- Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.
- Leave a podcast review on iTunes. These reviews really help Duff reach potential listeners, and he appreciates every one!
- Share the show on Facebook or Twitter.
- You can also buy Duff a cup of coffee, which helps fuel the energy that goes straight back into creating more content for YOU!