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It's Hard for Men to Cry

Updated on March 20, 2019
Pamela99 profile image

I spent 22 years in the nursing profession. I enjoy writing, reading historical novels, gardening, and helping people live a healthier life.

Men - Reveal Your Emotions

Many men are closet sobbers, as they have been taught that it is not okay for men to cry. However, men's health is improved when they feel comfortable enough to reveal their emotions with tears. A study published in the journal of Psychology of Men & Masculinity found that football players who cried over losses or wins had higher self-esteem.

Often, it is hard for men to cry as they were taught as boys that it is not manly to cry, so they suppress their emotions, which can lead to suppressing even their happy emotions, such as love. The fact is guys cry; however, they are more comfortable showing emotions of anger or sexual arousal.

It is helpful for crying to be accepted by women, whether they are the wife, sister, mother or girlfriend. Their support and compassion for a man to begin to express those emotions they’ve held inside for a very long time is good for the man, but also their relationships.

Crying Boy


History of Men Crying

Yet, history shows us men have always cried across time and various cultures. We see many references to men crying in ancient Roman and Greek culture.

Homer’s, The Iliad , Odysseus heroic qualities include many episodes of weeping for his home, fallen comrades and loved ones. In the Old Testament there are many references to men weeping. The Gospel’s did not see tears as a threat either. Jesus wept.Early churches considered tears a gift and a natural occurrence to spiritual experiences.

Medieval European and Japanese epics are chocked full of men that cried. During the Romantic Era, a celebratory attitude toward men crying prevailed. By the time we reached the 20th century the tearless man was the ideal.

Real Men Don't Cry T-shirt


Changing Views of People on Crying

Today it has become more acceptable for men to cry publicly. A Penn State study using a sample of 284 people suggests that it is becoming more acceptable for men to cry and less acceptable for women. The men were viewed as expressing honest emotion, while the woman were considered out of control."

When Hillary Clinton cried in New Hampshire during her 2008 campaign some had compassion, but others saw it as a sign of weakness, thus making her ill suited for leadership.

On the other hand, Mitt Romney has choked up several times on news programs, and it seems no one pays attention.

In one of the final episode of "The Bachelor" the star dumped Jason Mesnick, who became a target of insult from many viewers as he cried a dozen times in that show.

President George W. Bush teared up several times when talking about causalities of war. The president also got teary eyed when talking about his grandmother.

Chuck Schumer is known for becoming very emotional over issues he feels are important and he cries.

Many people do see a man’s tears as proof that he is a sensitive and humble man.

Is it OK for Men to Cry in Public?

Movies that Make Men Cry

Unfortunately, there are still many people who feel a man should remain stoic and never show those tears. I think I only saw my father cry once.

There is a difference between a man blubbering over every minor incidence as compared to a man who cries over the loss of a loved one, the birth of their child, the death of beloved pet, a very spiritual experience, at the marriage altar and you see many Vietnam Vets cry when visiting the Vietnam Wall. There are countless other examples as well.

There are also some great movies that have made men cry, such as:

  • Brian’s Song
  • Gladiator
  • Shawshank Redemption
  • Field of Dreams
  • Old Yeller
  • Life is Beautiful
  • Schindler’s List
  • Rudy
  • Saving Private Ryan
  • Philadelphia
  • One Flew Over the Cuckcoo's Nest
  • It's a Wonderful Life

Sports Team with Some Tears


"A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval."

--Mark Twain

Times a Man Might Hold His Tears

There is some times where a man should try to hold back the tears, like when their favorite sports team losses. It isn’t like they know these people personally.

It is best to try not to cry when a loved who is close to you needs you to be a source of strength. Hold those tears in check when you don’t get your way.

Disappointment is normal, but self-pity isn’t healthy. Don’t cry over being frustrated when you don’t know what to do, but man up before deciding your next move.

Diana Krall - "Cry Me a River"


Remember that no matter how you were raised, tears are a normal emotion for many situations for men or women. It is not natural for someone to have to stuff their emotions, and it isn't healthy for that individual either. They have nothing to be ashamed up.

It is much more acceptable in today's society for a man to cry, and there is no reason to be ashamed.

View on Men Crying

Do you think it is okay for men to cry in public?

See results

The copyright, renewed in 2018, for this article is owned by Pamela Oglesby. Permission to republish this article in print or online must be granted by the author in writing.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2011 Pamela Oglesby


Submit a Comment
  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    6 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Paula, I feel the same way you do. I raised 3 sons, and it is so hard for most men to cry. It really upsets me, even though they may carryover something serious like a death. Thanks for your comments, and yes happy thoughts sound good.

  • fpherj48 profile image


    6 years ago from Carson City

    Pam....Better late than never...I just happened upon this hub and I LOVE it. between you and me and your HUNDREDS of readers......When a man cries, it tears me apart so totally, I literally break down in sobs and fall apart....whether I know why he's crying or not.

    Perhaps because I raised 4 sons....I'm partial to their feelings and emotional side.....and how difficult it is for them to let their guard down and cry....?? I don't know. I just know that the sight of man crying destroys me...........Here's to Happy thoughts! Paula

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Tonipet, I think men should not feel bad about crying either when the situation warrants it. I appreciate your comments.

  • Tonipet profile image

    Tonette Fornillos 

    9 years ago from The City of Generals

    Wonderful hub Pamela. I definitely believe that real men do cry. It only shows how they appreciate being a true human being, though, it's not really appropriate to cry for a sports game. Men should read this! Up and interesting.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    praireprincess, I feel the same way and I appreciate your comments.

  • prairieprincess profile image

    Sharilee Swaity 

    9 years ago from Canada

    Wow, what an interesting article. I liked how you said that it's not appropriate to cry for a sports game. Ha ha, that's funny! I think it's okay for a man to cry, up to a point because if he cried all the time, I might feel like I had to be the "man" of the relationship. Loved this, and am sharing it.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Mar, I agree there are reasons to laugh and cry and hopefully we will do more laughing. Thanks so much for your comments.

  • marcoujor profile image

    Maria Jordan 

    9 years ago from Jeffersonville PA

    Dear Pamela,

    I think no matter who you are it's OK to cry. It is healthy and there are reasons to laugh and to cry. Stereotypes of any kind are sad to me as well.

    It's cool to figure out situations, nuances, things like that... (a private cry about that losing sports team, LOL) but I agree, it's not good to hold feelings in.

    Great subject- voted UP & UABI, mar.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    PADDYBOY, I'm glad to hear you are sensitive man and I certainly appreciate your comments.

  • PADDYBOY60 profile image


    9 years ago from Centreville Michigan

    I cry whenever my bills come in the mail. Just kidding. I was taught that men don't cry. Fortunately I didn't listen. I get all teary at some movie endings. Great hub. Love the song.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    carriethomson, I agree with you. Thank you for your comments.

  • carriethomson profile image


    9 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi pamela!! it’s such an unusual topic and an enjoyable read!! But it is changing these days!! I think more and more men are comfortable crying :))


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    stephaniedas, I agree with you about men being stereotyped and it is a shame. Expressing emotions should be acceptable. That is interesting that you take after your grandfather. He must have been a sensitive man. Thanks for sharing your comments.

  • stephaniedas profile image

    Stephanie Das 

    9 years ago from Miami, US

    I think that gender stereotypes are often spoken of in regard to women, but we need to examine our ideas about men too. I know that man in other cultures are allowed to cry freely, but in our culture it is seen as a sign of weakness. Because I have seldom seen men cry, it makes me very sad and uncomfortable, but I believe that it is important for them to learn to embrace their emotions instead of hiding them as they are often taught to do.

    I am a natural born crier. Anything can make me cry- a puppy, a baby, a sad story, a life insurance commercial...and everyone tells me I inherited that trait from my grandfather!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Mekenzie, Thank you for sharing that story. We had to put our cat asleep that we were very attached to and my husband cried just like I did. I'm glad we are getting away from teaching boys that it is not okay to cry. I appreciate your comments.

  • Mekenzie profile image

    Susan Ream 

    9 years ago from Michigan

    Pamela, this was a great topic as I know many men who have trouble with crying though it's as natural as any other emotion.

    Yesterday I went to the vets with some friends of mine. They had to put their 11 year old doggy to sleep. As they were trying to decide what was best for their very sick doggy, Kyle kept saying, I don't want to come unglued. We encouraged him to release it and he finally couldn't help himself. He got hugs and encouragement .. Jesus did weep and we reminded him of that. It is a show of compassion or grief and sometimes as Skye says, Joy. I don't know how the thought of crying not being manly ever got started. But .. that's our society for ya. LOL

    Bless You friend,


  • skye2day profile image


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    back at ya girl. ( - ;

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    skye2day, You made many good points and I appreciate all of your comments. God Bless & Hugs to you.

  • skye2day profile image


    9 years ago from Rocky Mountains

    Pamela 99 Blessings sister This is a fine hub girlfriend. You openend a variety of opinions that is for sure. Men crying is awesome because they show they are human and have heart and soul. No one is perfect but one and life does happen which includes pain emotional and physical and spiritual. As you mentioned Jesus wept we are made in His image. We all cry sometimes it is tears of joy. I do that allot. Tears of joy. I am very grateful for my Blessings. I should cry all the day long beause I am so Blessed and sometimes take my Blessings all to lightly. Love n Hugs sister. Voted up awesome. linked out.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    stephensaldana, Thank you for your comments and I agree that of course men have emotions.

  • stephensaldana profile image


    9 years ago from Chicago

    I don't consider myself a closet sobber but I do think there is a time and a place. Men handle their emotions differently for sure but that doesn't mean we don't have them. Thanks for your wisdom.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Eileen, I think that is much healthier also. Thanks for the comments.

  • Eileen Hughes profile image

    Eileen Hughes 

    9 years ago from Northam Western Australia

    Great hub and an even better topic, I think everyone is better to cry to release their feelings.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Minnetonka Twin, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and I agree with you. Thank you so much for your comments.

  • Minnetonka Twin profile image

    Linda Rogers 

    9 years ago from Minnesota

    Pamela-I really enjoyed this informative hub on crying. I have always felt that men that cry are healthier not only physically but emotionally too. I think a man that can cry is a REAL man. Great hub. Hit lots of buttons here :-)

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Eiddwen, I'm glad you found the hub interesting and I appreciate your comments.

  • Eiddwen profile image


    9 years ago from Wales

    A great hub Pamela with so much food for thought and also great wisdom.

    Thanks for sharing this one with us and a vote up here without a doubt.

    Take care and have a great day.


  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Phoebe Pike, I think men of the older generation were taught not to cry when they were children as my father was the same way. It is a shame and I'm glad it is acceptable for men to show emotions today. Thanks for your comment.

  • profile image

    Phoebe Pike 

    9 years ago

    I don't ever remember my father crying. Not even when his brother died. He was very quiet for a long time when he got the news and then he went to his office and read his books as if nothing had happened. I don't know what he did when he went to bed that night.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    thelyricwriter, I would imagine that your personal painful experiences have made you a better writer. You're right that we are all the same, all have good and tough times. Thank you for your comments. God Bless you also.

    saddlerider, I agree. Stuffing painful emotions is not healthy. I think crying is the emotional release that lets us experience the pain and then move on. I appreciate your comments.

  • saddlerider1 profile image


    9 years ago

    I learned to cry early in my childhood, it has never left me. I am a man's man yet, I can cry and have had my share of spilled tears in the last 40 years. I have no regrets for being able to cry, every man should. A man who does not cry or fights it or holds it back in my opinion is doing a disservice to his well being and his emotional state. Great Hub rated up...pressed all your buttons. Bravo.

  • thelyricwriter profile image

    Richard Ricky Hale 

    9 years ago from West Virginia

    I will admit I have did my share of crying through hard times and loss. In doing so, I believe it has helped me with my poetry and music lyrics. I like to think God tended me to improve on the gift he gave me. Men or women, don't keep those emotions deep inside. We are all human and EQUAL. We are no better then our neighbor. In the end, only God is allowed to judge. Peggy, my dear, you always have my vote. You create very good hubs with lots and lots of pictures! :) Voted up and God Bless.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Om Paramapooyna, I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and appreciate your comments.

  • Om Paramapoonya profile image

    Om Paramapoonya 

    9 years ago

    The movie, The Hours, made my bf cry and made me feel kind of bad for not crying! LOL...Great hub, by the way. Very interesting topic.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Hello, I don't know how it got started but I'm glad its changing. Thanks for your comment.

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 

    9 years ago from London, UK

    I always thought it was the most stupid thing to say "Men shouldn't cry". Whoever brought this stupid idea up?

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    acetnna, I appreciate you sharing your opinion and I'm glad you enjoyed the hub.

  • acaetnna profile image


    9 years ago from Guildford

    I love it when a man is so touched and is able to express his true heart by crying. I believe a real loving man truly feels and has the strength to shed a few tears, especially in public. Great hub.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Movie Master, I agree with your views and appreciate your comments.

  • Movie Master profile image

    Movie Master 

    9 years ago from United Kingdom

    Hi Pamela, everyone feels better for a good cry, it's a great release of emotion - but best done in private.

    I believe a man who isn't afraid to cry shows strength not weakness.

    Very interesting hub, thank you and voting up.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    anglnwu, I fully agree with your statements and thank you so much for your comments.

    SusieQ42, I think a man that can express all his emotions is a bit more sensitive. Thanks for your comments.

    always exploring, I think you are right. Crying can be healthy and a great stress reliever. Thank you for the nice complement.

  • always exploring profile image

    Ruby Jean Richert 

    9 years ago from Southern Illinois

    I think it's great when a man cries. It shows that he is sensitive and has a good heart. I know when i cry i feel better and i'm sure they do too. I love a good movie that's a tear-jerker. Thank you for good info. You always write informative hubs.. Cheers

  • profile image


    9 years ago

    Great idea for a hub, Pamela. I'm more fond of a man who isn't afraid to show his emotions. Thanks for a pleasant read.

  • anglnwu profile image


    9 years ago

    Real men cry--I think it's becoming more acceptable for men to let out a little...or much. Personally, I don't really like to cry in front of people--I'm more of a closet crier. But whether we cry publicly or in the closet, a good cry makes the heart lighter.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    Dallas, Thank you for sharing your way of dealing with emotions. I actually don't like crying in public either, although if it is a truly emotional situation like a funeral, I can't control my emotions as well.

    JY, I think most men are like you and many of the women. When I read that short little article in the paper about football players, crying and enhanced self esteem I just had to do some research. Thank for your comment.

    Dobson, I think most people cried at Old Yeller. We are all so self conscious at school but as an adult we usually tend to worry about what others think a little less. I am so sorry you have had the loss of so many dear to you and tears are a healing emotional release, part of the grief process. I don't cry often as compared to some women I know, but I like to keep it private also. I appreciate the sharing of your situation.

  • Dobson profile image


    9 years ago from Virginia

    i admit i cried at Old Yeller in elementary school. I was embarrassed because i was impressionable and did not want my friends to see me cry, boys or girls.

    Unfortunately i have had to bear the deaths of my father, mother and brother in the span of thirteen years and the tears have flowed more freely. I only cry in private however just because of the way i perceive the emotion I suspect.

    Nice article and right on the money for me.

  • JY3502 profile image

    John Young 

    9 years ago from Florence, South Carolina

    I will in private, but would feel uncomfortable in public. Unusual hub, but very good Pam!

  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 

    9 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    OK, I admit, I am a "closet sobber!" I "ain't changin!" Each of us create avenues to express emotions... Some of us are better at this than others. There is no clearly defined need to be anything other than be to authentic. There is room for all of us!

    I have noted as I "mature," I do express my emotions more. I do not feel comfortable crying in public. Each of us have options...

    Thanks for sharing.

    Flag up and awesome!

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    drbj, I agree. I am glad it is becoming more acceptable for men to cry. I never saw my father cry and my mother only saw him cry once when she was near death. Crying is a healthy release of stress in some situation. Thanks for your comments.

  • drbj profile image

    drbj and sherry 

    9 years ago from south Florida

    It's not surprising, Pamela, that men find it difficult to cry. Just think of all the adages they hear growing up: 'boys don't cry; be a man; man up; a real man doesn't cry,' etc.

    Thanks for emphasizing that by repressing your healthy emotions, you may be harming your health.

  • Pamela99 profile imageAUTHOR

    Pamela Oglesby 

    9 years ago from Sunny Florida

    mary615, You're right. Thanks for the comment.

    SunRob, I think that makes you a sensitive, special man. I think stories, like movies, often touch our hearts. Thank you for the comments.

  • SubRon7 profile image

    James W. Nelson 

    9 years ago from eastern North Dakota

    Very nice hub, Pamela, and now I will share with you that recently I have cried, maybe not a river but it felt close. I don't know if you follow Sunnie Day, seems like you do, but she has written a story in several parts "When Deliliah Smiles." During every reading I have teared up, but of course nobody is around so it's pretty easy. Pretty sure I wouldn't allow the story to affect me if someone was around. Sad, I know.

  • mary615 profile image

    Mary Hyatt 

    9 years ago from Florida

    Good, except for misspelled word in the beginning when you refer to sobers. I think you meant sobbers. Good Hub, though!


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