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Crying in Public

Curbed has pulled together a guide of the best places to openly cry in New York.  They suggest gently sobbing on the Staten Island Ferry or grabbing a bench at Chelsea Piers for a quick wail.  They’re not snobs — they have at least three acceptable crying spaces in Brooklyn.  Of course, if you need more locations, you can turn to the NYC Crying Guide, a blog recording the best places to cry in the city since 2014.

It made me wonder if there are people who are okay with crying in public and people who would never cry in public.  (And then what do those people do if they feel as if they’re close to tears while they’re out and about?)

I am okay with crying in public.  I figure that if people are okay with me laughing in public or sighing in public, that they can handle me crying in public.  It’s all just physical manifestations of emotions.  As long as the physical manifestations don’t affect other people, I’m fine expressing any or seeing any expressed.  Shouting, for instance, may scare people so I would count that as affecting other people.  But laughing, sighing, crying, all fine.

I don’t look for a particular place to cry just as I don’t look for a particular place to laugh.  So if I feel like crying in the food store as I walk down the aisle, that’s where I’ll cry.  Maybe people think I’m just really sad about ketchup.  Though that doesn’t happen very often.  I mean, crying in the ketchup aisle.  But if I have to cry, I just cry.

Do you cry in public?  Or do you try to never cry in public?  And if you’re in that second group, what do you do if you feel a need to cry coming on while you’re out in public?

12 comments

1 Delenn { 07.12.17 at 7:26 am }

I agree. I cry in public. Usually, it’s those small little tears from joy or sadness…the ugly cries are usually in private.

2 Delenn { 07.12.17 at 7:26 am }

I agree. I cry in public. Usually, it’s those small little tears from joy or sadness…the ugly cries are usually in private.

3 Karen { 07.12.17 at 9:44 am }

I never, ever, ever cry in public, and rarely allow myself a cry in front of people. I don’t know when I learned that it’s not a good idea to show vulnerability with tears in front of someone, but I can’t. When I’m out in public, and I am close to tears, I swallow it and put on a good face until I’m alone; I can allow myself those feelings then. I’ve gotten very good at it over the years; especially during our years of IF, when I was close to tears a LOT.

The good news is that Jeff’s family is a group of criers, so over the years I’ve gotten more comfortable with crying. My ultimate goal is to feel free to cry whenever and wherever I want. Not there yet, but maybe someday.

4 Lori Lavender Luz { 07.12.17 at 10:00 am }

You pegged my position with this: ” I figure that if people are okay with me laughing in public or sighing in public, that they can handle me crying in public. It’s all just physical manifestations of emotions. “

5 dubliner in deutschland { 07.12.17 at 10:40 am }

I generally try to avoid crying in public. There have been times where I couldn’t help it though and then I just thought, well who cares what people think, everyone cries sometimes!

6 nicoleandmaggie { 07.12.17 at 10:43 am }

I try not to. Crying in public makes many other people uncomfortable (even if it doesn’t make every person uncomfortable). Why would I want to make other people uncomfortable if I didn’t have to? Similar to when my kids are acting up in a public space, I try to take them away from bothering other people if I can.

7 Beth { 07.12.17 at 1:44 pm }

I never cry in public. It draws attention and makes me so uncomfortable. This feeling isn’t just reserved for crying – I do not like to be the center of attention for any reason. If I feel the need to cry I will leave the area and go to a restroom, my car etc. But I agree with the comment above – infertility really built up my ability to turn off my feelings temporarily, tune out of the situation, swallow those tears and wait for a safe space (my car or my home) to cry. And I’m ok with this. I’m fine with keeping my crying private. I’m also fine with others crying. That does not make me uncomfortable.

8 a { 07.12.17 at 2:12 pm }

I don’t generally cry in public. I’m curious, though, why there’s so much of a need for a good crying spot in NYC that there’s more than one guide. I suppose it’s the “packed with people” issue.

9 torthuil { 07.12.17 at 3:33 pm }

Depends how you define cry. I can get a bit emotional, but I hardly ever cry full out, and I can’t really think when I’ve done so in public, unless you count funerals? The notion of going to a specific public place to cry is kind of weird to me. Although if I went and a bunch of people were crying I probably would too, out of sympathy….

10 Ana { 07.12.17 at 4:14 pm }

I try really really hard not to because I do NOT like that kind of attention and especially not when I am upset. When I am upset enough to be crying, I want to hide away by myself. I don’t even want my family around me, I push them away until I’ve calmed down.

11 Mali { 07.13.17 at 12:03 am }

Oh no, I never cry in public if I can absolutely help it. I don’t even cry in front of my husband. It is a problem though, because after my ectopics and infertility, the floodgates opened, and now tears come to my eyes at the drop of a hat! I manage to control them mostly now – if tears spring up, I can will them away. I’m definitely not comfortable crying in front of anyone though. Crying in the shower – that’s the best place!

12 JustHeather { 07.18.17 at 3:05 pm }

I generally try not to cry in public, but I’m not against it either. Many times it has been tears of total laughter while reading a book or listening to something funny. But I have had times of sorrow to. The one that I am reminded of immediately is being in a restaurant with a friend who I felt didn’t understand what I was going through with infertility. And on a good day, I finally felt I was able to tell her the long story with all of the thoughts and emotions that it entailed. I cried there and so did she. But I think she understood more after that.

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