Men and Emotions: Big Boys Don’t Cry…Or Do They?

On paper, the summer movie Learn More Here is the story of a prepubescent girl from the perspective of the emotions inside her mind as personified by Joy, Anger, Fear, Sadness and Disgust.

And on paper, the movie, by Pixar, is a kids’ flick.

In reality, it is a good excuse for adults to sit in a darkened theater and have a good cry.

I warn you that if you go to see this movie, bring a box of tissues.

Or, if you are prone to snotfests like me, bring a roll of paper towels! It’s a gusher!

Seeing the movie was a reminder of how much more prone — and open to — I am to having a good cry.

It was not always this way.

In my 20s and 30s, I would have turned my emotions inward, even if something was upsetting me or making me sad.

But as I entered my 40s and endured a divorce, the death of a loved one and other life events, I found myself more accepting of crying as a natural part of living and not a sign of weakness.

It’s clear that if you try to deny these emotions, they will come out in other ways anyway.

It’s like squeezing a balloon: The air bubble will shift but does not disappear.

In this podcast of About Men Radio, Pedro and I discuss the culture we grew up in (“Big Boys Don’t Cry”), what kinds of TV shows or movies tug at our heartstrings (one of Pedro’s triggers was a complete surprise) and how, even with our openness and acceptance of crying we still use terms like “wuss” and “man up” to deflect attention from what is a common human experience.

Case in point: We agreed that we have never discussed this topic before in 40 years of friendship and that even if we were sitting together in a movie and crying, we would never speak of it!

We also discuss what science and research has discovered about the differences between how men and women process their emotions.

So, get out your hankies, put in your earbuds and give a listen!