By Anna Tabet |

I cry…a lot.

I cry over sad movies, happy memories, those randomly heartfelt and deep Asian insurance commercials—the list just keeps going on and on and on. I’ve always been the type of person who cries easily. Because of this, I’ve had countless people attempt to diagnose the cause of my crying. So, I thought I’d make a list of assumptions I’ve received in order to help others not jump to conclusions when they see someone in tears:

I don’t cry easily because I’m sad all the time

I completely understand that crying is often tied to a moment of sadness. But my ability to cry easily doesn’t come from deeply repressed feelings of sadness. I’ve always been a very emotional person that easily identifies with the experiences people around me are going through. So, when I see a movie where a character is crying or when one of my friends starts crying about something that’s upsetting them, roughly 95 percent of the time I will too. It’s just the way I am. So there’s no need to shame me for crying at the movie “Trolls” because it’s out of my control, okay?!

I don’t cry easily because I want attention

This. One. Frustrates. Me. So. Much. I recognize the fact that seeing someone randomly burst into tears will garner attention whether intending to or not. But believe it or not, I’m very personal about issues that occur in my life. I know that everyone has their own problems, so unless whatever is currently afflicting me is increasingly imperative, I tend to deal with my issues on my own. Because of this, insinuating that I display my personal pain in hopes of gaining something in return is incredibly irritating. And that leads to my next point.

I don’t cry easily because I want pity

I know this one might be a bit out of people’s control because you can’t truly help who you feel bad for. There are definitely moments where I’ve felt bad for someone who probably didn’t want me to view them that way. However, when I cry because of something bothering me, one of the last things I want is for someone to pity me. Instead, allow me to feel the way I do without shame and then support me through the pain I’m feeling. I appreciate the care people show when they see me upset, but pitying me won’t help my self image in that moment and it definitely won’t help me through whatever is currently causing me emotional distress.

I don’t cry easily because I’m a girl

Surprisingly, having basic human emotions and capabilities isn’t tied to my gender. I’m not crying because I’m a girl and we just do that randomly sometimes. I’m not crying because my gender makes me more sensitive to anything specific. And I’m definitely not crying because it’s “that time of the month”. So please stop asking me before I angry-cry at you.

I don’t cry easily because I’m weak

I may not be much of a math person, but I realize that the act of crying equating to the personal strength an individual has simply doesn’t make sense. In fact, I would argue that people who are able to recognize and validate the pain they’re feeling by releasing a tear or two without hesitation or shame are stronger than most. Crying is a vulnerable act— it’s scary to show people so visually what you’re feeling. So for those of you who are able to take pride in the act of crying without embarrassment, I applaud you. Because that show of supposed weakness is in fact a sign of how physically and mentally in touch you are with your own emotions.

If that isn’t strength, I don’t know what is.