Author Topic: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier  (Read 3467 times)

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TaurusGirl

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s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« on: February 15, 2013, 05:01:25 PM »
The other thread got me thinking about a situation that comes up all the time, and I don't know how to handle it.

The Hawk's mom, Hawkmomma, is a wonderful woman. I love her dearly - I actually call her "mom", which I have never EVER done with a partner's mother before. She is kind, loving, and a wonderful mother to her sons, and to me.

Hawkmomma is a crier. I do not exaggerate when I say that every single interaction I have ever had with her over the past several years has involved her crying:
She cries when she says hello and hasn't seen you for a while.
She cries when saying goodbye (even if we're getting together the next day).
She cries when telling stories about when The Hawk was little.
She cries when talking about family.
She cries when talking TO family.
She cries if we aren't together for holidays.
She cries when we ARE together for holidays.
I could go on, but I hope I'm getting the point across.
Hawkmomma knows she's a crier - we all lovingly joke about it, including her.

The real issue is me; I find it incredibly annoying (in a loving way) that she literally cries all the time. I cry when I'm sad, or happy, or angry, or sympathetically when someone I love is deeply upset. But when someone cries describing the housecoat they got for Christmas (not kidding, actual example)... I have a hard time not getting irritated. I have no idea why, but I do know that it is starting to show.

I have spoken with Hawkmomma about her crying before - she doesn't know why she does it, she just does. She says she always has, but The Hawk, his brother, and their dad say they don't remember her being like this always.

So on to the actual questions (internet cookies & milk for all reading!):
Is there an eHell-approved way to say to Hawkmomma that I think she should look into WHY she cries? Or is it none of my business? Or is there another way to face this?


Moray

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #1 on: February 15, 2013, 05:08:41 PM »
I think that as long as she's not using tears to be manipulative, it's fundamentally none of your business. I also think that, because you love her, and because you have an open line of communication, it would be okay to ask her (once! only once!) if she's ever talked to her doctor about it. Without getting into specifics, there are a lot of medical things that could be prompting this change.
Utah

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #2 on: February 15, 2013, 05:20:01 PM »
She might want to talk to a doctor; there might be some medical/emotional reason why she dries all the time.

I'm not so sure it's none of your business.  If I was around someone who cries all the time I would be concerned.  I certainly don't see it as anything to joke about.

Deetee

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2013, 05:38:45 PM »
I vote for none of your business. It doesn't sound like she is sad, just that she wears her heart on her sleeve and has overactive tear ducts. Rather than changing her, change your reaction and realise that where one person may smile fondly, she smiles and cries.

This is firmly who she is(warm, loving and emotional) and is part and parcel of all the wonderful things you like about her, so my vote is strongly on the "take her as she is".

(Personally, I would find all that emotion a bit wearing and would not want to spend extended time with them as it would simply be exhausting, but that is different from thinking it is something that should be fixed)

Lynn2000

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #4 on: February 15, 2013, 05:41:57 PM »
I think if it's a change from the past, it's worth mentioning it to her once out of concern. If she's not inclined to pursue it, though, I think I would leave it alone.

I don't know how you or others respond when she cries... Maybe trying to change your own response would help you feel less irritation about it. (I don't blame you for being irritated; as someone who only cries in front of others as an absolute last resort, I feel uncomfortable around people who do it a lot, even if they don't mean anything bad by it.)

For example, if the crying normally disrupts the conversation so people can comfort her, I would try just continuing on with the conversation as though nothing had happened.

Or if it's just you and her, and she can't continue for crying, maybe say sympathetically, "I'm just going to leave you alone for a while," and then get up and go do something else. Not in a punitive way; but why should you sit there, feeling uncomfortable, while she cries over someone's new housecoat? Go read a book in another room for a few minutes and happily resume the conversation when she calms down. If you do this every time, she may realize how often she cries, and may find that amount unusual or be motivated to investigate how to reduce it, once she sees that there are negative consequences/that she's making people uncomfortable.

Again, it could be something completely out of her control; but just because a person medically needs to break wind a lot doesn't mean you have to sit in the same small room with them after supper. You aren't rude to neutrally get up and leave for a little while, for your own mental health.
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TootsNYC

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2013, 09:07:47 PM »
The best "bedside manner" I have ever encountered while crying was my doctor who was trying to help me w/ my recalcitrant cough. I went to see him, and as we were talking about it, i started crying.

He handed me a tissue box and kept talking as though i weren't crying.

That's what I suggest you do. Just act as though she isn't crying.

MommyPenguin

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #6 on: February 15, 2013, 10:17:15 PM »
I have a real problem with crying, or, rather, I suppose it's more of getting teary.  I get teary frequently when talking/reading about things that are heroic, really sweet, etc., probably even more than things that are sad.  I don't cry at hellos, good-byes, or things like that, though.  In my case, it's an involuntary reaction to emotion, and I can't really prevent it.  I can try to control it, by looking away, preparing myself ahead of time, or doing tricks like rolling my eyes upwards (when I'm not in a conversation), but I can't prevent it entirely or always stop it once it starts.  I don't think it's anything medical, just a strong link between emotion and tears.  What I most appreciate is people who just ignore it and keep on with conversation.

I agree with the others that you might mention ONCE that she should mention it to a doctor and see if anything is going on, especially if it's a new thing, but after that just drop it and try your best to ignore the tears and act as if you don't see her crying.

Miss Tickle

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2013, 11:26:33 PM »
I have a real problem with crying, or, rather, I suppose it's more of getting teary.  I get teary frequently when talking/reading about things that are heroic, really sweet, etc., probably even more than things that are sad.  I don't cry at hellos, good-byes, or things like that, though.  In my case, it's an involuntary reaction to emotion, and I can't really prevent it.  I can try to control it, by looking away, preparing myself ahead of time, or doing tricks like rolling my eyes upwards (when I'm not in a conversation), but I can't prevent it entirely or always stop it once it starts.  I don't think it's anything medical, just a strong link between emotion and tears.  What I most appreciate is people who just ignore it and keep on with conversation.

I agree with the others that you might mention ONCE that she should mention it to a doctor and see if anything is going on, especially if it's a new thing, but after that just drop it and try your best to ignore the tears and act as if you don't see her crying.

Nice to hear someone else say that. Glad I'm not the only one.


TootsNYC

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2013, 03:45:55 PM »
also, speaking as someone who gets tearier the other people, the more *sympathy* you express--the more *you* focus on my crying and trying to comfort me--the harder it is for me to control that reaction.

So just blithely go on as if I'm not crying, and I'll find it easier to control the physiognomic process that is creating the tears.

luvmyboys

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2013, 02:38:17 PM »
I have a similar problem.  I cry more than anyone I know.  In addition to the usual triggers such as weddings, funerals and horrific news, I aslo cry to music, anything sentimental and parades (thanksgiving morning is the worst!)  It's embarrasing and inconvienient but I can't control it.   When my crying starts  I am not sad and do not need consoling, I prefer if people just act like they don't notice. My dh and kids laugh about it.  I would be very upset if I thought that my involuntary tears annoyed any of my loved ones.   I never thought there could be a medical issue, I may consult Dr. Google as soon as I am done posting here. 
Anyway, my advice would be to accept her for what she is and try to change your reaction.   

mmswm

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2013, 02:53:21 PM »
I can cry for no reason.  A Hallmark commercial, or a Tampax commercial is often enough to start the waterworks. I agree that if this is something that's started later in life, it's worth asking if she's mentioned it to her doctor, but only once.  Other than that, hand her a tissue and act like she's not crying.
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EllenS

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2013, 11:23:48 PM »
The first thing I think of, considering that she has grown kids - did this start at menopause, and is she likely to be through with it yet?  If it is the "change of life", is she more moody generally -irritable, etc? 
I know with my aunt and mom, they were more prone to depression even after menopause was over- my aunt's doctor told her it can sometimes alter your brain chemistry.

Depending on your relationship, you might or might not be able to bring this up.  Otherwise, if it doesn't bother her or anyone else, and she's not using it in any kind of manipulative way, it's not really fair for you to hold it against her.  I mean, it may annoy you but she has no obligation to shape her emotions to someone else's liking. 
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gen xer

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2013, 10:42:48 AM »

Or if it's just you and her, and she can't continue for crying, maybe say sympathetically, "I'm just going to leave you alone for a while," and then get up and go do something else. Not in a punitive way; but why should you sit there, feeling uncomfortable, while she cries over someone's new housecoat? Go read a book in another room for a few minutes and happily resume the conversation when she calms down. If you do this every time, she may realize how often she cries, and may find that amount unusual or be motivated to investigate how to reduce it, once she sees that there are negative consequences/that she's making people uncomfortable.

Again, it could be something completely out of her control; but just because a person medically needs to break wind a lot doesn't mean you have to sit in the same small room with them after supper. You aren't rude to neutrally get up and leave for a little while, for your own mental health.

I think that's a really good strategy - nobody's trying to change her but you are gently making her aware that the excessive waterworks make you uncomfortable.  You're preserving your own sanity at the same time - better than sitting there not knowing what to say or do.

I too have my triggers that make me cry....but I try really hard not to have a whole lot of raw emotion in front of others because I know how awkward it is.  I wish more people would be aware of how uncomfortable it can make people.

onyonryngs

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #13 on: February 18, 2013, 10:59:43 AM »
I would ignore the crying.  There really is no good way to say "You need professional help." and there are lots of people who are criers.  Just excuse yourself the next time.

snappylt

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Re: s/o Crocodile Tears: The Constant Crier
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2013, 03:12:14 PM »
I think that as long as she's not using tears to be manipulative, it's fundamentally none of your business. I also think that, because you love her, and because you have an open line of communication, it would be okay to ask her (once! only once!) if she's ever talked to her doctor about it. Without getting into specifics, there are a lot of medical things that could be prompting this change.

I am going to join the "see a doctor" chorus.

Just this past weekend I saw a TV ad for some prescription medication for people who've had brain damage and who laugh or cry inappropriately.  (I hate it that I can remember the ad, because I don't think it's always such a great idea to advertise prescription meds to the public.  Nonetheless, the ad worked, because now I'm aware that such a medication exists.)

So I am going to suggest that next time it happens you mention the possibility of consulting a doctor once.  Then, after that just try to ignore the behavior.