I like to warn people who don’t know me well that I can be a bit of a crier, says psychologist Jill Suttie, who also is an editor with the Greater Good. She shares some theories and research findings about the role of crying in our lives. Many people find crying to be self-soothing when they experience intense emotion. Women are generally more apt to cry than men and may get more relief from crying than men, especially if they live in a country that values emotional expression and doesn’t adhere to strict, traditional gender roles. One large-scale study done with over 7,000 people from 41 countries showed that people felt warmer, more empathetic toward, and more connected to someone who appeared to be crying than someone who wasn’t, regardless of gender, country of origin, or other factors.

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