The Mating Grounds

Why Do We Cry? The Surprising Truth About Tears

Why do we cry? Its a question that many of us have pondered at some point.

And while we might assume that crying serves no real purpose other than to make us look weak and vulnerable, the truth is much more complex than that. In this article, well explore the evolutionary purpose of crying, the reasons why we cry, and how we can induce tears when we need to.

Understanding Cry and Its Relevance

Evolutionary purpose of crying

Did you know that crying serves an evolutionary purpose? It might sound strange, but tears are actually a way for us to signal to others that we are vulnerable and need help.

In early human civilizations, tears likely served as a way for people to communicate their needs to their community. If someone was crying, it was a signal that they needed help with something – whether that was food, shelter, or protection from danger.

Crying as a release of anxiety or distress

But crying isnt just a way to signal our needs to others. Its also a way for us to release anxiety and distress.

When we cry, we activate the parasympathetic nervous system, which helps us to calm down and recalibrate our emotions. Its no wonder that we often feel better after a good cry – its a way for our body to release pent-up emotions and reset itself.

Social stigma around crying

Despite the evolutionary purpose and emotional benefits of crying, there is often a social stigma attached to it. Crying is often seen as a sign of weakness, particularly among men, who may feel pressure to maintain a stoic and unemotional exterior.

This social stigma is slowly beginning to change, however, as people become more open about their emotions and mental health. Its important to recognize that there is nothing weak about crying – in fact, it takes a tremendous amount of strength to allow yourself to be vulnerable and express your emotions.

How to Induce Tears

Using sad memories

Sometimes, we need to induce tears in order to release pent-up emotions or communicate our needs to others. One way to induce tears is to revisit sad memories.

Think about a somber day or a difficult time in your life. Allow yourself to fully immerse in that memory and let the emotions wash over you.

You may find that tears start to flow naturally.

Staring without blinking

Another way to induce tears is to stare without blinking. This may sound strange, but tears are created by the lubrication of our eyes.

By staring without blinking, we can dry out our eyes slightly, which prompts our body to produce tears as a way to re-lubricate the eyes.

Avoiding eye contact

If you need to fake tears, one way to do so is to avoid eye contact. Shield your face from others and pretend to wipe away tears.

By avoiding eye contact, you can create the illusion of tears without actually producing any.

Pretending to wipe away tears

You can also pretend to wipe away tears by creating the illusion of red eyes. One way to do this is to sit in a darker atmosphere and pretend to wipe away tears.

By doing so, you can create the appearance of red and puffy eyes.

Sniffling like when crying

Another way to fake tears is to sniffling like you do when crying. This may seem like a subtle detail, but it can go a long way in creating a convincing illusion.

By allowing your nose to run slightly and sniffle like youre crying, you can make it seem like youve been crying even if you havent.

Opening the throat

Believe it or not, opening your throat can actually help induce tears. This is because there is a muscle in our throat that helps to trigger tears.

By opening your throat wide and taking a deep breath, you can activate this muscle and create tears.

Using onions

If you need to induce tears quickly, one tried and true method is to use onions. Onions contain a chemical that can irritate our eyes, causing them to water and prompt the production of tears.

Practicing crying

For some people, inducing tears may be a learned skill. By practicing crying, you can learn to create tears more easily.

This may involve watching sad movies or revisiting emotional memories in order to train your body to produce tears on command.

Imitating real crying

If you need to fake tears, its important to remember that its not just about creating tears – its also about creating the illusion of real crying. This means paying attention to your facial expressions and body language.

Try to mimic the way someone who is truly crying would look and act.

Looking at a sentimental photo

Another way to induce tears is to look at a sentimental photo. This may trigger feelings of nostalgia and loss, prompting tears to flow.

Thinking of something sad or tragic

Similarly, thinking of something sad or tragic can induce tears. Whether its the loss of a loved one or a tragic accident, allowing yourself to fully immerse in these emotions can help to induce tears and release pent-up emotions.

Watching a sad movie scene

If you need to induce tears quickly, watching a sad movie scene can be a surefire way to do so. Emotional triggers in movies can be powerful, eliciting an instant emotional response in viewers.

Sitting in a dark room

If you need to release pent-up emotions and induce tears, sometimes the best thing you can do is to give yourself space to do so.

Sitting in a dark room can create a feeling of solitude and emotional release, allowing you to fully engage with your emotions and release any pent-up feelings.

Getting out of comfort zone

Finally, getting out of your comfort zone can also be a way to induce tears. Whether its putting yourself in an awkward social situation or trying something new, pushing yourself outside of your usual routine can create vulnerability and emotional stimulation.


Ultimately, crying is an incredibly complex and multifaceted emotion. It serves an evolutionary purpose, provides emotional release, and is often subject to social stigma.

Whether you need to produce tears for a performance or simply want to release pent-up emotions, there are many ways to induce tears – from revisiting sad memories to using tear-inducing onions. Whats important to remember is that there is no shame in crying – its a natural and healthy way for us to express our emotions and connect with others.

In conclusion, understanding the purpose and effects of crying can help us to better connect with our emotions and others. Crying serves an evolutionary purpose by signaling our vulnerability and need for help, while also providing emotional release and recalibration.

Though there is often social stigma surrounding crying, it is a natural and healthy way for us to show our emotions. Whether inducing tears for a performance or for personal release, there are many ways to do so.

So next time you feel the urge to cry, remember that it’s okay to let your emotions flow – it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.

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