In this blog we will answer the question Why do I cry when I get angry? And discuss how to control anger.
Have you ever felt so mad that you start to cry? The anger builds up and your eyes start to betray you no matter how hard you try to stop yourself. Crying is often seen as a source of weakness. It’s hard to be in control when you’re crying. Our involuntary responses to emotions tell us a lot about how the human mind works. Crying when mad seems a bit intuitive, but it makes sense. People they think they are cynical, that is why they react this way. However, some of the reasons behind angry crying are:
- Hurt often hides behind anger
When we are angry, it comes from feeling hurt. Anger that leads to tears has been building up for some time. Crying is often a result of the frustration that needs to be released. We cry over betrayal, or not being understood by a family member or friend.
When the people you love don’t understand you, it leads to anger and resentment. Tears develop when there is hurt behind your anger. Crying is the way your body releases both anger and sadness. But that doesn’t mean it is a sign of weakness.
Tears show that you care and can feel. An emotional response in a bad situation or to wrongdoing is normal and very human. For example, a boy named Jim was a sensitive child who was mistreated by his family. When his father once poured water on his head in a public place, he was hurt. That resulted in him being so angry that he went back to the car and cried there. The lack of empathy and love from his parents made him angry, which used to result in him crying.
- You’re in a situation that seems unfair
When kids cry out of anger, it usually comes from the situation seeming unfair. When they are asked to do chores or told no, kids usually scream out “it’s unfair!” Adults do this too. When we are betrayed or wronged, we feel angry and upset.
But there is hurt behind this anger. We have a good sense of right and wrong. When our friends, family, or coworkers don’t meet our expectations, we are left to pick up the pieces. Tears are a natural reaction to these mixtures of emotions. It’s hard to bottle up strong feelings. You feel so much at once that you can’t help letting it out.
- Crying isn’t specifically related to sadness
Our brains cannot differentiate well between emotions. Dr. Robert R Provine at the University of Maryland says that our tear ducts are not that smart. Although we start crying from birth, our tears aren’t produced until we are three months old. We cry when we feel something strongly because our tear ducts can’t differentiate between the feelings of hurt, sadness, anger, or even happiness.
If we feel something huge and overwhelming, it shows that we are very much alive. When we cry in anger, it’s just our body doing what it thinks it needs to do to help us feel better. Tear production is a natural response to feeling anger. That doesn’t mean we are more sad than angry. It just shows that we feel deeply.
- Crying is Cathartic
Dr. Suzanne Degges-White, the department chair of counseling and higher education at Northern Illinois University, suggests that crying is a way to release emotions. It’s a coping mechanism to deal with our intense emotions like frustration, anger, or sadness.
She even says that crying is a form of self-soothing. We take deep breaths, it decreases our heart rate allowing us to calm down from our disturbed state. It is a natural way for our bodies to regulate emotions.
- Crying is involuntary
If we’re at work, or in a fight with a loved one; we cry because we don’t know what else to do. If we could stop crying and get a grip on the situation, we would’ve but our body knows us well. They know what we need, even if we think that we don’t. We feel much better after crying.
All the emotions stored in our heart, come out through tears. Even though crying doesn’t solve the problem, it makes us level-headed and strong. It shows that we are hurting and also a sign of help that we aren’t willing to ask.
- A healthy release
In our society, crying is seen as a sign of weakness or immaturity. We often feel the need to apologize while crying because we think our emotional moment is an inconvenience. But the truth is, we have a genuine reason to cry. We sometimes need a safe place to let our feelings out. Therapy is one of them. Talking to a friend, a professional, or someone we’re close to can help us get a hold of our emotions and give us the support we need.
How to stop angry crying?
Certain ways can stop you from crying while you’re angry. These can’t guarantee to stop your tears but with some practice, you’ll be able to calm yourself.
Taking long deep breaths helps to keep the tears at bay, as it distracts the brain. It’s certainly not practical in some situations where you don’t want the other person to know that you’re on the verge of tears. You should take one long deep breath, holding it for a few seconds, and then exhaling. This will help to relax your body, slow your heart that’s probably beating fast, and counter the signals that are being sent to your brain.
- Stop focusing on the negative thoughts
This one takes plenty of practice to achieve but is a great way to stop angry tears. You need to mentally check the situation, and turn your thoughts towards something positive and unrelated to it.
You think about anything that makes you happy or calms you down. For example, how happy you’d be to see your kids, pets, friends, or partner at the end of the day. You can also think about sunshine, flowers, etc. If you perfect this technique, you can stop yourself from crying.
- Look up and blink
This can work if you find yourself welling up. It will be obvious to others that you’re trying to stop your tears by looking up and blinking rapidly, but it stops from breaking down. You can combine the two tips above while doing this. It also drowns the tears that have already welled up, but overall stop the tears from running down your cheeks.
- Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth
This might sound strange but is effective and less obvious. Push your tongue to the roof of your mouth when you feel like you’re about to cry. The increasing tension can stop you from crying.
You can also try to relax your facial muscles, particularly the ones around your eyes and eyebrows, that tense up when you’re sad or angry. This is a matter of trial and error and figuring out what works the best.
- Take five minutes
This may not be possible, depending on the situation you are in. It’s better to leave the room if you feel like you’re about to cry. If you’re directing a meeting, it’s better to have a 10 to 15 minutes tea or bathroom break. Try not to cry if you have to face the situation again. But it’s also better to let it out. Like I cry for at least half an hour to lighten up myself. You can take a walk, drink water, and breathe.
You can always talk about it to someone who can help you and understands you. Focus your thoughts on something else. After you’re calm, reflect on the bad situation. If you can think about it without crying, then you’re ready to face the situation again.
- Look after yourself
This won’t stop you crying at that moment but it’s something you should do often. Your habit to cry easily might be because of the other stresses in your life. Sleeping well, eating enough, drinking water, and exercising are some things you can do to be better. If you can do this, then you’re less likely to be angry in situations that result in angry tears.
It’s not something that can be effective in this situation but it can help to make you better. Therapy is where you can talk to a professional without letting others know your feelings. It helps you reflect on the situation and makes you learn how to control your actions.
Meditation and journaling are two types of therapies one can do him/herself. 20 minutes of daily meditation can make you more calm and collected. It also helps you have control over your mind and body. Journaling lets you reflect on the situation and helps you find alternative solutions to control your anger.
Online counseling is also an option if you don’t want to talk to someone face to face. ReGain.us and Betterhelp are an online counseling website that lets you talk to a counselor privately and let out your emotions without exposing them to the world. Just like these, other effective sites that give you therapy in little amounts of money or free of cost.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
Is crying when angry normal?
People cry when they’re angry, sad, or happy. It is a normal psychological reaction to emotions. It is also okay to be angry. Crying is an acceptable way of dealing with emotions.
How can I stop crying when angry?
You need to distract your brain if you feel like crying. Focusing on your breathing, can stop you from crying.
Why do I get angry when my wife cries?
Your husband gets angry because your tears make him feel helpless. He finds himself responsible for your emotions and freaks out.
Why do I feel like crying when someone yells at me?
Crying is a normal response to feeling frightened, overwhelmed, or unpleasant. You feel scared when someone yells at you. Some people also cry when they’re angry.
How can I control my emotions with my husband?
There are some things you can do like accept that feelings are neutral, describe your emotions to them, realize things, share your deep thoughts with each other, and try not to judge your spouse’s feelings.
Titles to Read
- Who Will Hear Me When I Cry (The Tucker Series Book 5) Book 5 of 5: The Tucker Series by David Johnson
- When I Feel Angry (The Way I Feel Books) by Cornelia Maude Spelman and Nancy Cote
- I Can Handle It (Mindful Mantras) Book 1 of 8: Mindful Mantras by Ms Laurie Wright and Ms Ana Santos
- I cry! I am trouble! I’m angry! The child will lose his temper when he is still moving. What should the mother do?(Chinese Edition) by QIAO XUE LAN