< BACK  | AT HOME • December 15, 2014
Big girls don’t cry? Like hell we don’t.
So often we tell our kids not to cry or “boys don’t cry” or other gender biased nonsense like girls shouldn’t express anger. I often wonder what would happen to the world if we expressed our emotions as they came. The root cause of a lot of the underlying issues I see in my clients is the inability to process emotions.
Heaven forbid that a woman express anger, frustration or any other sort of overt emotion in the moment. I have always been labeled the ‘ill tempered” child so intentionally grew up to be someone who swallowed emotions. This itself allowed a lifetime of built up nonsense within – I suppressed how I truly felt, held unnecessary grudges (which in itself led to further complications). As an adult I started to miss my bad tempered little self – at least I let it out.
Well, an adulthood of suppression later here’s what I learned to do. You step over a boundary with me, I will let you know. Don’t take it personally. We can talk it out like adults. I would rather be angry for a few minutes and let it go then sever you out of my life because of burning anger within.
So here’s what I do when my son is angry. I first tell him it’s absolutely ok to be angry. Then I ask him if there’s anything I can do to support him through the emotion. Sometimes he asks for a hug and sometimes not. After the emotion passes we talk about what angered him and what we can do differently next time. And that’s that. Emotion processed, 12 years of therapy as an adult avoided.
So the next time someone says to me “Big girls don’t cry”
I will respond with “ Like hell we don’t”.
3 cheers to authenticity.