As strong as some people believe I am, I am still an extremely sensitive person. I cry a lot. I feel things very deeply, and whether I'm sad, angry, happy, excited, or proud, it makes me cry. Some might even go as far as to label me a cry baby.
I'm at a point in my life where I accept my sensitivity and try not to fight it, but for people around me, that isn't always the case. Most people are kind about it, but there are some people in my life who will get angry at me and tell me to stop crying, which is totally not helpful.
Here are 10 things that they could say to me (and anyone else who cries) instead.
1. It's okay to be sad/scared/upset/anxious/etc.
Sometimes when I cry, I feel like I'm not allowed to let myself feel whatever I'm feeling. This helps me feel like my feelings are valid.
2. I understand that this is hard for you.
Hearing someone verbally recognize why something is difficult for me is often very comforting.
3. I'm here with you.
Knowing I have support from someone is often reassuring, even if it doesn't immediately make me feel better.
4. Tell me about it.
Sometimes I just need to talk it out or vent. Being able to do that in certain situations is key. But please don't tell me to talk about what I'm feeling and then be judgmental and not be supportive It kind of defeats the purpose.
5. I hear you.
Sometimes I just need to know that I am being heard.
6. Let's take some deep breaths together.
Often times when I cry, I forget to breathe, which tends to get me more worked up. Getting me to breathe with you for a few moments will definitely help calm me down.
7. I'm listening.
A lot of times, I cry because I'm frustrated from feeling like I'm not being heard. All it takes is these two simple words to help me know that I am.
8. That was really sad/scary/disappointing/etc.
This is another good way to show me that you are listening and help me remember that it is okay to feel.
9. I hear that you need space. I want to be here for you. (I'll stay close so you can find me when you are ready.)
Nothing against anyone, but sometimes when I cry I just need to be left alone. That doesn't mean that I don't want support. This helps me to know you are still there.
10. What do you need?
This is one I don't hear a lot, but it's actually one of the most helpful. It allows me to stop and think about what would be helpful to me in that moment. Crying often makes me stop thinking about anything that isn't what I'm crying about, and this question distracts me in a healthy way.