#ManlyMonday | Let Me See Your Cry Face

We’ve all been there. We are having a completely normal day and going through our mundane daily routine when it happens. We are struck to our core and overcome by highly complicated emotions. In this moment we can’t hold back the heavy flow of tears flooding our face like the rushing water of Niagara Falls.

No? (Yeah, me neither)

But really…why are men so bad at crying?

I want to suggest that we are bad criers simply because we hardly ever cry. We don’t cry because we try to fix broken situations instead of entering into them. We tend to try and fix or remove pain, hurt, and brokenness instead of entering into the situation and being truly affected by it.

Let me explain.

As men we like to fix things. If something is broken we fix it. If someone is hurt we want to help. If someone is crying we want to cheer him or her up. If someone comes to us with a problem we want to give him or her the answer. There is no time to stop and cry because we are too busy bringing the fix, too busy making things right, too busy saving the day.

Newsflash (for those of you reading this standing up, running, or practicing extreme pogo-ing you might want to have a seat):

People don’t always want or need you to fix them or their situations.

Boom. I said it.

More often than not, what your closest friends and the people in your community need is someone willing to just be with them in the midst of their pain or brokenness. They want someone to be a part of their situation, part of the recovery, and part of every step along the way. Sometimes the best thing you can do as a friend, and as a man, is stop trying to fix people’s problems. Rather, dive deep relationally with people and enter into their situation. And maybe, just maybe, cry with them.

It’s your turn to share some wisdom! Join the conversation:

  • How can we as men and as a community begin to enter into broken situations and be affected by them rather than only trying to fix things?
  • What manly (or womanly) wisdom can you share on the topic?
  • Post a picture of your cry face. (Come on! We will all laugh.)
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12 thoughts on “#ManlyMonday | Let Me See Your Cry Face

  1. I may not have any manly wisdom to add (sorry fellas) but I really love this idea. It’s a sweet picture of when the sometimes womanly world of talking and sharing life, emotions, and allllll the tears that come with them collides with the sometimes solution and action-oriented world of the men in our lives. I think both men and women can learn from this picture you paint of simply sharing brokenness instead of avoiding it or trying to fix it. It’s a good reminder that some things are universal to all people, not just men or women, and we’re called to share those things and carry burdens for each other. Love this…thanks for sharing it!

  2. Most of the time when you are truly sharing emotions with someone and giving them the support that they need, you won’t realize that you are helping at all. On the contrary, you will feel more like you are helpess within the situation. Think about it, when is the last time that someone shared some horrible news with you. Maybe someone they loved dearly died or they are truly hurting emotionally. Did you actually have anything constructive to say? it is okay if you didn’t, that person will feel like you are helping them more than you can realize in the moment, if you just share their emotion (and most of the time, that just means being quite with them). No one wants to be sad alone, no one wants to ever truly be alone, during anything. This is why there are so many support groups in the world. True support comes from a place of understanding, not trying to tell someone how they can change what they are doing so that they don’t feel those emotions again. God gave us emotions because he intended for us to use them, and what good is anything in this world if we can’t share it with others. #ManlyMonday

    • I have read your comment several times today and each time one line kept jumping out at me…

      “True support comes from a place of understanding, not trying to tell someone how they can change what they are doing so that they don’t feel those emotions again”

      So great.

      In your opinion, what goes into coming “from a place of understanding?” Or, what steps can be taken to get there?

      • I think that the best thing you can do for someone is to except them for what they are, a sinner. These means to not judge them, and I don’t just mean to act like your not judging them. You have to truly embrace who they are as a person and understand that you are not better then them. We are all sinners (Romans 3:23). If you have ever had an experience with a person that is able to do that, then you know how warm that embrace feels. When someone is broken, that is exactly what they need. Love.

  3. This is a truthful and valuable article that I hope others can understand and absorb, not let it sit on the surface of their emotions. But, I am not here to critique the article..I am here to join the conversation!

    I believe the problem with men (or women) is the idea that they NEED or HAVE TO enter these broken situations. Almost everyone I know has a natural instinct to want to help and fix something or someone that is broken. I see this all originating from two sources: honest concern and ego. Honest concern is what I believe and hope to be the majority of how people act towards others when wanting to understand them and/or their situation. Ego is something I am even guilty of, which is trying to fix or help someone because they know they will look like a better person towards others.

    A solution to this begins with a person understanding themselves, and what truly drives them to help others. It is difficult, but if you are completely honest with yourself, you may see instances and situations where you were trying to fix or help someone simply because you know others would want you to or you look like a good person for doing it. I have always believed you can’t understand others until you understand yourself.

    (I feel like I got off topic some but I enjoy the convos and posts!)

    • That’s a great point Matt. I can think of numerous times when I have helped others just so that I can say that I did the right thing, or because some pretty lady was watching me…
      It truly can be hard to understand your own motivations when you do things.
      When you act selfishly it is easy, if you are honest with yourself, to reflect and know that you acted selfishly. This is because it was a conscious thought process that led you to that decision. However, when you act selfessly, it can be almost impossible to recognize the selfless nature of your thought process. This is constructive to us as humans to not be able to pick apart the thought process behind selfless acts though, it would kind of defeat the purpose if we were able to just think through what a selfless act looks like.
      This is why reflection can be so important for us in our daily routine. Just simply thinking about our day and what led to different decisions you may have made. We should reflect and analyze our selfish acts so that we may be stronger and more Christ like next time, and we should Praise God for the ability to make Selfless ones.

    • Matt

      Thanks for your thoughts. I think you’re on to something when you say you can’t understand others until you understand yourself. I might change that thought a little bit by saying you have to begin to understand yourself before you begin to understand others. I don’t think we will ever completely understand ourselves but once we begin to peel back the underlying issues that form our action we have really begun to open up ourselves to growth. Thanks again for your thoughts. I can’t wait to hear more of them!

    • Matt,

      I think you’re on to something when you say that we need to know what “truly drives us to help others.”

      That is a tough question to answer.

      If I am being honest as I reflect on this question there are answers that come to mind that speak to my ego:
      -Gaining respect
      -Having influence
      -Being needed
      -Being seen as capable
      (Even if I dont like to admit them, they are there guiding my actions)

      However, In addition to the ego-filled desires there are the pure, selfless, and ‘honest concern’ elements that are deeply rooted in my desire to help others:
      -Knowing I have been in the same position before and I remember how it feels (Ex, lonely, mad, sad, frustrated, ect…)
      -Genuine desire to see people’s story change for the better
      -Accepting and living out the call to truly love, teach, and learn from others
      (These are driving forces on my good days and they start to surface when I really stop to think and reflect)

      Is it safe to say we all have a mixture of the two types of motivators?
      Also, what is more important: Helping others, or helping others with the correct motives?

  4. Alright well I’m a few days late, but I’m finally gonna join in on this. I think that if you look back on a situation where you stepped in to helped somebody it can be easy to be critical of your motivations. I think this is probably because you look back at that situation and remember that some of the outcomes were positive. You probably did feel good that you helped, and whoever you helped probably did respect you a little more. But if we were to really think about why, in that moment, we had a desire to help the person I think it comes from a genuine desire to help them out.

    Say somebody you don’t know has an emotional breakdown and comes to you for some reason. For the most part what are you going to do? Probably pass it along to somebody who knows the person a little better. My point in is that in most circumstances, the instances we are talking about here, you are probably only going to try to help people you care about. It’s easy to look back and theorize why you were motivated to stand with somebody during a tough time, but I contend that if you didn’t really care about them then you wouldn’t have been with them anyway.

    Not sure if that made any sense, but oh well.

    When I first read the post I thought about times when I was having a rough go. When I am having a rough day there is really nothing anybody can say to change my thoughts on the situation. Really when people try to say stuff is all rainbows and flowers it just makes me even more mad. The only thing that really helps is somebody just being there in the midst of it. Just reiterating the man point of the article.

  5. Just experienced this (AGAIN) today. I can sometimes see the “big picture”, which in my mind can be fixed, but completely miss the reality of the person right in front of me or on the phone. Often when I know I’m doing it, I still don’t know how to stop.

    • I am right there with you. How can we get better at realizing it’s about the person in front of us not fixing a situation or shaping the “big picture”?

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