Oct 10

Why Do I Cry When I Get Mad?

face with water tears in blog by erin moore, centered one about why do I cry when I get mad
Categories: My Blog, Relationships

One common manifestation of being a sensitive person is tears. You may be wondering, why do I cry when I get mad? Or, why do I cry so much – period? Let’s explore this topic of angry tears and crying in empaths.

Why Do We Cry?

We cry for a biological reason. It’s an adaptive mechanism. You may not be surprised to hear this, due to the relief that tears often bring. It’s similar to emotions in general: feeling them is the point. Holding in or repressing emotions is not healthy.

When we cry, stress-relieving chemicals like manganese are released. This release helps us cope, grieve, and process. As stress leaves the body and mind through tears, the parasympathetic nervous system is engaged, which restores balance.

The Japanese are particularly strong believers in crying, to the point that they have “crying clubs” in some cities! They are called rui-katsu, literally “tear-seeking.” So, have no shame in your tears. Thank yourself for having the courage to express, and reap the health benefits along the way. 

Tears And Anger In Empaths

Because empaths, sensitives, and givers feel more than the average person in general, it makes sense that crying is also more likely. Sadness is of course the hallmark trigger or associated emotion, but there are a plethora of other ones too. Crying may result from feeling scared, relieved, happy, anxious, confused, or ashamed.

Many empaths also cry when they feel deeply touched – which is often! A sentimental commercial on TV, a sweet card from someone, or a cute animal are examples. Another common time that empaths cry is when they are angry. Some people display their anger through yelling, raging, avoiding, numbing, or any other number of ways. But sensitive people tend to be more perceptively aware of themselves and others. They don’t want to upset anyone, and for that reason may sublimate their anger into sadness or tears. 

What Is Underneath Anger?

Sadness is actually what underlies anger. It is the core, and anger is the covering in a sense. When you are mad, underneath that is usually hurt. People who are angry and in touch with their feelings, or anyone at times, may cry as a way of pure emotional expression. In a certain way, this is bypassing the angry part and getting right to the crux. 

On the other hand, anger itself has a purpose. It varies, but the most common one is to alert us that our boundaries are being crossed. The burst of angry energy jolts us into awareness (if we let it). We also sometimes feel enraged or upset but don’t quite know why. Ideally, you don’t lash out at someone (or aggressively blame yourself) as part of the reaction – but that is certainly something we all wrestle with. 

Why do empaths cry when mad? 

Kind souls may be more likely to redirect anger inward toward self (leading to depression), or simply skip that emotion. Therefore, crying may become a coping mechanism or response to angry feelings that are inevitable as a human. It’s okay to be sensitive. You are normal, and so are your feelings.

As a child in your family of origin, you may have received the message that anger is not safe or welcomed. Other families or dynamics leave children with the opposite impression (or both), that “crying is for wimps” or “c’mon, don’t be a baby.” This childhood conditioning shapes how we react emotionally. Depending on your situation and history, you may cry when angry, rage when angry, numb/repress when angry, or none of the above.

Love Yourself Through Angry Tears and Grief

Have compassion for yourself through feelings of anger, sadness, tears, rage, or numbness. Emoting is part of being in a human body, and is always valid. The part to watch is taking your emotions out on others. Allowing yourself to feel is a big part of what prevents overreactions and prolonged anger. 

It can be helpful to journal or exercise when feeling mad. Both of these activities will support the emotional flow and release of pent-up stress. Also don’t hesitate to reach out to a mental health professional. 

An additional, and essential, aspect to anger and tears is grief. I have completed my 4th certification in the mental health space, specifically in grief recovery. I look forward to supporting individuals and groups through an evidence-based, 7-step process to feel better and move forward. Please reach out to learn more, at erin@centeredone.com


© Copyright Centered One LLC, All rights reserved.

Photo by Jeremy Bishop on Unsplash


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Meet Erin Moore...

Hi there and a warm welcome! I’m Erin, and I’m a grief recovery specialist and writer. I combine my degrees in psychology and health communication with my razor-sharp intuition and certifications as a grief specialist, holistic health coach, and end of life doula.
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