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The Stigma of Being an Emotional Woman


Growing up I never cried in front of anyone. In fact, I still find it difficult to show someone my tears. I have always viewed it as a sign of weakness, I guess. I don't even cry in front of my family. Sometimes I get to the point to where I have held back for so long, that I can't cry when I need to. For some unexplained reason I have found myself to be very embarrassed by my emotions. When I was a child, I hid my tears with laughter. When I was a teenager, I replaced my tears with anger. As an adult, I find myself either avoiding my true feelings or waiting until I am alone to face them.

For the past couple of months I have really been in touch with my feelings. I have spent some time learning more about the women that I look up to and the woman that I am. There is something so magical about an emotional, empathetic, and compassionate woman. So what's with the stigma of being an emotional woman? Why is it that we are made to feel like it isn't okay to cry? Why do we, as beautiful humans, feel ashamed of our compassionate nature? Why do we NEED to be “tough”. I am sick of women pretending to be something they are not just to “fit in” or to make someone else happy. I am sick of us being told that we are overreacting, overthinking, and too emotional. Why do we allow others to judge the amount of reaction, thought, and emotion that we allow ourselves to feel and display?

Zooey Deschanel

If you have an empathetic soul, share it with the world. Not everyone feels empathy. If you are a woman that cries when an animal is hurt, your soul is more beautiful that anything in this world. When you see an unfortunate soul on the side of the road wearing rags and praying for a miracle, does your heart ache for them? If so, then you are an incredible blessing. Don't avoid these emotions. If you want to cry, then cry! For my entire life I have lived with this empathy that felt like a curse. I literally cry during certain commercials. I've always felt like something is wrong with me because I have these strong emotions. I mean, who wants to be THAT girl? Who wants to be the emotional woman that is completely unstable.

Wait… unstable? Since when did being emotional get the stigma of being unstable? Why do people, men specifically, relate emotional women to being unstable women? Just because we love harder and deeper than others, does not mean that we aren't strong, powerful, and independent women. Yes, we may cry at a sappy love story and yes, we long for intense and emotional conversations. Emotional women are the ones that change the world. Empathetic women are the ones that fly across the world to help strangers that are in need. We may cry every step of the way, but it isn't because we are damaged.

Be You

We cry because we are happy. We cry because we are sad. We cry because we love so deeply that our bodies and minds cannot comprehend the intensity of the situation. Our tears represent every ounce of love and pain that we feel when we look into the eyes of someone we love, whether that be our soulmate, family, or a stranger.

So be yourself! Watch romantic comedies. Listen to sad, sweet love songs until you've cried all the tears that you can. Pick up a stray animal and give to the less fortunate. Don't sacrifice who you are or what makes you happy just because others aren't comfortable with it. Be the tender, sensitive, sweet woman that you are and be damn proud of it!


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  1. […] I am very rough-around-the-edges, as I like to say. I have tattoos, I curse way too much, I can be very emotional, and I’m not your picture perfect housewife. Who am I to judge? How could I ever judge […]

  2. […] over my own emotions. I’ve lived my life feeling like an outcast because of my empathy, being stigmatized as an emotional woman. Empathy is so much more than being emotional, […]

  3. Marina says:

    At long last someone has acknowledged and actually written about the stigma WOMEN face in showing emotion.
    Often, people only ever talk about men’s emotions and completely ignore the fact women get the same pressures and stigmas too; maybe it is our cultural and empathetic bias to always think everything is “worse for men” as is often the case in many articles I read about various issues; shyness for instance, which is crippling, is often presented as “worse for men” and the female experience of being shy (which I can tell you is Hell) is rarely ever mentioned. Not to say men don’t have these problems too, they do of course, but I always hear people, men and women, exposing, challenging, and writing about this stigma for men and championing for more freedom for men… So atleast one knows that people actually care that men face emotional challenges. I feel that there is a lot of sympathy for men around this issue, and I myself feel more empathy and compassion towards men who cry than women (probably social conditioning); while the female stigma suffered universally by women (myself included) which often results in self-harm as the only way to vent emotion; is almost always overlooked and ignored.
    We should be supporting both sexes, not just men.

  4. Angela says:

    Thank you for a beautiful post – well written, and yes, you made me cry reading this.

  5. Ellie Murphy says:

    Preach! I feel the same way! I can express myself and it be okay, don’t judge me people of earth! Thank you for sharing your voice on this, I truly appreciated reading it!

  6. Rachael says:

    I love that you are feeling empowered by this and I respect the men who do accept women for these emotions. They are emotions needed to nurture our world. If someone doesn’t see the beauty in that than they can go kick rocks 😉
    Also you may be interested in reading more on Random Acts of Kindness and paying it forward. #RACKD

  7. Felicia says:

    I have always been a crier! I was made to feel bad about it for a while and so I hid it but I cry when I’m sad, when I’m angry, when I am passionate about something… shucks! Sometimes when I don’t even know why! I think it’s a wonderful thing to be able to cry! I can be so cleansing!

  8. Emma says:

    This was beautiful! I’m super emotional now that I’ve had kids 🙂

  9. Christina says:

    Well said! Women who show compassion, empathy, and other emotions are the ones who are best able to cope with life’s unexpected surprises.

  10. Jennie says:

    I’ve read a couple of books–I think they were Til We Have Faces and Lillith, but I could be wrong–with female characters who are sad but cry healing tears, and I’ve identified myself with them ever since.

  11. Last week, a friend who had lost her father quite suddenly, confided in me that she was fed up of being told to “Be strong.” I told her, she only had to be herself and cry whenever she felt like. If other people weren’t comfortable with that, it was their problem and certainly not hers! I wonder why people feel it necessary to control the emotions and expressions of others!

  12. Thanks for your post. It is difficult feeling such empathy. I always get very emotional when it comes to children and animals. My family have always just rolled their eyes. It is nice to know I am not alone.

  13. Eyeland Gurl says:

    You opened up a door I thought I had closed with this post. What you say is so true especially in the workplace. I remember a former Manager criticizing me for what he decided was a lack of emotional intelligence because I cried when my feelings were hurt on the job. Like you, I try not to be too emotional but it’s hard given society’s expectations. Great post. Thanks for sharing this.

  14. Carrie says:

    Have you ever heard the song “It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to?” Well, it’s your life, and you can cry if you want to! My daughter is the same way. I wish I were as tenderhearted. 🙂

  15. I cry now more than ever! I think having kids made me more tender.

  16. Mary Beth says:

    I hate to see how women are continually being written off as “crazy” or “emotional,” as though those two are the same thing and equally negative. Women are not crazy because of their feelings and responses. If anything our cultural dismissal of emotions leads women to feel crazy and perhaps to act inappropriately in response to the suppression of feelings, not the feelings themselves. Thanks for sharing, and good luck on your journey to embrace the tender woman inside of you!

  17. Great read! I can relate – my husband and I were married for over 5 years before he saw me cry. I didn’t even realize how much I closed off my emotions from others for years.

  18. Melissa says:

    I’ve never thought about this before but you’re so right! – society tells us we shouldn’t be emotional, that emotions are a sign of weakness, but it’s the opposite. Showing your emotions shows your strong enough and not afraid.

  19. Good for you! There is nothing wrong with being emotional. Sharing how you truly feel is healthy.

  20. Gwen says:

    I cry more and more as I get older- usually due to cute things my children do, nice things my husbands says, or just weepy films! We should be allowed to be honest.

  21. Lexi says:

    I’m really glad you wrote this post. I think many women are afraid to show how they feel because of A) the stigma you mentioned and B) fear of being taken advantage of. It seems like the world is becoming a colder, more cruel place by the year…a tough face is a defense mechanism. I think about how sad it is that men are usually raised to hide emotion, as well. Thank you for encouraging us to be ourselves! 🙂

  22. Hannah says:

    Thank you for this!! I spent way too long suppressing my emotions. No more!

  23. Patrice says:

    Great blog post…. it is ok to show your feelings. Actually crying & showing emotions can be therapeutic( my personal opinion) .Thanks for sharing .

  24. You definitely never know what emotions are going to hit…tonight I couldn’t stop laughing…every line in a show I was watching was cracking me up

  25. Laurina says:

    I agre that there is a stigma about women who are too emotional. I think the stigma for a man is even greater if he cries publicly or shows too much emotion. There is a statue of a crying man in Sweden that actually has tears coming from the eyes, and this statue has created controversy on just that topic of men who show emotion in public.

  26. Kelly Cox says:

    Tears are natural and AOK – we need to be comfortable and real when need be!

  27. I am very empathatic. I cry for people. Mostly I cry for animals because they cannot speak for themselves. I tend to speak loudly. Having been abused as a child for 12 years, I learned to hide my feelings , emotions and thoughts. It has carried into adulthood. While I can feel free to cry for those who are hurting, I have a hard time letting anyone see my physical and mental pain that I am going through.

  28. Penny says:

    I cry during commercials too! My family likes to poke fun at me about it but it’s all in good fun!

  29. Meagan says:

    Amen sister! Thank you for publicly posting this and for giving us “permission” to be who we are in a society that screams the opposite. It seems like everyone would be better off if we spread more compassion around.

  30. Sinziana says:

    Hello there! First: congratulation for your writing skills! Second: I enjoied reading your words because this post is just…SO ME…I know how is to be a sensitive, empath person :). Thank you for your words and best wishes from me!

  31. Sherri S says:

    I love this!! I go through phases (hormonal maybe?!) of being super unemotional to all over the place crying. Women are created to be able to handle a multitude of feelings and you are right, we should embrace them, unashamed!

  32. A tender heart is an attractive quality whether male or female. I am a man, and I am not ashamed to show my emotions. We need to be ourselves and stop caring so much about what othere think.

  33. TOTSFamily says:

    Feel all the feels, girl!

  34. I commend your willingness to open up about your emotions. Several T.V. shows and movies have moved me to tears. The ability to be vulnerable is a good trait. Very Nice.

  35. Camille says:

    I am the exact opposite of you. I cry too often. I cry for sad movies, cry for sad news, cry when angry. Sometimes, I wish I won’t cry at all so I can just tell people what I feel because when I start to cry, it covers all my thoughts and I can’t even say a word anymore. But I definitely agree with everything you said. It actually made me think about me being too emotional and how I should embrace it. 🙂 Love love your post

  36. Oh Gosh! Do not get me started on PMSing lol. That will really make me show my emotions hahahaha

  37. I completely agree!

  38. Aww, I never really thought of it that way. I never really thought that boys are taught the same thing- to not show emotions. It is not healthy, not one bit. Not holding in your emotions and learning that it is okay to show raw emotion is a great stepping stone to learning how to control them and to be comfortable with them. Thank you for a mans point of view!

  39. Oh goodness! Thank you for being a compassionate nurse. I always wonder if I could be a nurse because I am so empathetic. I feel like I would be crying every day. This is a lovely comment. Thank you for sharing your feelings!

  40. That is so true. I admire you for always being in control and comfortable with your feelings. It brightens my day to know that there are people like you whoa re willing to share their emotions regardless of what society wants us to do.

  41. Thank you so much for your awesome comment! When I was younger, I would have loved to be called Ice Princess, but now that I understand how important it is to be myself and to be emotional, it would hurt my feelings. I am glad that I am not the only one. I am still not completely comfortable sharing my emotions, but at least I know that it is okay to do and that it is important!

  42. Melissa says:

    Wow. You would be the speaker that I would stand up and point at and exclaim, “YES! What she said!”
    I, too, have dealt with pushed aside emotions to the point where I have seemed very cold and shy. “Ice Princess” was mentioned every now and again. I didn’t like that, but I also didn’t like to look vulnerable. I hated crying. I still do. But you are totally right! We have emotions and we should express them! You never know how they may affect others and change the world.

    Great post.

  43. C. Lee Reed says:

    I’ve always been emotional and in control or at least aware of my feelings. It makes me feel more womanly and as a child, allowed me to get my point across. I think we’ve unfortunately been taught to “suck it up” in today’s society and I for one…am going against the grain and am going to show my feelings.

  44. Jennie says:

    I’m a crier! And proud of it, or at least, I don’t really mind, though it’s occasionally inconvenient, lol. 🙂

  45. Patricia says:

    What a heartfelt post. Don’t EVER feel that showing a sincere emotion is wrong. I worked for 26 years as a Registered Nurse and often cried for and with patients.Some times happy and other times sad… but it was always shared with those that I cared for. You can too!

  46. We’re all products of our upbringing. As a kid I wasn’t supposed to cry; boys don’t cry. The only time I saw my dad cry was just before his dad passed. I didn’t cry for 34 years; I cried the day my dad passed away.

    Then for about 5 years I had no control over my emotions, and I didn’t like that one bit. That’s the thing about feeling unstable, the loss of control, because you never know when it’s coming.

    True, people should feel free to express their emotions. They also have to feel comfortable doing it.

  47. Great Post! I think that you come to a certain point in life where being emotional as a woman becomes natural, needed, and you want to have the ability to express your emotions to yourself and others. Thank you for sharing!

  48. Victoria says:

    Thank you for encouraging us women to remain true to who we are and not let anyone convince us we need to be emotionless. God made us this way, and it is good.

  49. I love, love, LOVE this! I am an emotional woman and I hate the stigma that I’m crazy or unstable or worse… Pms-ing. Emotions flow all month long, not just 1 week of the month. Thank you for this post!

  50. I’m super emotional! The smallest… and of course… biggest things will make me cry. The things I’m most emotional about is animals, those less fortunate, kiddos with health issues and definitely my family.

  51. Crisi says:

    Oh I’m a cryer. I am always be made fun of about crying at a commercial or tv show. Oh well that’s who I am 🙂

  52. Aww I am glad I am not the only one. It is really so sad to think that crying is a sign of weakness and that being emotional is a bad thing. We need emotional, empathetic people to keep this world together. Thank you for sharing your feelings!

  53. Alison says:

    I wish I could share this post with everyone, everywhere. I hid my emotions for a long, long time, and it didn’t make me better or tougher or more stable. In fact, it made me miserable. Now, I’m brave enough to express my emotions and I’m a happier, healthier, stronger woman because of it. It’s too bad our society doesn’t value the sort of courage it takes to be open and vulnerable (probably because it’s usually women who have it).

  54. I grew up in a family that did not take crying well lol. Men were definitely not allowed to cry as it’s a huge sign of weakness. It usually takes a lot for me to cry but I’m pregnant and now my hormones are running crazy and pretty much everything makes me tear up lol. Thanks for a great post, it’s good to let your guard down sometimes.

  55. Growing up, I had a father in my life who told me that crying and showing emotion WAS weakness. This definitely affected my life to a degree, and when my father was no longer a significant part of my life I began to let me guard down. It took a *really* long time, and quite honestly, I am not fully unguarded; which, I suppose is a good thing that I still have my guard up at times. Revealing your emotions can be really hard. I wish you all best lady xo

  56. Wonderful – Good writing! Very deep. I love the new blog design!

  57. Great post! It takes a lot to make me cry but once I do its hard to even stop. But put on a good romance movie and I’m water works central!

  58. Yes, we need to get to the point to where we feel comfortable being tender and emotional because you shouldn’t be ashamed

  59. I am very emotional and I am extremely verbal about it. I don’t think we should have to stuff things inside and not be able to discuss our feelings.

  60. Thank you! Zooey inspired this post a little bit 🙂

  61. Sam says:

    Great post! I love the quote from Zooey Deschanel and the reminder to be who you are.

  62. I think you are completely right! I am the same as you, I am a passionate lover and fighter. It’s in my blood and my nature and I don’t think that I should hide it or feel ashamed about it. Nobody should!

  63. Aww well thank you very much 🙂

  64. Erica Lewis says:

    This post nearly made me cry, you write beautifully!

  65. I’m so glad you mentioned about men thinking that an emotional women is unstable because that’s what I was going to say. I think it’s because FOREVER the rule was for women and children to be seen and not heard. We had to be the strong ones for our children when our men were going crazy (because that was allowed). I have always been very passionate about everything I do. And yes I can get intensely angry, but I love just the same.

  66. Kizzy says:

    Geez I hope someone reads this who was afraid to be able to open up and sees that it’s ok!!! Strong words chica, good writing!

  67. I’m very emotional. I make no bones about it- never have. Sometimes, I’ll just start crying because I’m so overwhelmed. Hubby isn’t sure how to take it because he’s never known a woman like me…. 🙂

  68. Melissa says:

    My teenage son teases me. He says when I watch tv, my face goes through all of the emotions that are on screen. When they are sad, I am sad. When they are happy, I am happy…

  69. thank you sweetheart!

  70. Kizzy says:

    I love the way you write!!!

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