You may well have heard those words before - ‘Boys don’t cry’, ‘Boys shouldn’t cry’.

Whilst growing up, I was very fortunate to be raised in a stable, loving family; a lot of us may have experienced something similar. However, many of us may have experienced something completely different – instability, no love, and upheaval – whatever the experience may have been.

Regardless of the experience of love, upheaval, instability, one thing that I was always permitted to do from a young age was to cry. If I hurt myself physically - grazing my knee, hurting my elbow – in the endless hours of sport I was involved in.
On an emotional level - if I was left out of social groups, received bad news, if relationships ended, or if I didn’t achieve something that I’d aimed to achieve, I was always allowed to cry.

I never once had those words, ‘come on pull yourself together – ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ said to me. I know many boys – who are now Men, have heard those words – and still hear them every day.
The message that they have carried with them through time – to the point where that is their belief system.

However, who was it that had muttered those words to them?
Father? Grandfather? Mother? Older Brother or Sister? Headmaster? The message then perhaps being reinforced by things we’ve read and heard by others over time.

Imagine, whatever the message was, we’ve carried that with us to now. To this point. It’s no longer feeling like someone’s opinion, it is what we truly believe to be the case.
The words ‘Boys Don’t Cry’, was just someone’s viewpoint - someone’s opinion. It is not real, it’s not matter of fact.

Boys weren’t born with the opinion that they shouldn’t cry, it is something that has been passed on to us; we have had the opinion imposed on to us.

Below are some relative examples for boys as children and then men as adults, which are similar in nature that might be scenarios where we may have felt like crying -

• In the playground, someone in a group once told us we can’t play a game with them. Now we might be being bullied at work and being excluded at some level.
• Someone once told us, we’re boring or stupid and so tried to make them laugh in the classroom to impress them. Now we might try and drink more than them to be respected or use Substances/Commit Crime, to be accepted.
• Someone once said we’re the reason our parents separated. Now we believe that we don’t deserve to be in the relationship and the family that we’re in.
• Someone once said, we’lll never achieve that. Now we consider ourselves a failure in the things we do – it’s not worth trying, as we know what the outcome will be.

These are all real-life situations that occur.

Here is what is really important to know. We all encounter situations and we feel like having a cry at times. Even if we do actually consider ourselves to be that strong person, that individual who takes things in their stride in everything we do.

However, crying IS allowed – my goodness, a couple of years ago, I went through a short period where I felt like (and did allow myself) to cry. My issue was all related to self-identity and the feeling of ‘what next? Can I do anything else? Amongst some other things. I would include isolating myself, avoiding situations, staying in the comfort zone – sometimes we don’t even know that we’re doing it.

Again, I was lucky enough to be in an environment where I could be how I wanted to be and felt like I needed to be. But what if we don’t feel like we’re in that kind of environment?

Sometimes, the feeling that we need to Cry is so strong, however, if we have the belief that we can’t Cry, we might need to find a way to escape somehow – to run away, to use substances, to quit the job, to find anything that makes us feel better, to indulge in that behaviour, to do something to ourselves – or even others, is so strong.

Our belief is not real, it is just a Thought that we have carried through time; it is self-limiting, and it looks like it is the reality, but that is the illusion. That is the misunderstanding.

I encourage people to take that as a positive and empowering message here is that it is not real. Boys DO Cry, we don’t need to be scared of the feeling that we need to Cry; if that’s what we feel the need to do, we can. We might feel the need to Cry by ourselves or if we Cry with others, how they react to us Crying is not something we can control. We can never control that – that is their opinion and belief system anyway.
Again, it doesn’t make it real.

We could even consider ‘Crying’ as being without tears, just sharing with someone how we are feeling; what challenges we are going through at the moment in a heartfelt, loving conversation is what we might need to do.
You can decide that – intuitively you will know what feels right.

We may also find that the ‘environment’ is not something that we believed it was; that belief we have carried with us over time. It may be that the person we’re sharing our feelings with IS understanding, IS listening, IS with us.

How good would that feel?

If that does happen, what does that mean to other ‘environments’ that we have created with our other beliefs - our thoughts that we have carried through time?

• Is someone who has lots of money better off than us?
• Is someone who has a great career happier than us?
• We must be under a certain weight to be seen as ‘beautiful’?.
• We need those substances to win and then be adored.
• Is someone who achieves things all the time a better person?
• Is someone who has studied to a higher level more knowledgeable than us?
• Must we have those 3 holidays per year to be happier and less stressed?
• Do we need that bigger car or house to be respected more?

It doesn’t work like that. We can be suspicious of our beliefs and have the gift to be curious, to question – does the reality that we have created really exist at all?

I dedicate my time to working with as many people as possible to share what I know, to empower people to maintaining the innate mental health that we were born with. What I know is that the way we manage our mental health and the beliefs we carry with us, can be contaminated by misunderstandings.

It’s damaging, it influences us, it can be limiting, isolating and quite often sends us in the wrong direction. Further away from who we are, and prevents us from being the person that we want and really can be.

If anything I’ve mentioned in this article is someone like you, or someone you know of, please consider how you might do one thing differently the next time you Cry? Could you Cry? What would that mean if you could Cry? Who could you speak to? You’re allowed to be curious and question and long held beliefs and consider them not to have any influence over you any longer.

Author's Bio: 

Dave helps to change lives through a conversation that guides people back towards their innate health and wellbeing.

With a background in mental health, addictions, business and sport, his time is being dedicated to educating people through podcasts, his Bulletproof Yourself products, 1:1 work with clients; small groups, as well as articles.

The focus of the work is to help people feel bulletproof against any area of challenge in their lives.