Since the match between Portugal vs. Slovenia in the European football championship, a lot has been said about the emotion that Cristiano Ronaldo expressed after he missed a penalty. Some people have criticised him for crying after he missed a penalty, while others have been supportive.

When it comes to what some of the former have said, it has related to him not being very professional, not showing the right level of maturity and even as a sign of how narcissistic he is. When it comes to what some of the latter have said, it has related to him being very passionate, a sign of how committed he is to his country, and an expression of how responsible he feels for his team’s success.

A Number of Reasons

Nonetheless, what is clear is that when it comes to the view that someone has, it can depend on a variety of different factors. So, what will play a part is if someone has or does play football, if they are a friend or fan of Ronaldo, and what kind of relationship they have with their own emotions.

Also, along with their conscious reason/s for the view that they have, there can also be their unconscious reason/s. But, if they are strongly attached to what is going on for them at a conscious level and believe that this view is accurate, it might not occur to them that there might also be another reason or a number of reasons that are playing a part in why they have this view.

One Outlook

To look at what happened from a purely professional level, it could be said that he shouldn’t have allowed his feelings to get the better of him. The reason for this is that as he is the captain, he needs to keep it together for his teammates.

Moreover, as it is a team game, it is not solely down to what he does or doesn’t do that defines whether his team wins or loses. And, as he is surrounded by very good players, it doesn’t make sense for him to carry the weight of the team on his shoulders.

Another outlook

At the same time, it could be said that he is just a very passionate person who wasn’t able to keep how he felt to himself and is overly responsible. If he wasn’t way, would he have become one of the greatest ever football players?

And, although he did become overwhelmed with emotion, due to the type of person that he is, he soon pulled himself together as demonstrated by him not only taking the first penalty but also scoring it. In this moment, he showed courage, inner strength and that he is a true leader.

Two Extremes

In one moment, he was at rock bottom and, at another, in part thanks to the goals that two of his teammates scored and the three goals that his other teammate saved, he was on top of the world. However, if Portugal had lost the penalty shootout, he would have most likely stayed at rock bottom for a lot longer.

Furthermore, the criticism that he received after the game is likely to have been far more severe. There is likely to have been a lot said about how he is to blame for Portugal being knocked out and that he should retire.

A Closer Look

But, to take a step back from what might have been said if the outcome had been different to what was said, one of the comments that were made after he cried was that he was “crying like a girl”. One way of looking at this comment would be to say that it is sexist.

To go even deeper, though, what it is saying is that it is fine for a girl to cry but that it is not ok for a boy to cry. It also suggests that as he was crying and was described as “crying like a girl”, it is not ok for a man or woman to cry.

Going Further

From this, it’s as if it’s ok for girls to express their emotions but it’s not ok for boys, men or women to. Or perhaps to be more accurate, it’s ok for girls and women to show their emotions but not boys or men.

Boys and men are then supposed to deny this side of them and always come across as stoic. The trouble with this view is that both sexes have an emotional self and need to embrace this side of their nature to be mentally and emotionally healthy and have fulfilling relationships, for instance.

A Harmful View

Yet, although this is the case, there is the commonly held view - a view that is generally unconsciously passed down from one generation to another - that men who express how they feel are weak and are not real men. It is then not accepted that men have an emotional self as they are expected to act as though they don’t have this element.

One of the outcomes of this is that many men end up in a very low and depressed state and are unable to connect deeply to others. And, instead of reaching out to others for support when they need it, they can drink, take drugs or even take their own life.

A Misunderstanding

But, if a man feels ashamed of his own emotions and expects to be humiliated and rejected if he expresses them, how else would he behave? Now, to come back to the act of crying itself, the common view is that crying is a sign of weakness.

However, the truth is that someone can cry for a number of different reasons; they can cry because they are sad, happy, relieved or exhausted, for instance. Crying itself is said to release toxins and stress hormones, painkilling chemicals, and activate the parasympathetic nervous system, among other things.

It’s Healthy

Therefore, to make out that crying is a sign of weakness and something that only little girls should do is not only a lie but is harmful. Having the ability to cry is a key part of being a mentally and emotionally healthy human being.

Keeping everything in and being an emotionally repressed human being, on the other hand, might allow someone to create the impression that they are strong but this will be an illusion. A breakup, loss of a loved one or the loss of a job, for instance, could break the defences they have in place and cause them to hit rock bottom.

Final Thoughts

For not just girls but boys, men and women to feel comfortable expressing how they feel and knowing that this is the healthy thing for them to do is surely a key part of humanity’s evolution. Still, this is not to say that there is not a time and a place to do this or that when this takes place, it is ok to behave in a destructive manner.

Lastly, the view that Ronaldo was “crying like a girl” is probably a clear sign that whoever left this comment doesn’t have a very healthy relationship with their own feelings. If, then, they were to cry, they would probably soon shame themselves and do their best to lose touch with how they feel.

Author's Bio: 

Author, transformational writer, teacher and consultant, Oliver JR Cooper, hails from England. His insightful commentary and analysis cover all aspects of human transformation; including love, partnership, self-love, self-worth, enmeshment, inner child, true self and inner awareness. With over three thousand, six hundred in-depth articles highlighting human psychology and behaviour, Oliver offers hope along with his sound advice.

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