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Why Do Humans Cry?

When's the Last Time You Cried?

Laughing too hard is my favorite reason to cry. A wedding might be my second favorite tearful occasion. And like most everyone else, I've also cried when stressed, sad, or in pain.

Humans have plenty of causes to cry, but we're the only species that sheds tears for emotional reasons. This has prompted psychologists to look into evolutionary explanations for why we cry. They found that crying helps us get what we want, release tension, elicit compassion, and communicate our emotions to others.

This got me wondering: when's the last time I cried (and why)? It was this past Saturday during the emotional climax of the book I was reading — The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, if you're curious. When was the last time you cried? During a sad movie? Over a breakup? Share your woeful or joyful tale of tears in the comments.

Source: Flickr User hapal

genesisrocks genesisrocks 7 years
I had to leave my boyfriend in another city to finish college this year. I cried for days...pathetic I know
adtafoya adtafoya 7 years
the other night...I was watching a rerun of "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" the one where Charlie attempts to tell his blind date he is a "philanthropist" bahaha! laughed so hard I cried :rotfl:
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
I'm crying as I type this, my LT BF just dumped me.
elizabethsosewn elizabethsosewn 7 years
it was a couple days ago for me. I was watching The Last Song (that miley cyrus movie. plot line goes like this. she is bratty and a "rebel" falls in love, learns dad is dieing. fixes relationships. becomes better person) and it really hit home for e. my dad a couple years ago with diagnosed with congestive heart failure and diabetes. and lately he's been talking about "blah blah blah I wont be around in a couple years" after about 2/3rds of the way through the movie i was balling and couldn't stop for hours. It was kind of a traumatic evening, but it helped me come to terms with my feelings about it, for now.
Choco-cat Choco-cat 7 years
i don't consider myself an easy crier, and am embarrassed when i do - but i cried at work today when i was informed my job will be cut within the next year.
blooditsnotfunny blooditsnotfunny 7 years
I used to cry over emotional commercials when I was on the pill. I don't cry as easily now that I'm off that! By the way, I'm pretty sure elephants also cry for emotional reasons. I've seen this in documentaries and on animal planet :)
whats-her-name whats-her-name 7 years
Twice a year with a yearly emotional breakdown. Like clockwork. Not sure how that works out, but it does.
soapbox soapbox 7 years
I'm not a crier at all. But when I do cry, it's I'll go on for hours. The last time I cried was about six months ago when something that I spent years working on failed and I had to explain to everyone what had happened. I also had to relocate, change schools ect. I remember that I cried for about a day, but had to suck it up and go on with my life. I've never cried from happiness though.
Chrstne Chrstne 7 years
It doesn't take a whole lot for me to cry. I was reminiscing on my birthday and I was thinking "Wow, I'm getting older. This age seemed so far" stuff like that, and I was a bit sad. Then "Forever Young" came on the radio and I cried so hard. I'll cry because I think of something, or because of a commercial, at happy or sad events. I cry tears of happiness and all of that, too. Not at the drop of a hat, but I'd say I cry at least once every week or two.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
"watching babies being born on TLC's show" Yes!!! Every single time I see a baby born on tv, I cry. I don't know what it is :P
KeLynns KeLynns 7 years
I go in waves. Sometimes I'll cry like one a week and sometimes I won't cry for months. I can't remember the last time I cried actually, so I guess it has been a while now. Last night I almost did - I am moving and I was alone in my old beddroom deciding what was going to be thrown away and what was going to be donated, and I was getting really overwhelmed with the idea of leaving this house!
Rjs-baby-girl Rjs-baby-girl 7 years
I cry for any reason, during movies, a sad song, weddings, watching babies being born on TLC's show, etc. Last time I had a big cry was on Saturday and it was from sadness and disappointment about something that happened with a loved one.
danakscully64 danakscully64 7 years
A few days ago I was watching the movie Selena, I cry every time. When my period is coming up, I cry SO easily over movies and tv shows. For some reason, the theme for Bridezilla evokes my emotions, I think it's because I've watched it when upset before over my lack of engagement. :P
neonbee neonbee 7 years
Last night. I was just overjoyed.
postmodernsleaze postmodernsleaze 7 years
It takes a lot to make me cry if it's my own actual experiences. I can't even remember the last time I cried because something happened to me that was bothering me. But movies and books make me cry pretty easily! I guess I use them as my outlet since I'm a little bit stoic. And, of course, crying over laughing too hard is the best kind of cry :)
runningesq runningesq 7 years
At home over the weekend --- after my best friend's mom told me, "You look just like you did when you were in sixth grade - now that your face is pudgey again because you're pregnant."
weffie weffie 7 years
I cry all the time! Anything from a song to a photo to a passing remark can set me off with happy or sad tears... lately it's that stupid iPhone commercial with the woman telling her husband she's pregnant, it gets me every time and it's really not all that compelling lol
le-romantique le-romantique 7 years
Last time was Thursday night. My boyfriend an I were just cuddling in bed late at night and out of no where he puts on Enya's "Only Time" on youtube w/ karaoke styled lyrics and I was laughing hysterically while singing along. I was waiting for the song to conclude during one of the instrumental movements, but then she started singing again and I thought it was the funniest thing ever that I started crying hysterically from laughter. I'm laughing just thinking about it now.
Girl-Jen Girl-Jen 7 years
I was at a parade on Saturday. A Mormon adoption agency was in the parade, trying to raise awareness. One of the people marching was pushing an empty stroller, with a sign saying "Hoping to Adopt." It made me think of how badly I wanted a baby before I had my daughter, and how much I love her, and how much I hoped to see a baby in that stroller at next year's parade...and then I teared up. I blame PMS.
Love-and-Sex Love-and-Sex 7 years
Thanks, Anonymous. My embarrassing typo almost makes me want to cry! ;)
skigurl skigurl 7 years
It doesn't take much for me either. I love to cry for happy or sad or just to release tension. Sometimes you just need a good cry. I'm trying to think the last time I did, though. I would say I usually cry like once a week but I've been good the past while. A lot of the time it would be during a discussion with my boyfriend about something; not a fight but anything heated or a disagreement or something awkward to mention or if I miss him a lot while he's away working or something. That has to be it, though I can't think of when it was.
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