8 Interesting Facts About Crying & Tears


Everyone cries from time to time whether they admit it to others or not. Emotional tears seem to be a uniquely human experience. So what are some interesting facts to know about crying and the tears that come along?

1. Conducive to Health

Well, holding your tears and pretending you are okay and well renders a lot of stress on your mind and body. Some researchers suggest that emotional tears contain stress hormones. Crying it out provides psychological relief and also releases feel-good endorphin.

2. Women Cry More than Men

It’s true! On average, women cry three to five times more often than men. This is according to a research from a book “Emotional Expression and Health”. Testosterone seems to have an inhibiting influence on crying as well! (Nyklícek, Temoshok, & Vingerhoets, 2004)

3. Your Nose Runs When You Cry Sometimes

Ever have a running nose while you are crying? This is because, tears overflow from your eyes, goes into your nasal passage, and some of them end up flowing into our nose.

4. There Are Four Types of Tears

  1. Emotional tears – which happens when you are overwhelmed by emotions
  2. Reflex tears – which flows to clean out debris when your eyes are irritated by onions or pollen.
  3. Basal tears – which lubricate your eyes and keep them clean.
  4. Crocodile tears – Well, this is an unofficial 4th form, but people with superb acting skills can create these.

5. Crying At Night

You are more likely to cry at night than in the day – the tiredness after a long day and lack of sleep make emotion hard to control.

 6. Cutting Onions

When onions are chopped, chemicals that were previously separated by cell membrane combines with each other and with air, resulting in the formation of an airborne chemical that irritates the eyes.

The trick is to cut the onion under water. This will prevent the sulfuric compounds from reaching your eyes.

7. Men Get Turned Off When a Woman Cries.

A woman’s tears actually transmit a peculiar chemical signal to men. Men feel less sexually aroused when they smell the saline solution running down a woman’s cheeks.

8. Tears of Joy?

I have heard about this theory: When you cry because of overwhelming joy, the first tear will come out from the right eye. And when it is due to sadness, the first tear will come out from the left eye!

Caveat: Not sure if this is an urban myth. But well, next time you cry out of overwhelming emotions – you may want to take a moment to verify this. And please let me know!


Bibliography: Nyklícek, I., Temoshok, L., & Vingerhoets, A. J. J. M. (2004). Emotional expression and health. Hove, East Sussex: Brunner-Routledge.