Oh No! Here Comes The Tears Again!

We may sometimes complain about not receiving enough support from other people. But how often do we take the initiative and carry someone else's burdens, or share someone else's joys? Relationships take effort. It is a two-way street.

Perhaps our society has not taught us well how to relate to other people. The media often mocks how relationships fall apart, instead of providing examples of how relationships can be strengthened and improved. A classic example of this is how TV and movies portray relationships between men and women. When a woman gets upset, she starts to cry. Then the man rolls his eyes and mutters in horror, "Oh, no! Here come the tears again." And she will weep, "Oh, he just doesn't understand me!"

Men are taught they should not express emotions. Consequently, when a woman expresses emotion, a man may be uncomfortable. He feels that she is making unreasonable demands on him; she has unreasonable expectations. He does not know what is expected of him or how to calm or comfort her. He has not been trained to deal with the situation.

Of course, these are stereotypes and not a completely accurate picture of life. Even if we do not accept negative stereotypes, they still influence our behavior. Maybe we would feel comfortable expressing ourselves. But we sometimes keep our feelings to ourselves because we don't know how other people will react. We don't want to make them uncomfortable.

Let's see now. There must be a way to deal with this. When you have a problem, look to God for a solution. That's it! When you would like to build a relationship (regardless of gender) and want to learn to express your feelings, try talking about God! What a great ice breaker! Friendships are built on things we have in common. And God is there for everyone.

Consider making a statement like, "Sometimes I don't know how I would get through the day without God's help!" Or, "I can't make it on my own and have to rely on God's strength." When you make statements like these, you are showing vulnerability. You are showing that you have needs and are not completely self-sufficient. You are opening the door to an exchange of information that may provide mutual support. The beauty of making statements about God is this: while statements like these allow you to express your feelings, you are not placing any demands on the other person. You are not saying that you have some specific need that you expect the other person to meet. You have not revealed any deep, dark secrets, since everyone needs God.

The other person can comfortably respond any way he wants. He may simply ignore the statement, since it was not a question or a request. Or he may reply with a similar statement about how he, too, needs God. But the choice is left up to him.

You may be able to encourage each other by sharing your faith with each other. And the other person may take it even one step further. Your statements have shown that you may be a sensitive, caring person. It may be all right for him to express emotion around you. It may be all right to open up to you. If he seems receptive, you might add, "What do you think? Have you found this to be true in your life as well?"

What if you aren't sure if the person is a Christian? Consider statements like, "Days like these used to really get me down. But now that I am a Christian, I find my problems are a lot easier to face." You are being a witness for Christ. You are showing vulnerability and openness. But you still haven't placed any demands on the other person.

When we go to God in prayer, He already knows our needs. We don't have to worry about making God feel uncomfortable when we share our needs and our requests with Him.

I am glad that God did not grow up with TV as His baby-sitter. God does not care about stereotypes or protocol. God does not play games with our emotions. He cares too much for us to do that. God isn't going to roll His eyes and mutter, "Oh, no! Here come the tears again." He knows how to deal with us. He knows how to calm and comfort us. He should know, since He made us and has watched over us all the years of our lives. At last! We have found a friend! We have found someone who understands us!

Return to list of articles.