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When a Woman is Crying: The Gentleman’s Dos and Don’ts

When a woman is crying, it can make a man nervous. So, what should you do? Well, for starters, here’s what NOT to do when a woman is crying.

woman is crying

“What to do when a woman is crying” will literally yield more than 60 million Google search results. So what’s with all the interest? When it comes down to it, walking in on a woman crying is uncomfortable for everyone involved. The more help we can all understand, the better!
The confusion lies in what to do about the crying. Should you go in for a stilted, possibly awkward hug? Offer her your condolences? Apologize your ass off? The answer for what to do is equally challenging whether or not you’re even the one who made her cry.
And let’s face it, women can cry for a myriad of reasons. If you have any common sense you likely know the basics of what to do when a woman is crying. But, what about the rest? We’re here to tell you what *not* to do when a woman is crying.
Reasons a woman is crying
Just to warn you, it’s going to be a long list. While some women never shed a tear, the rest of them may cry at the drop of a hat! The most common reasons for a woman to start crying include…
#1 She laughed so hard she cried. Sometimes when your lady love is laughing so hard she’ll actually start to cry. Science suggests we do this because we’re laughing so hard it is putting pressure on our tear-ducts. These are known as “reflex tears.” Nice joke, bro.
#2 Post-sex crying. Ever had your partner turn out the water works after a particularly randy romp? If you think she’s crying because she’s happy, you’re right! However, if you think she’s crying because the sex blew *and not in a fun way* then… well, you might be right about that too. Post-coital crying happens for one of three reasons.
– First, she could feel really connected to you. Hey, we’re women, we cry. Like, a lot sometimes. Say, if sex with you was absolutely mind-blowing, we may shed some tears for your little swimmers. [Read: Why is sex so important in a relationship?]
– Second, another reason a woman is crying post-sex is because her body is having an emotional release. Jokes aside, sometimes women feel so connected to their partners – or have just had such an amazing orgasm – that her body doesn’t know what else to do. So it creates an emotional release for all of those good vibes.
– Finally, she could be experiencing post-coital dysphoria. In the article, Is it Normal to Cry After Sex?, Cosmo talks about this under-researched state. Apparently, it’s incredibly common at some point in one’s sexual life to become unreasonably depressed after sexual encounter, either with a partner or riding solo!
#3 She is simply sad. This is one of the most obvious answers across the board. If she’s feeling rejected, depressed, unattractive, unproductive, or maybe she’s just in a general state of sadness… well, she’s going to cry.
#4 Manipulation. This next reason for why a woman is crying is sad but true. And we definitely don’t condone this reasoning, but women are pretty good at manipulating men with their tears. This usually works for the sheer fact that men are generally uncomfortable around people who are crying.
She’ll say things like, “Come to this party. Oh I know you don’t want to go to,” or “Don’t be mad at me,” or “Don’t make me do this thing.” And the list goes on and on! [Read: How can women manipulate men so easily?]
Hey, we never said it was an honorable reason to cry, but it can be a true one.
#5 Hormonal. Hormones are a little devil, especially when it comes to waterworks. She’ll cry because she’s happy, sad, pissed, wants chocolate, and basically for no reason at all. You can thank Mother Nature for that little gem.
#6 She’s at her wits end. When pushed to the brink of frustration, some women may begin to cry. If you’re pissing her off and she’s at the brink of her patience, you’re going to see that quivering lip coming for you!
#7 She’s ridiculously happy. On the opposite spectrum of being bummed, women can also cry when they’re feeling beyond jazzed about a certain situation. That’s right, there’s just no winning! [Read: Secrets to a perfectly happy relationship]
Basics of what TO do when a woman is crying
We feel you, dude. It can feel really awkward to know the proper way to respond. That’s why we’re going to give you the basic list of Dos that’ll never let you down when your girl is shedding tears.
#1 Listen. Not every problem needs to be solved. Men tend to want to fix things, and women just want to talk about them. Men are fixers by nature, so when they hear their girl’s complaint or crying about a certain situation, they’re going to jump into “Superman Mode.”
Do us a favor, hold back. We totally appreciate your macho-protector approach, but sometimes we just want to bitch about something. And sometimes that bitching is going to involve crying. So, do us a favor and just listen. [Read: How to be a better listener in your relationship]
#2 Read her body language. If the girl in front of you wants a comforting hug, her body language will let you know. Similarly, if she wants her own space, she’ll make it known. Just be perceptive. If you still can’t figure it out, it never hurts to ask!
#3 Reassure her. Most women like communication, especially when they are emotionally stressed out. If she’s crying, just communicate with her. Reassure her that everything is going to be fine, and tell her you’ll figure it all out together. Ask her if there’s anything you can do to help her, or if she’d prefer if you just listened to her.
What NOT to do when a woman is crying
People, usually of the male variety, tend to get a bit squeamish when a woman is crying. She begins with a sniff, a downcast expression, or cupped eyebrows. Then the lip begins to shake, and before you know it, the waterworks are flowing.
#1 Laugh at her. If a woman is crying and your knee-jerk reaction is to laugh, well, you’re a jerk. Still, for some people, laughter is a natural albeit nervous reaction. If this has *you* written all over it, let your partner know beforehand so they aren’t so shocked by your seemingly heartless behavior. [Read: Biggest dating turn-offs for women]
#2 Make Jokes. This is a tricky reaction to crying that could either make you the most charming person ever, or a total a-hole.
Maybe you’re an at-home stand-up comedian. And you think you could make a priest laugh at a funeral! Great, good for you. That doesn’t mean she wants you to utter wise-cracks while she’s sobbing her mascara off.
Don’t get us wrong, the thought is sweet. We get it – your girl is upset. So you think, “make my girl laugh!” Still, you run a huge risk of offending her or making her think you’re an insensitive jerk.
Use good judgement about whether this would be an appropriate response for your gal. Warning: If she’s crying over a death or infidelity, joking is a huge no-no. But if she’s crying over period woes or a sad chick flick? Feel free to pull your best Louis CK. [Read: Annoying boyfriend traits and how to avoid them]
#3 Stare blankly. When a woman is crying, it’s usually customary to ask her if she’s okay, make a move to hug her, or apologize if you’re being a dick! Nothing – and I mean nothing – is going to make a woman crying feel more invalidated than a blank stare.
Look, we know it’s uncomfortable. But there’s nothing *scary* about water falling from your girlfriend’s eyes. So don’t ignore her! [Read: How to apologize to a girl when you know you messed up]
#4 Come on to her. Storytime! One year, my boyfriend broke up with me. We’d been together for three years. We were *that couple* that our single friends would go to for dating advice. When news spread of our breakup, I had a friend show up at my house within a couple of days. “I heard you and *Jackass* broke up.”
I began to cry out of sheer embarrassment, and he proceeded to ask if I wanted to go for a romantic walk together – while I was crying. True story. Are you kidding me? If she’s crying and you decide that this is a good time to swoop in with your romantic wiles, you’re way off the mark. [Read: Moves to seduce a woman and get her in bed]
#5 Leave. Whether she’s a frequent crier or she only turns on the water works when things are especially dire, leaving is probably not a good idea. No matter how uncomfortable or angry you feel, don’t bail on your favorite female.
And if *she* leaves, there is a 97% chance she’s standing outside the door waiting for you to chase after her. Yes, we do that. But if she likes to be alone when she cries, feel free to scoot your bum out the door! [Read: Bad habits that will make your partner want to leave you]
There you have it. The Do’s and Don’ts of what to do when a woman is crying. Waterworks don’t have to be that hard to figure out. Listen to these basic rules and you’ll be a world class comforter in no time!

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Waverly Smith
Waverly Smith is a freelance writer who has been getting paid for spreading her sarcastic take on love, life, and sex since 2010. She is many things that people...
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