We’ve all had to face the wrath of an angry mother or guardian.
At times, it can be a devastating experience to be yelled at by the one human being on earth who would give their life for you.
Unfortunately, getting yelled at by your mother is a normal experience…and one that never gets any easier.
Emotional reactions, such as crying, after being yelled at by your mother are normal. These emotional reactions are different for everyone.
If you’re suffering from depression, anxiety, guilt, hormonal issues, or even a condition like PTSD, bursting into tears after being yelled at can be a normal experience.
However, crying fits should be taken seriously, no matter the cause.
Why do people cry?
This is a question that science still can’t answer. There are very few scientists that have dedicated their lives to studying the science behind crying.
However, there are some prevailing theories and even some studies that have been proposed to help learn why people cry.
For starters, new research has shown that emotional tears, meaning those shed by feelings, have more protein in them.
This protein makes these tears thicker, meaning they linger on the face for longer and can be easily seen by others.
Emotional tears vs. regular tears
It’s important to know the difference between emotional tears and regular tears. Regular tears can be used by the human body to:
- Lubricate the eye
- Fight against infections
- Rid the eye of debris
- As a product of seasonal allergies
On the other hand, emotional tears are those shed because of human feelings. Humans are the only animal that sheds tears due to emotions.
While other animals might shed tears due to physical pain, humans can shed tears due to emotions such as:
- Overwhelming emotions
More protein = more connection
There are several theories as to why emotional tears have more proteins.
The prevailing theory is that people shed tears to share a human connection and emotional bonding.
When two people cry into each other’s arms or even share tears during a gathering, it’s much easier to trust the other and feel a sense of connection.
However, these tears must be visible, and the protein allows them to hang on to the cheeks and face in order to be seen by all.
Other theories for why we cry
There are other theories for why we cry. These include the theory that tears service to manipulate other people into giving us empathy.
For a teenager that has just been caught doing drugs by their mother, or who has been caught sneaking out and now needs to make an excuse, crying could be a great way to reduce their punishment.
For a boyfriend or girlfriend that doesn’t want their partner to leave or a child that wants a toy their mother won’t give them, tears can also produce emotions and empathy.
However, this isn’t the only reason we might cry in front of our mothers, or after getting yelled at by them.
Crying to soothe yourself
Getting yelled at by your mother (or by anyone for that matter) can create a stress response within your body.
Your body wants to feel relief from this stress, and theories and studies show that crying can be your body’s way of self-soothing.
Crying serves to lower the stress response in the body, as well as provides mood enhancement after a crying fit.
This can help you feel better, which is probably why crying sessions feel really good!
In essence, crying is a way of emotional mood management or self-soothing emotional regulation. This can help you:
- Ease feelings of tension
- Process a difficult situation
- Lessen the severity of the situation
- Remove negative emotions
- Provide a sense of catharsis
In addition to the effects crying has on the victim (known as intra-personal effects), there are also inter-personal effects that crying has. These can include:
- Alerting another person you need comfort
- Alerting them you need to be cared for (such as babies)
- Create a sense of protectiveness
When crying is done excessively
What about if you cry for even the slightest reprimand from your mother?
Maybe it’s because she told you to clean your room, or put your clothes away, or even shower?
Crying spells can be a sign of depression, and this should be taken very seriously.
If you find yourself falling into a depressive spiral after even the slightest argument, it’s important to reach out for help.
Many times, crying can accompany other symptoms of depression, including:
- Feelings of worthlessness
- Feeling like a burden
- Generally feeling down
- Feeling suicidal
These are very serious symptoms that you should seek help to treat. You can call a mental health professional or contact the local authorities if you are having serious thoughts of suicide.
Finally, other studies have shown that people with post-traumatic stress disorder, a type of anxiety disorder, causes people to have difficulty regulating their emotions.
For some people, this might appear like bottling up their emotions. For others, it can lead to crying fits at even the most minor inconvenience.
Problems with parental relationships
No relationship is perfect between children and parents. Even the calmest parents will eventually lose their cool, leading to arguments between parent and child.
However, if you feel that arguments between you and your mom or dad are far too frequent, it’s best to get professional help from a counselor.
Crying could indicate there are much deeper feelings involved besides being upset for being yelled at.
If you cry and have bottled-up emotions, aren’t able to express yourself in front of your parents, or seem to be experiencing fights with your parents most of the time, then it could indicate you need help from a family counselor.
A family counselor can help provide family counseling sessions that tackle the root of issues between your family and yourself.
They can do this through counseling sessions individually or with your family.
They can also help you understand where your emotions are coming from, and why your crying spells continue to pose an issue.
Ask yourself why
At the end of the day, crying because your parent yells at you is a normal response.
If you’re feeling guilty because of being caught doing something, it’s natural to cry if you’re feeling sorry or if you feel like creating feelings of empathy.
Other times, crying can be a sign that you want your parent to understand your emotions and want to alert them that you need protection.
If you want your parent to stop yelling at you, crying could make it easier.
However, crying is a unique experience that creates different emotions in everyone.
Some people might find the experience cathartic and can use their crying sessions to help them regulate their emotions.
On the other end of the spectrum, people can begin to cry at the slightest discomfort due to issues with regulating emotions.
If you feel your crying sessions help you after being yelled at by mom, and you feel your relationship is otherwise healthy, then this is a healthy response that does more good than harm.