Watching movies can mean different things to different people. Some people, myself included, find ourselves dabbing our moist eyes with tissues at the end of every good movie because we get emotionally connected with the characters. We’ve reached a point where every new film feels like a heartbreak waiting to happen.
You see, Iron Man’s ultimate sacrifice, Bhootnath becoming a star, Ned Stark’s shocking execution, Veer reuniting with Zara after two decades, Mufasa’s death, Mohan yearning for his homeland, and Marley being euthanised account for only a few drops of the ocean our eyes have shed while watching content.
Is it weird? Sure.
Is it funny? Perhaps, at times.
Is it so funny that you burst out laughing and make it a point to annoy us EVERY TIME we’re watching content? No, it’s not. Please get over it. Have you considered the possibility that you are not a human? Perhaps, a robot?
We, the weepy souls, have had a fair share of judgmental onlookers who’ve smirked, coughed, and laughed out loud on seeing us sobby on scenes they did not find emotional. In fact, there are people whose eyes are all waterworks in SOME movies and not in the rest, yet they find it funny when people cry in scenes they don’t. Does that even make sense?
Perhaps, tears make you uncomfortable. Or, it could be the social conditioning we, especially men, are brought up with. Laughing at the ones who cry watching ‘fiction’ may just be your reflex to deflect awkward scenarios. But seriously, we’re not expecting anything from you.
And TBH, it’s not like we’re embarrassed about getting emotional in movies. Not anymore, bruh. We sure are ANNOYED about you tracking our tears all the time.
Besides, getting teary-eyed while watching films is actually a sign of empathy and a healthy emotional quotient. Apparently, oxytocin, a.k.a. love hormone, widely associated with childbirth and physical intimacy, is also linked with ‘heightened feelings of empathy’, notes a report by The Conversation. For example, crying in movies. “Crying in the movies is a sign that oxytocin has been triggered by the connections you feel due to vicarious social experience,” wrote Jo Adetunji in the 2022 report.
In a 2009 piece titled Why We Cry at Movies, written by American Neuroeconomist Paul J Zak for Psychology Today, he noted an experiment conducted by one of his students where watching emotional scenes in a video raised the oxytocin measured in their blood. Furthermore, these subjects also turned out to be more empathetic and charitable. Even for strangers.
“We may cry at movies because the oxytocin in the human brain is imperfectly tuned. It does not differentiate between actual human beings and flickering images of human beings. Either one is enough to kick oxytocin into high gear and impel our empathy.” he concluded.
So, in reality, we’re actually far better off. Empathy is a rare virtue. You see, not many can imagine themselves in another’s shoes. We push aside reality, immerse into the plot, and connect with the characters and their arc. Besides, crying while watching and reading fiction also has cathartic effects. At least we’re not suppressing our emotions only to explode later.
This is not to say that if you’re not shedding tears in every other movie, you’re not normal. What we’re saying rather is that crying while watching emotional scenes is perfectly normal (and healthy), much to the contrary belief. So, stop trashing us cos it’s very annoying.