Why do we cry when we are really happy?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by MarkHastings, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I've been out of work for the past month (bad back) and I've been hooked on this "Perfect Proposal" show where guys go out of their way to propse to their girlfriends. I keep amazing myself when I find myself chocked up when the moment happens on tv :b It's such a normal thing, yet when you think about it, it's the strangest. Why do we cry when we are happy?

    Is there some sort of mix up in the brain when we are so happy that we start crying? Is it an overload of emotion that accesses the tear ducts?

    Is there a scientific explanation, or is it all just a mystery?
     
  2. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    I would guess it's just a strong emotion like crying, and causes tears. Just a guess.

    Speaking of crying, I was recently watching My Girl on the TBS Superstation, and boy, that part and the following parts after Veta's friend dies from the bee stings. Man, that just choked me up.
     
  3. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    Kinda like when you are laughing hysterically and your eyes start tearing up. So shouldn't that also mean that we'd cry when we were really pissed off?
     
  4. Leila Dougan

    Leila Dougan Screenwriter

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    Crying is just a reaction to strong emotion. I rarely cry when I'm sad and cry even less when I'm happy. But when I'm angry, better watch out!
     
  5. Mark Murphy

    Mark Murphy Supporting Actor

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    I could never grasp the whole "tears of joy" idea until my son was born. There I was crying right along w/him.
     
  6. andrew markworthy

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    As other contributors to this thread have already said, it's due to an overwhelming emotion. The full explanation is very lengthy, but basically, when we feel any sort of emotion, our autonomic system responds (indeed, the autonomic responses are what largely create our conscious feeling of an 'emotion'). In the case of amusement/happiness, a side effect of this is that our tear ducts go into overdrive. This seems bizarre, but our response to good news and humorous situations is tied up with our anger or hostility response (e.g. the grin is supposedly derived from a teeth-baring grimace to something unusual or incongruous) and what serves for one emotional state (in this case eye watering to give a visual signal of heightened emotional arousal) may find itself pressed into service for another.
     
  7. Mark Shannon

    Mark Shannon Screenwriter

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    Woah, nice explanation Andrew[​IMG].


    I have a friend who whenever she gets mad or pissed, almost immedietly starts crying. Heck, I can recall a few times where I've been extremely pissed, and then noticed noticed my eyes were watering up slightly.
     
  8. MarkHastings

    MarkHastings Executive Producer

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    I wonder why this happens? There must be some sort of benefit to lubricating the eyes when we have these strong emotions.
     

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