BBC 5 Live: George Osbourne – Boys Don’t Cry?

Sobbing his little socks off... George Osbourne

Sobbing his little socks off… George Osbourne

I was on BBC 5 Live this week (Thurs) chatting with Tony Livesey and the life coach Jeremy Milnes about men crying and crying in general. It was hooked onto the news story that MP George Osbourne (the Chancellor) sobbed through most of the funeral of the late Lady Margaret Thatcher. You can listen here to the chat on 5 Live.

We were asking were his tears appropriate, embarrassing or just spontaneous? Is it okay to cry in public, even for a high profile politician at a very public event? Should men (and women) save such a personal out-pouring of emotion for a more private setting? Or are we just being uptight and terribly British by even questioning his display of emotion? Truth be known, on this occasion, I found Osbourne’s tears just a touch OTT – I know (bless him) Thatcher was some sort of hero of his, but he was not related to her and afterall, it was a huge, public funeral and sobbing as he did was a bit cringeful (!)

“It is such a mysterious place, the land of tears.”Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

I am all for a good blub. Goodness knows I have shed some tears in my time – hopefully counterbalanced by twice as much laughter and joy! Seriously though, I am a firm believer that crying is good for the soul. In fact releasing emotions – be them positive or sad ones – is mentally healthy.

tearsIt is incredibly sad but I know and have met several people (mainly men) who feel completely incapable of expressing their emotions and crying when, deep down, they need to. This ’emotional block’ is very painful to observe as it creates a barrier and often leaves them isolated in their feelings by building a wall against those who wish to support them in their troubles. It is amazing however when this block is removed (with support, courage and perhaps even therapy) and suddenly they feel alive and tonnes lighter for finally letting go of all that pent up sorrow and emotion.

I am all for anyone, of either sex, having a good cry if they so wish. However, genuine heartfelt tears are often involuntary and when they flow, they can feel like they will never stop. But stop they do, and then afterwards, the feeling of having released the sorrow, sadness or whatever emotion is actually very cathartic. You also release stress hormones that can only be released via the tear ducts, so that’s no bad thing either.

So, go on, cry… blub… bawl your eyes out even – ideally in a safe and private space – and know that everything will be alright if you just listen to your needs and feelings x

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