Manly Tears - New study looks at personality differences between men who cry and those who don’t

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A recent study by reveals that men who allow themselves to cry are more resilient, assertive, and satisfied with their life.

Men who allow themselves to cry are in better psychological health than men who don’t.

Crying is healthy, yet many men still fight their tears.

Men still fight that internal battle of wanting to show how they feel, but worrying about how it will reflect upon them.

Walter Cronkite shed tears on live TV the day JFK was assassinated. Ulysses S. Grant was said to have cried upon hearing news of Lincoln’s death. It is likely that few people would dare call these gentleman’s masculinity into question, but the stigma attached to male emotions hinders many of them from showing what they really feel. The stereotype that men who cry are weak, cowardly, and effeminate is not only harmful; it is also false. Research from reveals that men who allow themselves to freely shed tears are not only more adaptable in response to life’s ups and downs, they are also less likely to be diagnosed with depression and anxiety.

Analyzing data from 4,203 men who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, Queendom researchers singled out two groups: men who avoid crying under any circumstances (“Tear-avoiders”), and those who let their tears flow (“Tear-allowers”). Here is how they measured up on different EQ competencies:

  • Not surprisingly, Tear-allowers are much more comfortable expressing their emotions than Tear-avoiders (score of 67 vs. 36, on a scale from 0 to 100). They are also better at handling emotionally intense situations and people (66 vs. 49).
  • Tear-allowers are better at regulating their emotions (score of 66 vs. 52 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They are better at motivating themselves (score of 72 vs. 59 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They are more assertive (score of 67 vs. 36 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They are happier (score of 73 vs. 58 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They are more adaptable in response to change and hardship (score of 68 vs. 55 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They have a stronger sense of self-efficacy (score of 78 vs. 67 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They have higher self-esteem (score of 77 vs. 63 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They have a more positive mindset (score of 73 vs. 62 for Tear-avoiders).
  • They are more resilient (score of 81 vs. 71 for Tear-avoiders).


  • Engage in obsessive rumination (score of 52 vs. 36 for Tear-allowers).
  • Need approval and validation from others (score of 43 vs. 31 for Tear-allowers).
  • Be depressed - 9% have been formally diagnosed, 11% believe that they suffering from depression, but haven’t sought help (vs. 8% and 7% respectively for Tear-allowers)
  • Struggle with anxiety - 11% have been formally diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, 13% think they have one (vs. 8% and 8% respectively for Tear-allowers)

“The fact that emotional repression is unhealthy, for men and women, is undeniable,” explains Dr. Jerabek, president of PsychTests, the parent company of Queendom. “Yet men still fight that internal battle of wanting to show how they feel, but worrying about how it will reflect upon them. It starts with how boys are raised. Seemingly well-intentioned comments like “Boys don’t cry,” “Be a man,” or “Toughen up” not only cause emotional dissonance, they create generation after generation of boys who are overwhelmed with feelings they can’t express. As a result, many men bottle up their feelings with all the emotional and physical effects on their health, and some resort to unhealthy outlets to release emotional pain, which can involve self-medicating, self-harming, or even harming others. Repressed emotions can’t stay repressed for very long.”

“Our study also made one other point very clear: Although men who allow themselves to cry are at a psychological and social advantage over men who don’t, their scores on some EQ competencies were mid-range at best. This indicates that there is still a long way to go when it comes to improving men’s emotional health.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out our Emotional Intelligence test at:

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About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see The company’s research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D.
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