Crying and our high sensitivity personality

Expressiveness = High EQ or Sensitivity

We cry in response to many different kinds of experiences, not just painful ones.

Keith Beasley described Emotional Quotient, or ‘Sensitivity’ in Mensa Magazine (United Kingdom Edition) in 1987: “The person with a high EQ is one who is easily ‘moved’ and who needs to openly express his or her feelings. At one level it is Bob Geldof being so affected by starving orphans that he organizes a whole crusade for them. At the ‘day-to-day’ level it’s crying at The Sound of Music… To those sensitive members of society, expressing their feelings is as important as using their brains is to Mensans.”

Actors and crying

Robin Tunney in HollywoodlandRobin Tunney says about her role as the fiance of original TV Superman George Reeves in the film “Hollywoodland” that she was “dying to play her. [When I got the part] I couldn’t stop crying.” [Life mag., Sep 1, 2006]

Actor and musician Mandy Moore also confesses, “I’ll cry at anything, even a tissue commercial. I’m overly sensitive. It’s so easy to hurt my feelings. I can cry at the drop of a hat.. all the time. I cry when I’m happy too.” []

Also an actor and musician, Milla Jovovich inspired her director for “The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc” Luc Besson to say, “She has the same kind of passion and excess [as Joan] and, you know, she can laugh and she can cry two seconds afterwards. She can cry for an ant on the street. She has, like, no skin. She feels everything. Even the wind can make her cry.” [LA Times, Nov.11.99]

Too much sensory input?

In her article What Everyone Needs to Know About Highly Sensitive People, Sarah Dolliver says that “sensitive” does not refer to emotions:

“All too often, HSPs are thought to be emotionally sensitive. That’s a mistake. The nature of the sensitivity is not around emotions. Emotions can become part of the equation, though. When an HSP is overstimulated by their sensory experiences, it is quite easy to get to an emotional edge where breakdowns or outbursts occur. However, it’s not the emotions that are the cause, yet simply an effect of too much sensory input.”

That may be more accurate: high sensitivity can be seen as a greater responsiveness to the multitude of external and internal signals we are getting all the time.

But Elaine Aron, one of the leading writers and researchers on the personality trait of high sensitivity (sensory processing sensitivity; present for about 15 to 20 percent of us), declares that HSPs (highly sensitive persons) “do cry more readily than others. It was a strong finding in our research.”

One example: actor Jessica Chastain:

“I’m very sensitive in real life. I cannot not cry if someone around me is crying…even if it’s not appropriate.”

From post: Jessica Chastain and High Sensitivity.


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Originally posted 2006-09-01 19:22:00.


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