The Reason We Cry When We're Angry Isn't As Bad As We Thought

Have you ever been in an argument where you and the person you're arguing with are angry, and you start crying? You feel your body begin to sweat, your heart races faster, and you feel like you're running out of breath; then, the tears come. Sometimes they come out of nowhere, and you don't know why you're crying. You might feel that your body betrayed you, and now you feel like the person you're arguing with sees you as weak. This might make it tough for you to stay focused and get your point across.


On the other hand, if you know that you cry when you're angry, from confrontation or an argument, you might try to prevent putting tearing up in those situations. You'd rather keep your feelings to yourself than talk about how you feel, which often isn't beneficial to anybody. The bright side to a frustrating encounter is that angry tears are more common than you think. Some people shout or scream when they're mad, and a handful cry. So, know that you're not alone. You might be wondering the exact reason for the angry tears, and you'll be surprised to know that it's not as terrible as you might think.

Reasons behind your angry tears

When your body is overwhelmed with too many emotions or a single strong emotion, like anger, it responds in any way it can, like crying. Even though you're not physically hurting, emotionally hurting can be just as painful, so your body responds to that pain through tears. For example, some people scream or say harsh words when they're angry, but crying comes from a profound emotional feeling. The underlying feelings can be sadness, anxiety, frustration, or any other painful emotion brought out by anger, which is why you start crying.


On the other hand, you might start crying when you feel like you can't clearly express what you're feeling. It can be challenging to communicate your feelings, especially if you have trouble with communication. So when you have to talk, it can overwhelm and frustrate you to tears. However, crying can be good because it allows you to release those pent-up emotions rather than suppressing them. In addition, crying when you're angry shows you're in tune with your feelings, while others may have difficulty doing the same. So don't look at it as a weakness. Instead, view it as a healthy way to cope with your emotions.

It's okay to cry when you're angry

There are times when we can't be in control of every single emotion we have, so it's necessary to feel them as they come. Maybe you're angry with someone for something they did to you, and you know you have to confront them about it. Remind yourself that it's okay if you start crying in the middle of the conversation. It's better to let the tears flow, feel your feelings, and get the truth out rather than bottling up what you genuinely feel.


You might have found that after crying for a little while, you feel calmer and slightly clear-minded. Crying when you're angry or in a stressful situation can help reduce your heart rate. This is because two chemicals, oxytocin and prolactin, are being released that help you to calm down your body and mind. You might feel embarrassed crying in front of others, especially those you don't want to see you cry. But those feelings can go away if you remind yourself that angry tears are normal.

Physical feelings you feel when you're angry

Feeling angry physically affects your body in multiple ways. There's a process that your body goes through. When you feel anger, you can trigger a 'fight or flight' response in your body that can also be caused by anxiety or fear. Once you enter that 'fight or flight' mode, your adrenal glands release stress hormones, like cortisol and adrenaline, throughout your body. You'll feel your body start to sweat, your hands begin to shake, or your heart racing. Sometimes your body will feel too overwhelmed that it causes short-term memory loss from the cortisol that's released. So, during an argument, you might have prepared what you wanted to say, but due to the stress hormones, you forget half of what you planned.


When your body is flooded with different hormones and your nervous system is at a high level, it's understandable that you would cry when you're angry. Allow yourself to feel your feelings when they come to prevent sending your body into shock. Then, you can take a few minutes to slow down and allow the other person to speak while you gather your thoughts and get your heart rate down.

How to control the angry tears

Calming yourself down during an argument or a difficult situation when you're crying can be challenging. There are different ways to cope with angry tears, even in the thick of a dispute. The critical thing to do is try to get yourself to stop crying by taking deep breaths. Slow down your heart rate by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth a few times. Breathing can relax your body and improve your focus in a stressful situation so you can think clearly and communicate your feelings.


Another way to control your angry tears is by simply drinking water. This allows you to distract your mind for a moment to do something else physically. Give yourself that time to breathe and think about where you are. In addition, drinking water helps lower your stress hormones and heart rate and gives you a clearer mind.

During an argument, if you feel yourself holding back in your argument and the tears have started, clench and release one muscle and focus on that feeling. When you make yourself physically do something, it lets you regain control of your body instead of letting your body control you. Your mind will reset, so you can stop your tears and continue to talk. If clenching doesn't help, take some time to step away and go on a walk to have some alone time. Afterward, you can go back to the conversation and express your feelings.