There is actually something wrong.
Sometimes you will cry because something awful has happened, and I’m so sorry; I genuinely wish that you never have to cry for this reason. Most of the time, however, you’re probably crying because of something really stupid. Let me help you understand your tears better.
You are hangry.
Hangry isn’t just for babies, but if you’re hangry you’re probably crying like one. It’s when you’re so hungry you get super angry, and everything becomes overwhelming so you bawl. In the case of hanger crying, the water works can be turned off with a prompt feeding. Having someone around to burp you afterwards is a plus.
Something existential is happening to you.
It’s indefinable, self indulgent, and most of all, will repel anyone you try to talk to, but sometimes you just get this universal feeling about life (mostly your life. What am I saying, completely your life), and it’s so ambiguous and grand that you can’t quite put your finger on it, so you cry instead. My best advice is reserve this one for the work place toilet stall and sleepless nights alone at 2 a.m.
You are tired.
You’ll often be able to preempt this by identifying delirium. For instance, say you’ve just caught a red eye flight, were unable to sleep (because let’s face it, you have to be a complete sociopath or have some really, really good drugs to actually be able to get any proper shut-eye on a plane), went straight to work where, by your third coffee, at around 4 p.m. you found yourself laughing hysterically at nonsense jokes and talking in high pitched giggles about serious things, you’re in for some serious tears by 5 p.m. The delirium will abate into a moody silence and by the time you’re on the subway you’ll be dripping snot into your lap and sobbing like a small child who just wants to curl up on mom’s lap.
You are bleeding out of your vagina.
If you’re a woman and you suddenly cry (even if you think there’s a “reason,” like your boyfriend looked at you funny or your roommate used your last drop of milk), immediately take off your pants. If you are bleeding out of your vagina then everything is OK, there’s no problem here; back away from the situation and cry in hibernation as much as you please until you’re able to gain control of your emotions again slash when your vagina isn’t bleeding any more.
It’s your birthday.
Is it your birthday? Are you upset because you’re spending it without your loved ones? Sad that you’re getting older? So overwhelmed with love and happiness? Didn’t get the right gift? If it’s your birthday you can cry as much as you want, especially if you’re drunk. It’s basically the only time you’re going to be entitled to sympathy and attention for drunk crying anyway, so you may as well embrace it.
Someone did something moving on the subway.
The New York subway is eat or be eaten, so if you see a random act of kindness, your heartstrings will be plucked, and it will rain. Times I have cried from moving human interactions on the subway include (but are not limited to): a man leading a blind lady he did not know to an empty seat; a little girl giving her mother a bite of a donut; some kids break dancing in the aisles.
You just really want to cry, alright?
If you feel it, do it. As Michael says, “tell them that it’s human nature.”