May 24, 2020 I’M SUCH A CRYBABY! Dear Brandon, Whenever something upsetting happens—even little things—I cry! I cry when someone hurts my feelings, I’m embarrassed, or even when I’m mad! People make fun of me at school, and my parents yell at me when I cry about little things. I’m the oldest of four siblings, but I’m still the one who cries all the time! It’s SO humiliating, which makes me feel like crying even more! How do I stop?! Crybaby What’s Up Crybaby, Okay—first of all, stop calling yourself a crybaby. It sounds like you’re a sensitive and emotional person, and while that can be inconvenient and embarrassing, it’s not a bad thing. It can be a really good thing, actually. Sensitive, emotional people are really in tune with what other people are feeling. They can also be really compassionate and good listeners. To be honest, I think it’s better to be someone who cries easily than someone who doesn’t cry at all. People like you are better in tune with your emotions. I talked to my good friend Nikki Maxwell. Honestly, I’ve seen her get super emotional over the really cute puppy in a car commercial! She had A LOT to say, so this week’s column is kind of more Ask Nikki than Ask Brandon. 😀 Turns out Nikki cried a lot MORE when she was younger (which I find hard to believe). She said it’s because she’s just a sensitive person, which she still is. But the older she got, the better she became at “managing her emotions,” which meant less crying. These are her tips. Breathe. When you feel an emotion coming on that’s too big for the situation and might make you cry, breathe slowly, in through your nose and out through your mouth. Count. Try counting something around you, like floor tiles, or going through your multiplication tables in your head. This gives your brain a distraction. Step away. Go to the bathroom/step outside/get a drink of water. You don’t want to run away from your emotions, but when you’re in a situation where you know you’re going to get yelled at for being overemotional, taking a break to calm yourself down is a good idea. Make a plan. For situations where you know you might cry, think ahead about how you’ll respond. If you know you cry when you lose a soccer game, prepare before the game for the fact that you might lose. Remind yourself that there will be more games. And be ready to use the tips above if you do lose. Remember there’s nothing WRONG with tears. Crying is a way we communicate our emotions and share that we need comfort. Crying is also a normal and healthy release of emotions. There’s even different chemicals in tears, depending on what the body is reacting to and releasing! Isn’t that cool? I hope that helps! I, for one, will try to stop laughing at Nikki when she almost cries over car commercials. 😀 Do you cry easily? Do you have tips for controlling your emotions when you need to? Do you feel better after a good cry? Tell us all about it in the comments.