What makes us cry when in pain and laugh otherwise and not vice-versa ? 😉

In other words, is it possible to condition a child from the start to react otherwise ?

10 thoughts on “Laugh-Cry

  1. May be not cos when a kid is born, "CRY" is the only way it can attract other attention to it's needs or when in pain/danger (Read communicate). Be it the baby crying for food from it's mother or…

    Probably this could be one of the reasons why we cry when in pain even when we grow up…

    Why do we cry when we laugh or are too happy ?
    RK, I read this some where, cos in happiness the emotional surge in us is read by brain & it in turn instructs the tear glands to open up…

  2. It is not always true.
    When we take on pain intentionally, we are happy. For ex:- sports, running a marathon, trekking etc…
    Or when we are organizing an event/ceremony we take a lot of pain. But still we are happy.
    When we can take pain and be happy, why can't we be happy when pain comes. This thought can make us welcome pain.

  3. very interesting questions
    for the first part "What makes us cry when in pain and laugh otherwise and not vice-versa ?", I believe it is just because from the day we were born, we cried when in need of help and smiled when happy. We just held on to those expressions from infancy and continue to hold on to it as we grow. The only change I think would be that the threshold at which we cry in pain keeps increasing as we grow. Interestingly, I believe adults tend to bear lot of physical pain without crying, but tend to cry when in emotional pain. May be if we force ourselves to behave otherwise, i.e.vice-versa it should be possible, but I think its a lot difficult to change something that you were born with.

    As far as "is it possible to condition a child from the start to react otherwise ?" is concerend – I believe a child is born with the reflex to cry when it wants to gather attention and smile when it is happy. A newborn bay cries to attract attention, it surely wasn't taught that it should cry for attetion, it just does. I am not sure whether you can teach it to smile when in pain after a few weeks, but surely crying and smiling are reflexes from birth. This made me question "whether there is any particular reason for an infant to cry and not smile to gather attention?"
    More on this issue can be found at http://www.phenomenologyonline.com/articles/hewat

    Btw, Wish you a very Happy Birthday!
    When is the treat?

  4. Btw, I think a smile is a more beautiful facial expression than crying. So may be thats the reason we smile to show that we are happy and cry when in pain.
    very simple isn't it?

  5. NKs,Guru,Sk:
    That was interesting insights. Prelude to my getting that question: I saw a kid falling and getting hurt. Bewildered, he looked up to his mother to see if she is observing. She, intelligently, smiled as if getting hurt was a matter of pride. The child smiled too. 🙂 Of course it was not very painful for the child, but if the mother's face had frown, kid would have cried. Its expression was vulnerable to turn to either smile or weep.
    Thanks friends, I was very happy to read each sentence of yours. I readily accept everything and it makes great sense.
    NKs,
    Thanks…! Am now wondering how kids cried to get attention but after growing up, try to hide themselves while crying.
    How a supposedly strong action in childhood becomes vulnernable when we grow up. Yeah I realise that it is a potential weapon in childhood, except for that weapon we are much helpless. I guess I am digressing.

    Yes..I forgot that tear glands open when we are happy…Since crying appears both sides, to be fair to laughter, we should try laughing when we are hurt. That was just a silly, jealous idea, never mind !!
    Guru, Good thought. You are right. We can welcome only pain that helps us. But what about undeserved pain. Say a communal riot (both physical and mental pain).
    Sk, Great analysis and pondering. Yeah right, your framing of question is more logical. My question's prelude I explained above. Link looks nice, will read it. And yes, that was a simple enough and beautiful reason – Smile looks good 🙂

  6. SK,
    Thanks for the wish…treat when you come to Chennai 🙂
    NKs,
    Thanks man. No belated, you were very prompt.

  7. In my childhood days, whenever I fell down, my father used to point out some cracks/defects on the floor and start praising me. He would say …I was so strong that the floor chipped off when I fell(kaliyugada bheema… hehe). This would do wonders. At heart I would be crying with pain, but my ego would prevent me from crying. Similar would be the situation when I had to get my vaccines. My father would praise me in front of the doctor for 5 minutes( while the doctor was preparing the injection). And when the needle pierced… I would be laughing.

    This shows.. pain is purely pscychological.

  8. That is exactly the point that made me ask the question ! Then you believe that we can reverse the laugh-cry situations? 😉