Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Types of Crying

True or false: You want to give every person you see crying a big hug?

If you chose “True,” you’re a dirty liar. But don’t feel bad—We’ve all experienced the urge to slap some sense in to some sense into a crying figure, we just feel guilty expressing it. But why? Are they ugly criers? Is there something in their tone? Do I see a hint of drool? Or maybe we’re just assholes.

Allow me to put that last statement to rest. They are many different forms of crying. With the assistance of some coworkers, I’ve created this chart that illustrates types of crying across two factors: Pathetic-ness and Sympathy Elicited. Overall, we determined that the best types of crying maximize sympathy elicited, while minimizing levels of pathetic-ness. Take a look, and maybe you’ll understand why that blubbering idiot just didn’t tug at your heartstrings.


Blubbering: Unattractive, loud crying. Characterized by mutters, truncated, erratic breathing, clinched facial expressions and hunched posture.

Hyperventilate-Crying: Forceful crying causing heavy breathing, resulting in the inability to speak or produce sounds even resembling words.

Scream-Crying: Violent crying accompanied with bouts of yelling or sometimes shrieking. May also include slapping, punching or other physical expressions of distress.

Silent Tears: Soft, inaudible crying that does not draw attention; May manifest only in a single tear rolling down one’s cheek.

Sobbing: Heavy crying with a large volume tears flowing steadily; Generally audible but not inappropriately loud.

Sniveling: Audible, but soft crying, also prone to muttering and erratic breathing; May also show signs of drool or mucus.

Weeping: A gentler version of sobbing; Involves soft, steady stream of tears with some times lightly audible signs of distress.

Whimpering: Soft crying usually including few or no tears at all; Often incorporates muttering and/or high-pitched sighs.