• Question: Why people cry/blush ?

    Asked by Wiktoria to Colin, Kevin, Shikha on 20 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Crying is a very clear visible symbol that somebody is very happy or sad and act as an emotional release to pent up feelings. It a very clear signal to those in your group that you are indeed of sympathy or you are very happy and want to open,unshared that you are. It can win you support in a group…e.g whenever the big macho man cries at the sight of a baby etc. many women find this behaviour attractive in that it indicates that the man is not only strong but is sensitive. People can even “turn on the water works” to get out of a speeding ticket and it does on occasion work….so crying can even be a tool of manipulation (young children frequently do this, but most grow out of it) There’s no really good physiological reason so its seem like just a part of our psychological make up.

      Blushing can be part of your adrenalin “fight or flight” instinct that channels blood from your core to your muscles to get ready for a quick run or a scrap! So some of that blood works its way to your face and you go red. In our modern world gearing up for a confrontation in an office about a stolen stapler ocean have the same effect as a caveman about to fight a sabre toothed tiger. It can be embarrassing but is completely natural. As you get older and lean how to deal with situations and are more confident you’re less like to trigger the fight or flight mechanism and so you blush a lot less…but I certainly still have my moments! 🙂

    • Photo: Shikha Sharma

      Shikha Sharma answered on 20 Nov 2014:

      Hi Wiktoria,

      Blushing is generally linked with embarrassment and it is governed by the sympathetic nervous system. This system is involuntary, meaning you don’t actually have to think to carry out the processes. When you’re embarrassed, your body releases adrenaline. It slows down your digestive process so that the energy can be redirected to your muscles. All of these effects account for the jolt you feel when you find yourself embarrassed. Adrenaline also causes your blood vessels to dilate in order to improve blood flow and oxygen delivery. This is the case with blushing.

      Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. Its different from ‘lacrimation’ where we shed tears due to non-emotional reasons. Crying is also believed to release stress hormones or toxins from the body.