Children quickly learn that tears are powerful motivators. If tears are not properly understood they can become weapons of manipulation and deceit. A young child wants to play with a toy that his brother has. He becomes so sad that he feels sorry for himself and tries to grab the toy. When his attempt fails, he begins to cry. Amazingly, the tears allow him to have the coveted toy. This little boy has just learned a lesson he will not forget. "Tears can bring me what I want." Then he learns that tears will get him out of responsibilities that are unpleasant to him. Finally, he completes the trifecta by learning that tears can actually make others feel sorry for him. This boy has earned his master’s degree in sorrowful manipulation.
Are all tears just manipulative attempts to control others?
Of course not!