The hidden side of politics

The Psychological Reason Hot Girls Cry on Their Birthday

Reported by POPSUGAR:

If you’re to believe the Reddit threads and TikTok videos, there’s a reason the song “It’s My Party” and the entire subplot of “Sixteen Candles” still resonates with countless people today: crying on your birthday has become just as much a part of the celebration as scoring yourself a free Crumbl cookie. Whether the tears come from happiness, sadness, or the existential crisis of being one year older, the birthday cries are a very real phenomenon that just so happen to plague hot humans everywhere.

Even though crying on your birthday is very normal, that doesn’t mean it feels normal, Anna Harris, a clinical mental health counselor, says. “Many people who cry on their birthday end up crying even more because they feel bad about feeling the way they’re feeling.” (Call it the domino effect of birthday tears.)

To uncover the truth about why we cry on our birthdays — as in, if it’s a case of the birthday blues or something else entirely — we’ve enlisted the help of Harris and other mental health professionals to explain.

Why Do I Cry On My Birthday?

Asking someone why they cry on their birthday is a lot like asking someone why the sky is blue. Is it because it’s science? Is it because aging is scary? Below, experts share their thoughts.

1. You feel disappointed with how your birthday went. Because birthdays are an annual event, people put a lot of pressure on the day, which can lead to disappointment. “Since our birthday is that one special day in a year that’s all about us, we often have high expectations for how the day should go and what kind of attention and love we’ll receive,” Michelle Beaupre, LCSW, clinical director at Village Oasis, says. “When these expectations aren’t met, we can feel let down and disappointed, which can lead to tears.”

2. You feel unforgotten or unimportant. “Birthdays are supposed to be a special day when we feel loved and celebrated; however, not everyone has people around them to make that happen,” Mary Lawrence, LCSW, clinical director at Acera Health, says. This disappointment can sometimes stem from feeling like you do more for your loved ones’ on their birthdays than what they do for yours.

3. You are anxious about getting older. Birthdays are a reminder that aging and time passing is unavoidable. For many people, “it can be daunting to think about the future and all the unknowns that come with it,” Beaupre says.

4. You are overwhelmed with love and gratitude. In good news, you could have a case of the birthday cries because you are filled with happiness. “Sometimes we can be overcome with emotion when we receive an abundance of love and appreciation from our loved ones,” Beaupre says — especially if you find yourself reflecting on all the good things in your life, which can bring on the tears.

How to Avoid Crying on Your Birthday

If you want to prevent yourself from crying on your birthday, Beaupre recommends managing your expectations. You don’t have to lower them, but focus on appreciating whatever comes your way instead of thinking about whatever didn’t. “Once you realize that gifts and grand gestures aren’t the most important things about your birthday, but rather the people you share it with, it can help prevent any disappointment or tears,” she says.

That said, if your love language is gifts or you do have high expectations for your birthday (which is valid), make sure to communicate those to your loved ones ahead of time. If you want to wake up to breakfast in bed or a donut from your favorite coffee shop, tell your significant other that’s how you’d like to start your birthday instead of assuming they already know. Direct communication is key.

Alternatively, you could make the plans yourself so there’s no room for disappointment. “Whether it’s treating yourself to a spa day or indulging in your favorite hobbies, you have control over how you celebrate and can ensure that it will be a happy and tear-free day,” Beaupre says.

If you’re feeling oddly existential and it’s putting you into a panic about aging and death, practice mindfulness. “Being mindful and present can help you appreciate the moment and not get overwhelmed by thoughts of the past or future,” Lawrence says. A good way to do this is by counting five things you can see, four things you can physically feel, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This exercise helps ground your mind in the here and now, as recommended in a previous PS article.

Creating a vision board and setting new goals for the new year may also be helpful. “This can be a great way to shift your focus toward the future and all the exciting things that are yet to come,” psychiatrist Michael Kane, MD, chief medical officer at Indiana Center of Recovery, says.

Most importantly though, embrace the tears. Emotion is what makes us human. Allow yourself to feel what you’re feeling for a cathartic release. Once you’re finished, take a bite of that free Crumbl cookie (or the other birthday freebie you got earlier in the day) and you’ll forget why you were crying in the first place.

Taylor Andrews is a Balance editor at PS who specializes in topics relating to sex, relationships, dating, sexual health, mental health, and more. In her six years working in editorial, she’s written about how semen is digested, why sex aftercare is the move, and how the overturn of Roe killed situationships.