I’ve always struggled with getting emotional when people are unexpectedly or extraordinarily nice–when a stranger goes out of their way to do something nice for me or someone else.
It can be embarrassing to tear up when these things happen.
Look, I don’t mean I cry when someone holds open a door for me. It has to be more than that. Here’s a recent example.
I was wrongfully billed for some medical lab tests and spent so much time on the phone with the billing medical group trying to get it fixed. My explanation was quite clear-cut, but no one would listen to me and it was frustrating.
I ended up on a conference call with two women: one from my insurance company and another from the billing medical center (doctor’s office). The medical center person was contentious, interrupted me, didn’t listen, and was actively trying to FIGHT with me! I was completely taken aback and flabbergasted. I was being calm and friendly but she left me speechless.
Then, as this woman was being a jerk to me, the other woman from the insurance company spoke up for me!! She argued for me! It felt so surreal to have these two people arguing about ME as I listened. I was in a haze. The call put my emotions through the wringer.
After the call ended, I called back my insurance company in hopes of getting connected with the same helpful insurance person. I just wanted–actually, needed–to tell her how much I appreciated her help.
What a strange, unexpected thing to have an emotional moment with an insurance company person!
I finally got connected with her. I thanked her, and…it was so weird! It was like we had this small, human connection! Me and a random insurance person! We were both in the battle together and understood each other. She even gave me her direct number in case I wanted to call her back. I wished I could hug her.
To have a complete stranger stick up for me was so welcome, and a relief. She was the only person who has listened to me throughout many phone calls regarding this billing issue.
After this whole incident, it took me a long time to calm down from the intense feelings of relief, stress, and having been yelled at running though my body.
Something similar happened to me recently. My father offered me some frequent flier miles to help pay for an upcoming trip but I had already bought the tickets. I couldn’t find a way to retroactively apply the miles on my own, so I had to call someone at United to cancel the tickets and re-purchase them using the miles. Based on past experiences with customer service on the phone, I braced myself for a stressful phone call. But much to my pleasant surprise, the woman on the other end was patient, thorough, and helpful. I *really* wish I had gotten her name! I also wanted to give her a hug. I ended up sending positive feedback to United, but I don’t think it got back to her. Still, like you, I was so grateful, I was overcome with emotion for a while after that phone call.
Thanks for sharing, Brenda!! 🙂
I found you on Youtube today and dont even know how many episodes I listened to today one after another and right this moment all I want to do is give you a hug, a big hug. I feel that connection with you that you talked about in your episode 23, LOL. a deep connection that says ” OMG she knows me so well”.
Thank you for helping me understand myself so much better now. What took me over 50 years to understand, you could explain in less than an hour. Thank you for the bottom of my heart:)
Can’t wait to hear more from you!
Take care and my prayers are with you.
Thank you, Fatima!!! I only started putting episodes on YouTube recently and wasn’t sure if it was worth the effort but now I know it was!! I’m so glad you enjoyed the show and found it relatable!! 🙂 hugs!! ha ha.
Yes, I understand so much what you said!… I have the same feeling.. And I cryed again now when I read this story… I understand so much what you mean…
I remember one day I was in the car with my son. When I parked the car close to my house, one of my neighbour open the door of the side of my son and he asked me if I needed help. He opened the seat belt of my son and take him in his arms. I was so impressed!! It was so beautiful. And yes, I wanted to cry and give him a big hug and invite him to go with us to our house. The only thing that I could say in that moment was “thank you”. I didn´t have words.
I love this human connection, it makes me feel I´m not alone in the world.
Thank you for sharing, Beatriz!!
I totally agree with your first paragraph! It really gets me right in the heart when I see people being nice to other people, or helping them out in some way. It can be embarrassing when you’re out in public and want to cry! I think the reason it gets to me is that for a moment you realise that there are lovely people out there who genuinely care about others, despite what you often come across!
Great topic, Kelly. Those tears are special. Small (and big) acts of kindness are powerful, especially in this hurried electronic world!
Hi Kelly, I totally understand you. A few months ago my son was being treated badly by his friends, so I decided to take a break from the friendships I had with the friends mothers’, who were actually the reason why my son started playing with those boys in the first place. It was very difficult for both of us, we had just moved to a new country and they were the only friends we had. On that same week, another mum from the same school (who didn’t know anything about what was going on) was suddenly so nice to us, inviting my son for a playdate and offering a ride to a school dance. She doesn’t know until today, but what she did at that time for my son was the best thing for him. I am crying as I remember about this, because she was so nice for no reason at the time we needed the most.
Livia, what a great story!! I’m so glad you were able to find people you connected with! 🙂
I have noticed I cry over random acts of kindness from strangers people I see on tv or in person being nice to each other I’m not talking about anything related to myself just things I see. The random unplanned kindness gets me every time. It touches my heart big time. I have no idea why. Maybe it’s just rare these days I have no idea why it makes me overly emotional
Completely identify with you! It takes so much of me to not cry when people are unjust or mean to me, and the same thing happens when people do nice things. If I messed up and someone is helping me then it is tears beyond control…
I teared up when i you story, specially the terms: small human connection.
My story is a little different.
One my childhood neighbours died. She was old, so of course her family at the funeral were sad, but not traumatized. When i hugged the family , i just started crying and couldn’t stop for some reason. It was kind of embarrassing, as it felt a bit disproportionate for the occasion.
My crying was caused by this:
I remember this women as being so nice to me.
I remember her once telling me i was pretty. She looked me in the face, looked into my eyes (small human connection) and she said simply and honestly : you are so pretty.
I was in junior high at the time. Sarcastic complements, offensive jokes and an older brother…I assumed i looked like a monster.
I have never forgotten that moment. As an awkward teenager, just being SEEN as a real person is a major event. It felt like in those 10 seconds, someone SAW me for who i really was, and she touched my soul. A real humain connection. AND she gave me a beautiful compliment from the heart. No sarcasm, no jokes, no politeness. I believed her and kept the compliment in my heart ever since.
Since she died, i have remember that moment very fondly and cry everytime i think of it.
Thank you for sharing, Diane, it made me tear up, too.
OH good! We’re no alone!! 🙂
I got the nicest thank you note for sharing my experience with Anxiety, depressive disorder exasperated by the fact that I’ve been diagnosed with BPD (It’s all connected).
I’ve been in intensive therapy for about 5 months now and I’ve learned a great deal which I shared in the comment sections of a news article on what it’s like to live with crippling anxiety.
For some reason, I decided to go check the “other messages” on facebook expecting to find some vitriol because…the internet…and well… just people in general.
To my surprise there was a long thank you note from a young man. He explained that it was just the thing he needed right then.
I’m fighting back the tears as I write this, I’m just so touched and I can’t understand why I can’t just feel the love for what it is.
I get like this not only when kindness is directed towards me but also when I see people do good acts for others, when animals are rescued or simply when you see one human being be there for another human being or animal.
Being sensitive is draining.
Thank you for your blog post.
Thank YOU for the lovely comment. It is wonderful to experience a feeling of love from/between a stranger. I sometimes feel embarrassed about how strong my emotions are in situations like the one you explain (an appreciative message from someone on Facebook, for example) but I’m learning that it is wonderful to have these emotions. Thank you so much for sharing!! 🙂
The end to this makes me cry. Jim Carrey makes me cry. He owes nothing to the world but goes out of his way to spread happiness, dispel fear and live in the now. He could have lived any life he wanted- completely escapist if desired, but he knows we are all the same.
This may sound strange but, I received some terrible customer service let at night in drive thru restaurant. The person in the speaker was extremely rude so I left and took my business elsewhere. I went to another drive thru restaurant where the person in the speaker was just so polite and so sweet that it made almost cry. It’s weird because it takes ALOT for me to cry, but when people are extremely nice to meet it gets me in my feelings. Especially the elderly.
I think it’s because people are so jaded and bitter these days. Niceties are far and few between. People are lovers of themselves, so when someone goes out of their way for you, it’s just so shocking to our soul.
I just look at a smily nice face sometimes and a nearly burst into tears, Im a 34 yo man. I’ll see old friends on facebook smiling with kids and its so beautful, I suffer with depression, but this cuts right thought it everytime, I didnt know there were more like me.
Kindness makes me cry because I was not raised with kindness, only harshness.
I cry and get goosebumps at the drop of a hat. Mainly at inspirational beautiful or sad stuff, actually anything I connect with.. Its so confusing to me…
Wow, I thought there was something wrong with me because I cry so much lately. I was bullied all throughout school because I was burned at age 2 and it left visible scaring on my neck. People were really mean to me in school and I even got beat up walking home from school many times. Needless to say I get sad to see such cruelty in the world. I am very sensitive to kindness, even my own mother was not kind, but my heart is touched when I hear or see acts of kindness and lately I just break out crying. Maybe Im finally healing, or am I just a wreck? I cant pinpoint which it is.
I cry for everything from marriage proposals to tv shows like idols when the judges praises a contestant to happy or sad moments in movies and some other things, i am a 40 yr old man so it’s embarrassing when i cry in front of people
Marriage proposals or anything overtly and intentionally sappy does nothing to me. I finally realized what does it: simple acts of kindness. A heartfelt compliment. An unexpected offer to do a (small) favor. It doesn’t have to be for me. I can do someone else a favor and think nothing of it, but if see actual appreciation in their eyes when they thank me, that’ll do it.
I am a man his 40s, too, and tearing up in public isn’t…ideal. I am also a bit physically imposing, which is probably somewhat confusing.
Thank you for sharing this. I have to admit I feel a tinge of sadness when someone is unexpectedly kind to me, and I don’t understand why. I’ve been working from school during COVID and am one of the few teachers teaching on campus because I don’t have space at home.
The school custodian has been unlocking the gate and turning on my heater for me before I get to my room this week. It was so thoughtful because he knows I get cold easily. I appreciate his kindness so much that it almost makes me feel a tad sad, and I can’t comprehend why.
My friend was absent from school because she had just got her second covid shot the day before this happened. So, I decided to sit next to her brother who had no friends at the school. He sat alone at the back of the cafeteria with his head down in a book. I saw he was drawing in a notebook, and I had an empty sketchbook with me so I gave it to him. After lunch, at the end of the day I was walking out of school with him, and I gave him an letter I wrote explaining how its okay to not be good at making friends, and that I can help him become more comfortable talking to people. What hurt me was when I asked him if he gets lonely and he said “when I’m at home I like to be left alone, but at school I see people interacting with each other and it kinda stings. At the same time I dont really want to talk to people”. He has like 0 social skills. Anyways, I told him I get really self conscious vibes from him and explained that he really does matter. I listed examples of people who care about him and talked about that. He stopped before we got to the outside doors and went ” why are you being so nice to me? Answer honestly…”. I told him I wanted to. Im assuming he thought I was being nice becaus he’s related to my best friend. He deserves to be happy and know he’s loved. He seriously looked like he was about to cry so I gave him a hug and stuff. Hes a really nice person, I hope he knows.