Why do movies make us cry

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do movies affect us

In my previous article Why do games affect us emotionally i explained how your subconscious mind might mistakenly think that what you see in games is real and so get affected by it.

This doesn't just happen with movies as well but it also usually happens in a more powerful way since movies usally look more real than games. But still this doesn't explain why you sometimes feel like crying when watching a movie.

And why do some people seem to get more affected by such movies where as some others don't get that affected. In a previous article about empathy called Why do we have empathy for certain people only i said that once we identify with someone ,because he reminds us of ourselves, we can easily get emotional.

For example if your arm was broken and you had to put it in cast then you saw a movie about a disabled person then you are very likely to get affected by that movie since it will remind you of what you are going through.

The same can also happen when someone reminds you of a family member or a person you care about. Many people see their moms, dads or relatives in movies and as a result get really effected.

If a person had a guilt problem where he wasn't nice to his sister for example then any part of the movie that touches that wound can make that person feel really bad. See also The psychology of empathy

You always wanted to cry

This brings us to two more important conclusions. The wounds that caused this sadness were already there inside of you and the movie just reminded you of them. The second conclusion is that you always wanted to get rid of the burden by crying and the movie gave you the best chance to do it.

In such a case crying in the movie gave you the opportunity to release the stored unconscious emotions while consciously believing that you are crying because of the movie.

In another article about sad music i said that when a person gets sad he usually feels like hearing songs that match his own mood because they describe how he feels.

Now so many people go to sad movies because they are already sad and because they are looking for a way to release some of this sadness.

Unconsciousness recall of memories

While watching a movie an unconscious recall of memories and fears can happen. This can lead to intense emotions that can be easily confused with the movie's effect.

If for example the movie reminded you , on the subconscious level, of some of your fears, regrets or memories then you can get really emotional and feel like crying.

Now you might be wondering why some people get affected more than others by movies. The answer is simple. Depending on your beliefs, values and concerns you will get affected in a different way than others. And because each person is unique some people get affected more than others by movies.

Next time you cry in a movie better understand why it happened for it can tell you a lot about your personality.

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