This quote from TV's Mr. Rogers just nails it, I think: "People have said, 'Don’t cry' to other people for years and years, and all it has ever meant is, 'I’m too uncomfortable when you show your feelings. Don’t cry.' I’d rather have them say, 'Go ahead and cry. I’m here to be with you.'"
It's so easy to project our feelings onto other people, whether it be discomfort or whether it be the arrogance of thinking that what's good for us will definitely be good for everyone else.
Ever had someone say to you that you absolutely must go to this or that doctor or try this or that experience because it was great for them and they think everyone would benefit just as they did? I'm sure it's all well-intentioned. But I think that what works for me may not necessarily work for someone else. And vice versa. We are unique in our tastes and in how we respond to things, too.
And when it comes to showing our emotions, we definitely are unique. I remember when my father was dying in a hospice facility. One of the caregivers urged our family members to be gentle and patient with one another because, as she said, each one of us would experience his dying differently. She was so right. So it's always a good idea to check what's really going on for us before making a remark such as, "Don't cry." Is it our discomfort? When someone is crying or showing any type of emotion, the important thing is to be present to them. Be there for that person. Affirm. Validate. Support.