Crocodile Tears

It’s a shame we have to deal with insincere people. However inauthenticity is a fact of life, the only way I’ve found to deal with effectively is through awareness. Sometimes that awareness comes from wise friends sharing their experience, sometimes in life first hand, sometimes from books, movies and sometimes it’s a matter of knowing thyself. Forewarned is fore-armed.

Simply – you can’t kid a kidder

I recently blogged about people wanting compliments ‘confirmed’, whilst I was critical of the asker, I understand the reasons behind it – insincere people giving compliments in order to try to get something. Yesterday I blogged about cynics, well actually people who’ve gone beyond cynicism into negativity – “Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down”

Today I’m blogging about crocodile tears. I’m sharing a story a friend told me about when he was a boy, some might relate to it.

DonCharisma.org-Crocodile-Eye

Crocodile Tears

I’d been called to the head teachers office at my school of maybe 1000 students. I was in my early teens. I and a couple of girls about the same age were waiting to be summoned for a ticking off by the balding idiot who spat when he talked, who ran the school. How he was a good role model, I have no clue, but that’s another story.

I saw one of the girls crying, and felt, I guess, compassion towards her. I asked her what was wrong and her answer surprised me, a lot, my jaw dropped and stayed like that for a while.

I said “what’s wrong”, and she said “nothing, I’m crying so that when I go in he’ll take it easier on me”.

Fair enough, honesty like that is rare, I can’t fault her for telling the truth. She also taught me a very valuable lesson that day, one I will never forget.

This is the story as my friend told it to me, some years ago 😀


Crocodile Tears – The origin of the saying I understand is from actual crocodiles. Apparently they irrigate their eyes “tears”, whilst they are devouring their prey. So not a sincere expression of remorse, sadness, grief or fear, considering they’ve just killed something and are eating it.

One can’t criticise the girl from the school, because she told the truth and taught my friend something incredibly valuable. High praise to her actually.

I will always be thankful to my friend for sharing the story.  Sadly, I do often see this strategy employed by people everywhere, all the time. Doesn’t impress me much, to be honest, especially when it’s employed on me. It’s a lie and a manipulation.

Tied in with “The Boy Who Cried ‘Wolf'”, it’s easy to see why people become cynics. Fake-victims like this do really give all victims a bad name, even genuine ones. Which is very sad, when there are people who genuinely deserve our compassion. It’s my hope that sharing this would enable some to be able to see who the genuine ones are.

Also it’s sad that so many people are taken in by these fakers, which is why I’m writing this post, to raise awareness.

I understand more complex psychological explanations, but they are beyond the scope of this writing.

I’ll leave you with a quote :

“I begin to fear, lest his humility … be a counterfeit humility, and his tears crocodile tears.”

Edmund Grindal, Archbishop of York and of Canterbury, 1563

This is said to be the origin of “crocodile tears” idiom.

The positives that come out of knowing this – being aware of someone who’s lying about their hurt, in order to get something, would serve one well in life. It’s possible that it would free one from being manipulated in this way. It’s also possible that knowing this would enable one to see it going on and not buy into the ‘crocodile tears’.

Happy blogging – Don’t Let The Bastards Grind You Down 😀

Warm regards

Don Charisma


Resources & Sources

Crocodile Eye – MorgueFile


Notes for commenters:

Don Charisma Warning Improvised Writing

Comments are invited. BUT you are reminded that this is a public blog and you are also reminded to think before you press the “post comment” button. 

Good manners are a mark of a charismatic person – so please keep comments civil, non-argumentative, constructive and related, or they will be moderated. If you feel you can’t comply, press the “unfollow” button and/or refrain from commenting.

I read ALL comments but can’t always reply. I will comment if I think there’s something that I can add to what you’ve said. I do delete without notice comments that don’t follow rules above. For persistent offenders I will ignore you permanently and/or report you.

Most decent people already know how to behave respectfully. Thank you for your co-operation on the above.

Warm regards, Don Charisma



36 thoughts on “Crocodile Tears

  1. Guilty, guilty, guilty! I have been guilty of using manipulative tears – although it’s been years – not trying to rhyme :). Usually in a relationship. Ugh. Ugly. Lord please help me be genuine and transparent. Thanks for the post, Don! Love your pics of the ocean – has to be my favorite creation on earth!!

  2. It’s never okay to manipulate others with false emotion. This causes persons to be hardened to others in the future to someone who has a real emotional need. How sad is this! I find that children of divorce tend to learn this type of manipulation much better as they learn how to manipulate the divorced parents very well. Sad state of affairs in our society.

  3. This is so true! Crocodile tears happen all the time… around us… everywhere we look! Taken your word for it… must look out for these fakers. And yes it was beautiful valuable story!

    Love, Wink n Pout
    Blog , App

  4. I used to cry when my mother accused me of something as a child when I knew without a doubt I was innocent. My oldest child on the other hand would cry as soon as she thought she was in trouble. It never worked on me and now she has kids of her own she has learned that lesson for herself.
    These days I cry for no reason some days but they are always from the heart.
    I think it’s terrible that people use the emotions of others to gain for themselves.

  5. Such a valuable article. I wrote a whole lot here and changed my mind. I think you have summed this up quite fabulously. It takes time to figure out the difference between the REAL tears and the croc ones…but after a bit of experience etc… it gets easier I think. Still gonna get it wrong sometimes though hey! (both ways likely – THAT is the sad part!!)

    1. Thanks Belinda, and glad you liked my summing up … it does take a while, but with a bit of experience looking for the signs, no problem … I could expand on the whole thing, but then what would I put in my book ?

      Enjoy the chillaxing !

      1. EXACTLY! LOL! ..and I am SURE you could 😀
        My Nan used to say ‘Nought so funny as folk’…terribly very true…

        And thank you…I shall. Neeeearly time to rest the eyes.

      2. Oh dear…I did forget what I had said – just checked (ping)
        …absolutley’zzzzzz. -.-
        …and with that… I am shutting down now and climbin g the stairs. Have a good rest of ’till your bedtime’ dear.
        Catch ya on the rebound yeah. 😉

  6. In our family we say, “No fake tears.” My kids are raised to not manipulate others with their fake tears and they are not to let others manipulate them with fake tears. In addition to manipulation, these fake tears take away from truth of real tears, tears of pain and suffering.

      1. Goodness, you are very welcome and thank you! Your thoughtful posts inspire me to write about matters that matter 🙂 Have a great week ahead ❤

      2. THanks Angie I take all the compliments while they’re hot 😀 … although I do like working collaboratively with other cool people, why I suggested 😀

  7. There were times when my tears were real, a heartfelt emotion, and others had thought I was acting – crying crocodile tears. Who would not feel the pull of grief when speaking of their beloved dead mother despite the practiced speech?

    1. I have a male friend who apologised to me for nearly breaking down into tears at his brothers funeral. I told him there was nothing to apologise for … he loved his brother, so it’s a normal ordinary emotion to feel, the loss of a loved one, grief.

      Who are the “others” that you speak of ?

      1. A person in church. He remembered that I was great at writing, producing, and acting for I had produced Christmas plays at the church in my teenage years. Apparently, that was all he remembered. So when my sister said, let’s make a ten year memorial for mom, make a speech. He came up to me after and said, “That was great! That hitch in your voice and pause was very effective.” I had spoken of emotions from my heart. I wrote the speech and spent hours memorizing because I’m a nervous public speaker plus without the written words, I might have ended crying. A little tear had escaped, yes, but I was able to finish my memorial tribute. But I wasn’t acting. I was hurt by his words.

      2. Understandably … personally I’d pay no heed … you know you’re own feelings don’t let someone else tell you what you feel … warm regards Don

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