StormySunshine, I very much identify with what you said, both about wanting to be understood as well as trying not to cry in front of an SJ because it creates more problems. I also remember my Dad saying when I was young and a kid was either sad or upset or mad, "Get happy!" in a decidedly unhappy tone. What he didn't understand is that his response provokes more emotions that further delay getting happy and that also just wiping away the natural response does not mean that the feelings have disappeared immediately as well. Like you said, usually gentleness, or listening and some show of love like a hug would diffuse the situation. I think the problem is that tears evoke a sense of panic in SJs at not being sure they will know how to handle the situation, and they also tend to take them as a personal, intentional insult, rather than as an involuntary response. One thing I've found SJs also assume is that tears are being used to manipulate them, which with NFs is seldom the case.
The reply from Saslou is interesting because it is also typical of how many of the exchanges between me and my boyfriend went. Because of us communicating so differently, we had a real problem. On the one hand I knew that being myself in front of him would bring about more unresolved conflict and frustration to him, which would end up in apologies from me, as well as lasting resentment and frustration, then ignoring/forgetting from him till there was a highly stacked pile of dynamite. On the other hand, I really wanted him to know me completely be authentic in front of him. I tried choking the stuff down that really bothered me, but that just meant that there were less and less areas topics of conversation that were open. By then end, we were down to things like the weather and what we were going to eat.
He was competent, smart, responsible, showed love through doing things for me etc. and I recognized and appreciated that. However, at the end of it all, we could not overcome the communication barrier.
My mum and dad also suffer from this problem. She's a tough lady and she also cares the world about their relationship. She cries infrequently, but when she does, he can walk away and ignore it and never mention it again. Areas of conflict are never voluntarily addressed and when they are, they are not resolved. And then they are completely forgotten (he literally doesn't remember they happened) while she remembers them vividly. I think it is because he is not sure what to do and also that he involuntarily deflects thinking about it because it evokes vulnerable feelings. However, it's interpreted as a lack of interest or care.
Thanks Saslou for helping develop this discussion and add to seeing where the differences in perspectives lie.