Unfortunately one of the basic life assumptions for many of us is: “whatever emotion you express may be used against you”.
It is common to discuss about what we do and about the weather, but very rarely you hear a description with precise words by people who tell how they feel. It looks like during our growth we learn that expressing emotions is dangerous or maybe useless; so many of us get used only to express anger when we feel under threat, with a negative impact on our well-being.
But emotions are part of us! The focus on our inner self, and so the understanding of our emotions, constitutes part of the foundation of the Centered Life Model, and of the seven steps to becoming confident, successful and happy.
Life can be tough sometimes, so the general perception is that, if you express your emotions during a conflict (at work, in the family, with friends), this shows a weakness or can be a “strategic mistake”, indeed the usual assumption is that “the people interacting with you may use this information to win the conflict”.
Unfortunately this is true in some way. There are people who have the capability of understanding another person’s feelings and they use this power to achieve what they want; but, is this a good reason for us to spoil completely our lives, neglecting our emotions? To make a simple example, we know that criminals exist, but if we decided not to go out from home anymore for this reason, our home would become a prison for us. Similarly, in many cases, we are becoming a prison for our emotions, as we do not express them anymore. If you go out from your home today, so you may also decide to express what you feel!
If you have a conflict with someone who is completely blind to emotions, nothing changes if you express them or not, as your emotions will not be understood anyway, so you can express them. If you express verbally your emotions, the people in front of you will have the chance to take them into account so to understand better how the situation impacts you: you will give a strong meaning to what you do and you will create more options to solve problems in case of conflicts; moreover, everyone interacting with you will be stimulated to express their emotions as well.
If you have expressed your emotions and this has been used against you, you have won anyway, because you have not allowed someone to transform you into the “prison of your emotions”: making you feel frustrated, limiting your self-expression and spoiling your personal life.
Expressing emotions does not mean to be controlled by them. To scream and shout because of anger is completely different than stating calmly that you are angry or disappointed for some reasons. To say that you are sad, and describe the reason behind that, is completely different than letting depression overwhelm you. Expressing verbally our emotions is the first step to take control of them, and not vice-versa.
Many thanks in advance for your comments!
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