I Have So Much to Say That If I Stay Quiet, Subtitles Will Pop Up
Sometimes we hold back those thoughts and feelings for so long that we can express them without any need for words. It is easy for this to happen because verbal communication only makes up a small percentage of our emotional communication. We can express ourselves with looks, gestures, stances, and attitudes much more than by putting our thoughts and feelings into words. Communication is very flexible and broad, which is why we can say that, despite staying quiet, there are hundreds of indicators that will do the work of subtitles and transmit a message.
In principle, this is not bad, as it is not always appropriate or necessary to put our thoughts or feelings into words to transmit them to others. In this sense, emotional communication offers greater possibilities, and a much wider range of them.
What we must know to refine our communicational skills
As we have just said, emotional communication offers a wide range of possibilities and requires various anchors like our facial expression, movement, gestures, touch, word choice, tone of voice, metaphors, etc.
The most complicated attempts to connect are those that are hidden by anger or sadness. There are many reasons why we do not want to express our feelings when they are mixed with negative experiences or emotions.
Sometimes we think the best way to resolve things and give a positive spin to situations is by leaving out what is bothering us and avoiding thinking about things that make us sad, angry, or frightened.
Other times, we think that our feelings are too terrifying or bothersome to express them. We may even think it is unfair to burden the people around us with emotional matters and feelings that “don’t matter.”
Furthermore, we may not even know how to find the words to express what is happening to us or what we may feel like by making our feelings a reason to communicate, we will lose intimacy and privacy.
However, as we said, the fact that we are trying to hide our feelings does not imply that they are not seen. Sooner or later they will make themselves seen.
It is not hard for us to imagine how, behind sarcasm, hostility is palpable, or how a person who looks away and smiles can be in love with someone, but does not want to recognize it.
In fact, when it comes to sharing an emotional message, we all tend to focus on our posture, facial expression, tone of voice… that is, rather than focusing on what is being said, we focus on how it is said.
Both communication and reading emotional language requires us to:
- Pay attention to the face and facial expressions.
- Interpret movements and gestures.
- Lend importance to the language of touch.
- Look at what the voice reveals.
- Transform sensations into words.
- Know how to listen to ourselves and listen to others.
In short, good emotional communication requires something more than saying the right words, so we need to send as well as receive nonverbal messages with precision. It is rare for us to only use facial expressions or gesticulation to communicate; we do it with our entire being.
This is why it is important for us to synchronize all of these in order to express what we are feeling in our heart of hearts and to improve our general mood. The tears that we do not cry and the words that we do not say can end up overwhelming us and they especially give rise to misunderstandings and unnecessary emotional isolation.
When we turn into skillful communicators, our relationships improve, as well as our way of seeing life and looking at conflicts. This helps us feel better and know how to listen to ourselves, which, though it requires effort, is definitely worth it.