Talking About Our Feelings is Therapeutic
We tend to hide our feelings when we’re with other people. We are ashamed to admit that we feel emotions that we see as negative and mistakenly believe make us look like weak people in the eyes of others. Talking about our feelings isn’t something we do, because we want to be emotionally strong. We don’t want to be affected by things. Most of the time we want to portray an image of a “mature and rational person”.
True, practicing rational thinking and trying to be a little more mature every day is wonderful. First of all for ourselves, since with practice we will be able to solve a lot of unnecessary problems. Also for others; our relationships will probably improve. After all, not exaggerating things, managing our emotions properly and acting in a functional and sensible way also affects our environment.
However, this does not mean that we stop being human. Throughout our lives, inevitably we will feel miserable, anxious or angry more than we’d like. Therefore, since it is natural, the best thing to do is to treat it as normal, not hide it, and accept ourselves. Of course, always in moderation: although talking about our feelings with others is therapeutic, going overboard can be counterproductive.
Why is talking about our feelings good for us?
Whether they’re negative or positive feelings, talking about our feelings is always good. Positive feelings because talking about them enhances them and celebrating or sharing them is great. Who would be hesitant to share good news and happiness with people?
We also have reasons to share negative emotions. The main one is that by putting them on the table, we stop running away from them and probably will take responsibility for handling them. We expose the emotion, which will likely reduce it. By talking about our feelings, we can put them out there to hear other points of view, often less harsh than our own.
When we try to erase the emotion, as if it were as easy as pencil on paper, what we do is actually make it worse. We tell ourselves we should not be like this, and then we just feel more pressure. The consequence is more anxiety and discomfort, which in turn intensifies the negative emotion.
Talking about our feelings means we’re accepting them and letting them settle down.
In addition, talking about our emotions makes our relationships better. We make the other person feel like a trusted confidant. And they, reasonably, see it as denoting appreciation and affection, like their opinion matters.
Two heads are always better than one, which means that if you share your problem or talk about your feelings, it will probably be easier for you to find a truly helpful solution. Sometimes we feel so emotionally down that we cannot see what others can see without much effort at all.
When should we talk about our feelings with others?
Every time you feel a weight inside you not letting you think clearly, much less act effectively, it is a good idea to share it. It can be with your best friend, your parents or a psychologist. In any case, it’s best to not keep it to yourself.
There are situations when it’s very difficult to talk our feelings, but we must have courage, stop letting shame control us, and do it.
For example, say your significant other does something you do not like. Instead of keeping quiet and exploding inside, wouldn’t it be better to tell them how you feel? If you don’t, what will happen is that it will overflow and then your manner of expressing how you feel will not be very successful.
Always start by taking responsibility for your feelings. For this, you might start with, “I feel …” followed by your reasons and always end by connecting to the other person and accepting their point of view.
We can also share what happened to us with people who have nothing to do with the problem, like a friend. They will give us their point of view and help us find solutions. Just don’t fall into criticizing other people because then you’ll get the opposite effect: your negativity will just grow.
Express your feelings whenever you can: you are human and it’s natural to have them. We all have them. But don’t count them because it won’t make you stronger. It’ll do the opposite, since then you’ll feel anxiety about possible rejection.
It’s very unlikely that you will be rejected by others for having negative feelings, because human beings tend to be empathetic. But if it happens, it’s not your problem and it doesn’t say anything at all about you. Remember that talking about your feelings and problems not only benefits you but also those around you, since they’ll feel trusted and closer to you.