How do you express your emotions? Do you let everyone know how you are feeling as you go? Do you open up only around certain people? Do you act like nothing is happening, but in reality, you are boiling inside? Do you suppress your emotions? Or do you blow up in anger or burst out in tears as soon as an emotion comes up?
If you are like me, you bottle up your emotions for some period of time. You try to keep a straight face when someone tries to hurt your feelings, whether intentionally or not. You make it look like you have it altogether and can handle pretty much anything. Soon you hear yourself expressing anger and frustration by making sarcastic comments or being cynical behind the person’s back. You don’t want to blow up and seem like a crazy person who can’t handle a simple offense so you come home and act like you are in a bad mood and it’s everyone’s fault.
Admitting that someone’s comment hurt you can be a sign of weakness at first. Personal criticism is not taken easily by most people, but we don’t want to admit that there might be truth to what is being said. Feelings get hurt; emotions are running high; resentment is building up inside slowly. We are too proud to show that we care so we bottle up our emotions and boil inside.
Why is it so difficult to show our true emotions as they are at the moment? Why do we fear being criticized so much? The answer is simple.
We are insecure. We worry about admitting our weaknesses. We worry about being rejected. We worry about what people will think of us if we show our vulnerability.
The truth is being vulnerable and authentic is actually showing true strength. Owing our emotions and feelings without pretense of being someone else is in itself courageous.
I am not good at showing my true emotions as they are. I recently learned the term passive-aggressive. I would rather suck it up for the time being, but then go and complain about an issue later to my husband or friends, instead of dealing directly with the person who hurt my feelings. Basically, I am a chicken:).
Learning emotional intelligence is one of my personal goals. Learning how to unlearn being passive-aggressive is a new territory for me. In order to teach my son how to properly deal with emotions and feelings I first have to learn how to do it myself and be a good example for him.
Wish someone taught me when I was little…