The “It’s fine” pandemic is alive and well in our world today. You probably know it well. In fact, you’ve likely been affected by it. This is the feeling pandemic, the one where you actively attempt to avoid expressing your feelings. And you’re left with a surplus of bottled up emotions that just want to find a way out.
To combat this, you need to understand the “why.” Why do people have a hard time expressing their feelings? What is it that holds us back? After all, we’re human. Emotions are innate. But for some reason, it feels like emotions and feelings are meant to be stowed away—never to be opened or revealed. To attack the “why,” understand these 4 common reasons that hold people back from expressing themselves.
It’s Hard to Articulate How You Feel
Emotional intelligence is person-dependent. We’re not all born with a knack for understanding ourselves and why we feel a certain way. One day, you may be on top of the world. The next, you may be feeling insecure and totally alone. When you’re experiencing a feeling that you don’t understand, try to look inward. Ask yourself clarifying questions, like “What is going on in my mind that makes me feel different?” or “Have I ever felt this way before?”
Feeling Alone in Your Mind
One of the first things we do when we’re feeling inundated by our emotions is we blame ourselves. We tell ourselves we’re alone in this journey – that no one else is experiencing these emotions. You absolutely CAN NOT do this to yourself. Comparing to others and assuming that you know other people’s situations doesn’t help you. In reality, you don’t know. Everyone struggles in their own way, and just because you’re going through something unique doesn’t mean you’re alone or weird for it.
The Fear of Being Weak
When’s the last time you heard someone say, “I hope I can become even weaker!” That’s silly, right? The word “weak” is overused and often incorrectly used. Having emotions is not weak. Experiencing a feeling is not vulnerable. Talking about your feelings is not weak. Most importantly, you are not weak. You are human.
Too Many Feelings to Separate Them
When you’re “in your feels,” it feels like you’re in an emotional tornado. You’re not sure which feelings are concrete and which ones are fleeting. You don’t trust your psyche, so you feel like you need to hold back on sharing what’s going on in your mind. Rather than hold back, take a pause. Let the feelings and experiences sink in and go from there. Once you’ve been able to separate the real feelings from the fleeting ones, you’ll feel more comfortable about opening up.