Table of contents:
- Recently, it has become increasingly popular to believe that hiding and suppressing feelings is harmful to psychological health. At the same time, many of us were taught in childhood that we should not express our emotions too violently. Under the ban were not only anger and resentment, but even more modest fun should have been. So why can it be difficult for us to express feelings and should we do it?
- Three ways to "freeze" emotions
Video: A Man In A Case. Why Expressing Feelings Is Difficult - Quality Of Life, Self-development
2023 Author: Oswald Adamson | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-11-27 12:13
Recently, it has become increasingly popular to believe that hiding and suppressing feelings is harmful to psychological health. At the same time, many of us were taught in childhood that we should not express our emotions too violently. Under the ban were not only anger and resentment, but even more modest fun should have been. So why can it be difficult for us to express feelings and should we do it?
Not so long ago I had a conversation with an acquaintance, and after the usual "how are you" and "what's new", he said that on New Year's Eve he met the girl of his dreams. They became very close very quickly, the sympathy was obviously mutual. When, after a couple of months of dating, the country announced self-isolation, the decision to spend this time together seemed like a great idea for the couple.
“We are close, I really like everything, however, she increasingly reproaches me that I never talk about my emotions and do not express feelings in any way. I show concern, I try to do everything for her, but I feel uncomfortable talking about feelings, and I don't see any practical value in this. You’re a psychologist, explain to me why it’s so difficult for me to talk about my emotions? And why is it necessary?"
Expressing feelings can be difficult for a variety of reasons, all very individual. In consultations, psychologists pay a lot of attention to the emotional sphere of the client.
The mental development of any person is influenced by:
- family history,
- traumatic events of the past,
- circle of friends,
- social stereotypes.
Three ways to "freeze" emotions
1. The Steadfast Tin Soldier
Such people seem to have no feelings at all. They can look very different - cold, emphatically cute, calm, very rational, active, or a little inhibited, even lethargic. It seems that nothing can hurt them, everything seems to "bounce" from them. Most often, the point is not at all that they are not able to experience feelings, but that, due to some traumatic events, difficult life trials, they lost contact with their emotions, learned to slip through, ignore them.
It is difficult to build close relationships with such people, since during communication there is a feeling that they do not care. That they live and communicate with others because it is "necessary", and not because they want it.
Strong feelings cause anxiety in such people, so they try to avoid situations in which it will be difficult to ignore emotional manifestations. They seem to have excluded the emotional sphere from their lives, because it is safer that way. Talking about what you don't have access to is a difficult task. If the person himself does not know how he is feeling, how can he share this with others?
It would seem that there is nothing wrong with that. If you do not feel emotions, you do not suffer. This way of coping with reality in psychology is called alexithymia. It is only effective at first glance, because by losing contact with your feelings, you do not get rid of them. For as long as you like, you can pretend that there is no such thing as rain, you will get wet anyway, being under it on the street.
Tension builds up in the body, leading to muscle clamping, cardiovascular disease and other ailments. After all, your physical health is directly related to the emotional sphere. In addition to unwanted emotions, you block pleasant ones at the same time, and therefore, you do not get pleasure from life, which significantly reduces its quality.
The good news is that if you recognize yourself in this description, and your life seems bland and "not fun", no matter how old you are, you can restore sensitivity and learn how to deal with your emotions. The best and fastest way to do this is with the help of the gestalt approach, body practices, and an emotionally oriented approach.
2. Silent movie
It also happens - a person realizes what and when he feels, but does not know how to express feelings, since there are simply no suitable words in his vocabulary. Most likely, it was not customary in his parental family to discuss emotions and feelings. The parents themselves did not know how and did not teach the child to describe their emotional states. As a result, inside a person undifferentiated feelings swirl, and it is completely impossible to talk about them, there are no suitable words.
As we approach each other in a relationship, we inevitably touch our most sensitive parts. At such moments, few people want to become even more vulnerable, awkwardly choosing words. It's much easier to step back, pretend it's not so important, get away from the conversation.
The ability to distinguish and then name your emotional states is an important skill that allows you to better understand yourself and your needs, and, most importantly, build close, frank relationships with others
After all, emotions are our internal signals about what we like and what we don't like, messages about our desires and needs, about the integrity of our boundaries, about the quality of our life. The less confusion inside, the more direct our messages become to others, the clearer our communications and the more chances for mutual understanding.
You can learn to distinguish your feelings and talk about them with others in individual or group psychotherapy in almost any direction, Gestalt therapy and CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) work especially effectively with these issues.
3. Voluntary confinement
Another option - it seems to a person that what he feels is, for some reason, inappropriate or may not like the one who caused him these experiences. That is, the problem is not that he cannot express himself, but that he himself does not give a very high assessment of his feelings and, as it were, rejects them. He would have expressed it, but he stops himself, because "you cannot be angry with your loved ones", "only weaklings can react this way", "why am I disagreeing."
Such a person voluntarily limits himself, because he is afraid of being rejected, he does not allow anyone to know about what feelings he actually experiences. He is ashamed of his emotions, considers them "wrong", hides them. It turns out that in contact with others he has to either deceive them, or withdraw and avoid talking about feelings.
In this case, it is necessary to figure out where such attitudes come from in a person's head, critically review them, check for truth. These problems are successfully resolved in personal and group therapy of all directions.
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