Many times we forget that, when developing a healthy way of relating to our emotional side, it is not enough to know how to control oneself or identify which feelings dominate in each moment. It is also very important to know how to express feelings.
In this article, we will see several keys to communicate to others the reality about how we feel, especially in relation to those mental states whose nature goes beyond words.
How to express our feelings in personal relationships?
Much of what holds us together is our ability to connect emotionally with others. It is difficult to maintain a relationship, be it family, partner or friendship, with someone who does not know anything about how he feels, in what range of colors he usually sees reality, and how he does it.
However, knowing how to express feelings is a challenge. In the first place, it is necessary to deal with a series of cultural barriers that have led to the disregard of certain kinds of affective manifestations, and that has been especially stressed with men and with people with a non-normative sexual orientation, but ultimately It has affected the whole world. For centuries, letting emotions dye the most important aspects of our way of life was considered a sign of weakness, or directly something inappropriate and censorship.
But another component that hinders our way of expressing feelings is something that goes beyond our cultural contexts: feelings are, in themselves, something that does not have to fit with the usual ways of expressing oneself through language.
Just to help progress in the mission of connecting more and better with others, below you will see a series of tips on how to express feelings both through words and using other communication resources, regardless if we apply them with our partner in the context of love, or with friends and family.
- Maybe you’re interested: ” What is Emotional Intelligence? “
1. Always adapt your way of expressing yourself
It is essential, first of all, to discard the idea that we can always express our feelings in the same way, as if we had a way of expressing them that was so personal that we could not adopt it. This is not the case: if the person in front of us is not able to understand what we want to say, we will not have expressed anything.
So, if you really want to show a part of you that you consider relatively intimate and that has to do with how you feel, you should think about the perspective from which the other person departs. For example: how would you interpret a physical approach on our part? Is it likely that he understands a concept that we will use to make a metaphor? Do you know first of all that we have enough confidence with her to express that, or will she think it’s a joke?
Knowing how to ask the right questions to adapt our communicative style is an art, and for this, it is usually necessary practice and have the honest intention to express yourself, and not simply to give a certain image because it responds to our interests.
2. Learn assertiveness
Expressing feelings is also an act of courage. Therefore, you should avoid making shame as an excuse, and that is achieved among other things by working on your assertiveness, the ability to assert your own feelings and your own values.
3. Make your social circle healthy
To start having it easier when expressing feelings, it is also important not to surround yourself with people who react negatively when we do it. Therefore, it is good to find open and receptive people who do not see in the emotional a reason to criticize or to mock.
4. Take advantage of non-verbal language
When expressing feelings, non-verbal language is essential. Be careful not to ignore it and not take it into account or even suppress it, since an expression that is too neutral when communicating feelings can completely turn around what we want to say. In particular, it is especially important that you put the whole voice you use and its musicality, as well as how you manage distances with the other person, and what you do with your arms and eyes: the latter, should be directed to the other’s eyes.
5. Write what you feel
This is a very good way to first know what you feel, something necessary to be able to express it. In addition, it can serve you to rehearse linguistic ways of communicating it, although, as we have seen, these will not be perfect or sufficient in itself to truly express what we feel.
6. Find suitable places
The context is almost as important as what is said. Just as using one or another style of non-verbal language can make the same words mean different things, the context in which we find ourselves when we say it also has this effect. Therefore, make sure that there is a coherence between the content of what you are going to communicate and the place where you do it so that there are no misunderstandings that need to be clarified.