Virtually no interaction between human beings would make sense if we could not express our emotions. The most important thing in a dialogue, whether with words or without words, is to show wishes, intentions, needs and, in general, our way of living emotions. However, doing it the right way is not easy. Some people do it naturally without thinking too much about it, but for others it is more complicated.
In this article we’ll look at a series of tips on how to express emotions in an appropriate way in our everyday personal relationships.
How to express emotions in 8 steps
Showing what we feel is not only necessary to get to connect emotionally with other people. It is also therapeutic, necessary. It is complicated to live with what we feel , especially if it has to do with experiences with a strong emotional charge.
But where there are conversations, there are often also certain dynamics of self-censorship. The fear of what they will say, of giving a bad image… All this makes it difficult to open up to others . Taking this into account, expressing feelings is not easy, as it involves showing our most personal and sometimes even intimate side.
However, in balance is virtue, and there is always a way to keep certain subjects too intimate to share in any way and express what can be revealed, without allowing misunderstandings to arise. So, let’s look at some tips on how to express emotions when relating to others.
1. Map your feelings
It is impossible to express an emotion if you don’t have a rough idea about what that feeling is . That is why it is important to stop and think first or in the best way possible about how the words can be adjusted to that experience.
So, if necessary, write down on a sheet of paper how you feel, in as structured a way as possible. Don’t be obsessed with accuracy, though, because feelings can never be fully reflected by language: even if you use metaphors, there will always be facets of them that cannot be communicated. Try to get the most important thing translated into words.
This step is important especially at the beginning, not only because of the lack of practice at this stage. It is also important because if you don’t go through this phase, it’s easy to get stuck , and these situations are often so unpleasant that they can make you feel discouraged and stop trying to make further progress.
2. Don’t expect too much
This advice is derived from the previous one. Don’t wait too long believing that the passage of time will give you tools to express yourself better. That will only cause you to constantly put off expressing yourself, and never leave your comfort zone .
3. Choose the right time and place
Context also has communicative power. It is not the same to open up to someone during the course of a university class as it is in** a quiet, noisy place**. Therefore, look for a context that fits the content you want to convey and does not lead to confusion.
4. Determine the purpose
What is the purpose you are looking for in expressing what you feel? Do you want to just vent, or make sure the other person understands everything you say and help you solve a problem? Based on this information, you will find it easier to adapt the following tips to your needs.
5. Be sure not to rely only on abstractions
To express feelings, abstract concepts such as “helplessness” or “fear” must be used, but it is important to complement this with other content that refers to more concrete and easily identifiable elements. That is why it is good to use examples of concrete past experiences that give way to a description of objective facts. In this way, the other person will not get lost.
6. Create a narrative
Don’t just describe what you’re feeling in a static way, as if those emotions and feelings were something static. If you show your evolution in time, everything will be more understandable and the other person will be able to identify better with you. Explain why you feel this way and how your emotions came about.
7. Worry about whether he understands you
Give the other person the opportunity to ask you if they don’t understand something, put yourself in their shoes, change the wording of your sentences if you are using references that are unknown to your interlocutor… In short, avoid making this experience a monologue.
8. Learn from your mistakes
Human relationships are always imperfect, and therefore there is always something to improve . Whenever you decide to express your feelings, make sure you mentally review what happened, and take note of your mistakes to correct them and learn from them. Practice and repetition will lead you to improve in these types of skills, just as it does in others.