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Learning to express our feelings - part 1

Most of us want to find real love and have healthy relationships; and a key part of this is learning to express our feelings.

We often have relationship issues and want to know how to fix a relationship or a friendship. Lack of closeness can lead to stress, anxiety, resentment, loneliness and other relationship problems.

Let’s ask ourselves:

  • Do I want better healthy relationships?
  • Do I want a deeper connection with people close to me?
  • Do I want to feel closer to people and more loving in general?

Everyone likes to feel they are being seen, heard and understood in their relationship with others - yet we don’t always express our feelings and so it is difficult for the other person to give us this sense of being seen and understood.

What are some of the reasons we don’t express our feelings?

  • We may not know exactly how we are feeling
  • We don’t understand our feelings
  • We don’t feel entitled to express our feelings
  • We don’t think it’s important
  • We don’t think the other person will listen
  • We are scared of another person’s reaction to us

Some of our life experiences have not been very pleasant and we may have trained ourselves to not feel by numbing ourselves. Even if we are feeling something, we may have made an unconscious decision not to express our feelings – perhaps because when we were little it seemed like no-one listened, or cared, or did anything about it. Maybe some people even did something horrible when we expressed our feelings! A way to not feel hurt by these experiences is to numb ourselves, which stops us from feeling as deeply as we did naturally as a child.

For us to have healthy relationships – we need to learn (actually re-learn because we did once know) how to feel again and to understand that feelings are felt in our bodies first.

When we learn to re-feel our feelings and then to express them to others, we are building healthier relationships, greater self worth and may experience less anxiety.

Filed under

AnxietyFeelingsFriendshipSelf-expressionLoneliness

  • Thumb small jean gamble

    By Jean Gamble, Psychotherapist

    Jean works as a psychotherapist with individuals, couples, families, teenagers and children. She knows that when we can move past our layers of protection from hurt and we connect deeply with our innermost self we can have rich, satisfying and purposeful lives and relationships.