Why is it important to let others know how we are feeling?
Sharing our emotions can be difficult, and it doesn’t always come naturally. But in sharing how we feel, this can help release any anxiety we may be experiencing, but bottling up. It can also help improve communication between people. If someone says "Talk to me", it means they really want to help you.
It is important to share our feelings with others so that they can try to understand why we may be behaving in a certain way, and maybe they can then comprehend what we are going through. Keeping things bottled up can be detrimental to our health and well-being and could lead to depression if we don't talk to someone. By masking our feelings and allowing layers to build, it is like we are papering over the cracks. On the surface everything may look great, but if we tear down those layers of paper, underneath needs a huge amount of attention. Unfortunately, not everyone understands what we are going through, even if they try really hard, and this is not because they are uncaring or unfeeling, it is just that some people are better listeners than others. By opening up to others to let our feelings out and vent about a problem that has been simmering for a while, is a great way to release tension that could otherwise explode at the worst possible time. If we do not feel comfortable talking to a close friend or family member we can seek help from a counsellor. A counsellor might be the last resort for us, but nobody should have to face problems and try to deal with them alone.
Talking about something with somebody else can sometimes help us to see things from a different perspective. Sometimes we feel a bitbetter just by getting our feelings off our chests, and knowing that someone has listened to what we have said, and that we are not going mad!
It is human nature to crave closeness to other people and being able to share how we feel really has a positive effect on us. Sometimes we think the only way to deal with things is to keep them inside, because people won’t want to hear ‘me whining’ or ‘if I tell anyone how I feel, they will think I am weak’, if we feel like this, and believe everyone doesn’t care, the world can feel like a huge lonely place. If we contain our emotions, and use them as ‘anchors’, and stay put and try to tread water, without reaching out, we are liable to drown out at sea!
Allow someone the chance to throw you a life line!
When we feel able to open up we can realise we are actually not alone. Humans interact and connect; it's what makes us caring and compassionate. We use mutually shared feelings and experiences to do so. When we share, we naturally connect.
Reach out......you might be surprised how many people are waiting to take your hand
Does Communication Let You Down?
Our words have the power to build our loved ones up and guide our communications in the right direction, or they can have the opposite effect. But our words only account for 7% of the overall message that is communicated, which means that 38% of what we communicate is done through our tone, and 55% is done through our body language.
Keeping that in mind, here are ten positive family communication rules you can follow to maintain loving relationships:
Think before you speak. Take the time to think about what you want to say before you say it. Make sure your words, tone and body language reflect what you mean.
Tell the truth. It might feel like the right thing to bend or hide the truth to avoid hurting your loved ones, but being dishonest breaks trust. However, the truth should always be spoken gently and with love. Being brutally honest hurts feelings, but gentle truth builds intimacy.
Respect each other’s viewpoints. Is it more important to be “right” or protect your relationship? Remember there are a lot of “rights,” depending on who you are talking to, so avoid getting caught up in right vs. wrong and instead learn to respect each other’s differences.
Ask directly for what you want, desire or need. How many times have you said “They should just know what I need?” People are not mind readers, and many of us have short term memories. So keep saying “Will you please…?”
Listen to yourself. The only way for us to know how our words and tone truly sound to others is to pay attention to ourselves. Listen to how slow or fast you speak, how soft or loud you are, how loving or angry you may sound. This is what your family members hear.
Let others speak. You know how frustrating it can be when you are trying to speak and someone cuts you off in the middle of your sentence. Allowing others to speak until they are finished without interrupting is a great rule for everyone to follow.
No psychics allowed. Avoid making assumptions about another’s thoughts, feelings, or anticipated behaviour because none of us really know what others are thinking or feeling. If you want to check in with someone and ask if your assumptions are true, that is okay, but you must never act on them (as if they are true) by making accusations or criticisms.
Be open about your feelings. Give absolute permission for all family members to verbalise (not act out) what they feel, see, want, think and sense. Be careful that you do not squash feelings and perceptions you disagree with. Acknowledge and validate all feelings so there is freedom to express again in the future.
Be a good listener. When someone is speaking to you, give them your attention. Avoid thinking about what you are going to say next. Focus on what is being said, what your family member might be feeling, and how you can empathize.
Enhance your communications. You can improve your communications by learning to ask for clarification or checking in with your family member to verify your understanding. Simply say, “So what I’m hearing you say is…”, and repeat back what you heard. Communication is something we do every day, yet it’s still one of the most difficult areas in a relationship to navigate. If we practice and pass on healthy communication rules to our children, it will be easier for them to have successful relationships.