Expressing your feelings in a healthy way will grow your relationship.
Quite often it can feel as if your partner does not understand what you want. No matter how
many times you tell him or her, they just don’t seem to get it. This can most probably because
of the way you are expressing your feelings. It is much easier to give recognition to the fact
that you are experiencing a feeling than it is to identify the exact feeling you are
experiencing. When you are not able to be specific about what you are feeling, it becomes
challenging to express what you want from your partner. Therefore, mixed expectations are
created which leads to unfulfilled desires.
How do I express my feelings in a healthy way?
The first step is to identify what exactly you are feeling. Do this by asking yourself: Where in
my body am I experiencing this feeling? How does this make me feel, good or bad? To help
with this, find one word to describe best what you are currently feeling, it does not have to
capture the intensity of what you are feeling, just a short, simple descriptive word. This can
be words such as; depressed, alone, sad, or worried.
After identifying what you are feeling, can you start to express it? Give the body and clarity to
your emotions by using “modifiers”.
Start expressing your emotions by defining what the word means to you. Use synonyms to
describe what you are feeling. The reason for this is, your understanding of a feeling/word is
different from how your partner understands/experience it. For example, being stressed is not
the same as your partner’s understanding of being stressed.
Learn the tools to communicate better with your partner.
After defining these emotions, describe the intensity. Are you a “little bit” angry or are you
“furious”? This will be linked to the next step; defining the duration of your emotion. State
how long you have been feeling the way you are. Here it is important to refer to a specific
time because it will help with putting your emotions into context. When placing your
emotions into context and subsequently identifying the cause, is it important to remember
not to blame your partner’s actions. Blaming your partner will only lead to self-defense, and
to them not hearing your feelings completely. Also, think about what does this feeling
reminds you of? Where in a time in your childhood have you experienced a similar emotion
or feeling? What we see is that what happened in the past has an ultimately affect on how and
what you are feeling today.
Your way of communication must be done in a “give and receive” manner. Communicate
your emotions effectively to have your needs met.
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