Generally speaking, very few people actually express their emotions and feelings in interpersonal relationships. We constantly live in a kind of emotional hypocrisy, hiding and covering up real emotions.
Several explanatory factors
Several factors can explain this situation:
- our education forbids us to express our emotions sometimes even when they are positive;
- we are afraid of conflicts. Showing anger and frustration can trigger interpersonal conflicts that we don’t want to face;
- we also have not learned to express our emotions in a healthy way, especially negative ones. Either we endure them or we run away from them.
However, it is more than necessary to know how to express your emotions as well in interpersonal relationships as in the couple.
Expressing your emotions, a key to the stability of the couple
Clearly expressing emotions allows couples to bond, stabilize and solidify in the long run. Positive emotions are for example a good way to create or share joy and happiness in the couple. The more joy, admiration, sympathy or gratitude you show for the other, the better off the couple. But just as important is learning to express negative emotions.
Appropriately expressing complaints, frustrations, anger and fears helps prevent conflicts in the couple. Many of the crises that break out in couples would be preventable if each partner had learned to express their emotions clearly and healthily! Hence the need to learn to evacuate one’s emotions.
How to evacuate your emotions?
Whether positive or negative, emotions need to be released. A positive emotion that is not evacuated does not necessarily have negative effects, even if by doing so we miss great opportunities to create happiness in the couple. On the other hand, negative emotions that are not expressed, or poorly managed, tend to damage the relationship in the medium and long term.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with expressing negative emotion! This is also the reason why the Bible recommends this: “Let not the sun set on your anger”. In other words, don’t ruminate on your anger, don’t swallow it. Rather, find the right way to express it or evacuate it healthily.
To express a negative emotion in a healthy way, you have to verbalize it, say the emotion. For example, when I am angry I can express it in two totally different ways: I can yell, rant, insult, hit, cry, shut up, withdraw. In this case, I let my conduct be dictated by anger or I choose to run away from it. This is what the vast majority of people do and it is not the right solution.
I can also choose to verbalize my anger by expressing it in the right words. For example, say: ” I’m not happy with this situation ”, ” What just happened affects me a lot ” or ” I wish this situation would not happen again soon … ”.
This also applies to fear. Have you noticed that as soon as you sincerely and calmly say to someone ‘I’m afraid’ that fear starts to lose its grip on you?
Try this emotion verbalization technique and you will see that it produces positive results. Above all, know that you don’t always have to run away from your emotions or let yourself be overwhelmed by them!