Being forced to explain your emotions makes you a better communicator.
Take a look at how women can and often do explain themselves in times of struggle and hurt feels. This is the product of a lifelong necessity to explain why you have done what you have done and what made you do it to avoid/justify being called a slut, a bitch, a whore, a psycho, a crazy bitch, a gold digger, a cougar, and a series of other things pertaining to ones character. Generally speaking women are forced to show up differently than men out of necessity.
On the other end of the spectrum, is the quiet reservoir of mens emotions. Taught not to speak about them or to give them too much credit. But they still exist, for some simmering under the surface turning them into various degrees of "nice guy"material and for some open and honestly with those they trust. Sure it can really work out for us to not be controlled by our emotions but the detriment is being incapable or articulating our feelings in an effective way.
It is not just black and white like this right?! Here I have termed it as men vs women or we could say feminists vs misogyny but if we step back and take a look at our emotional landscape we could see how with varying emotions we have varying comfort levels of expression, and then different expression with different people in our lives. So the men vs women need not apply, but it is a way of being validated in our experience and also catches our attention to how we class things up.
Regardless of where you stand in all this grey area it is guaranteed that emotions will find their way out of a person, in a healthy or destructive ways. We just have the choice of healthy interactions or unhealthy interactions. I say choice because we are adults, and we can learn to take action over the unhealthy habits in our lives to make them better.
Emotional intelligence is like a muscle. Use it or lose it.
But how the fck do we strengthen it?
The best way, is when you begin to feel uncomfortable, stay quiet and hit a practice with the intention of paying attention to what you are actually feeling. Now what can come up is "I am fine" or "This person did this to me" which creates the space for us to start to ask questions:
Do I feel jealous? --> What am I jealous of? --> How could I feel more secure?
Do I feel loved? --> What makes me feel loved? --> How do I show love? Is this how I receive it too?
Do I feel appreciated? --> What makes me feel appreciated? -- How do I show appreciation? Is that what I need?
Do I feel hurt? --> What has hurt my feelings? --> Who can I communicate these feelings with that will hear me and give me honest and supportive feedback?
I like to think that the optimal way of functioning is to be capable of understanding where we are at most of the moments through out our day. Creating designated quiet time for emotional check ins with the intention to look at our internal dialogue. After we have taken a look, we can further question our experience to see if we need rest, food, water, a conversation, a hug, alone time, exercise, and so on down the line of things that make you feel whole and cared for.
See what I am sayin? Just like we learn to communicate with others... we must first learn to communicate with ourselves through experience and discomfort. Oh, and I am always a proponent of therapy! It is healthy and normal to have someone to process your shit with so that you don't make your loved ones responsible for that.
More on that next week. xx