Sharing your feelings is not an easy thing to do. Especially, when you don’t know how you will be treated when you do.
Because it’s one thing when you are experiencing happy feelings and you want to set off sparklers, but it’s another when you are struggling to find the right words because you are so sad, hurting, angry or discouraged.
Though it can feel awkward or impossible, you need to learn how to share your feelings. At times it may seem & feel easy to bite your tongue & keep your feelings to yourself, (let me tell you now) you are not doing yourself any good by not speaking up for yourself.
Voicing your feelings, grievances, sadness or pain, can strengthen your relationships & friendships, help you become happier at work, become comfortable & confident standing up for yourself AND even learn how to advocate for yourself & others.
It takes guts sharing your feelings, yet it is necessary to make sure you are treated with the respect you deserve & fairly so.
To remind and help us all this week and beyond. Below are my way of sharing how I feel and some of my tips to support you.
Here are 5 ways to express how you feel especially if you’re not the best at it and how to #getreal about your feelings.
Remember it’s okay to have these feelings.
It’s okay not to be happy everyday, every second of every hour. You’re human. So get real about your feelings and be unapologetically You.
When someone you trust, admire or who cares for you asks you “How are you feeling?” Tell them the truth.
No Fluff. No sugarcoating. No sweet talking. No hiding your feeling especially when it terrifies you to share. Do it anyways.
Try not to just say ‘I am good (when you’re not good’) but be honest and #getreal by sharing how you actually feel and take the weight off your body and mind.
2. Use your words ‘I feel upset’ ‘I feel angry’ ‘I feel tired’ etc (because no one is a mind reader) be vulnerable with how you‘re feeling.
By taking ownership of your feelings and because you can’t assume anyone will know how you feel, you have to speak up for yourself. You have to be brave and approach all your negative feelings head on.
3. Understand and make clear what you’re asking for when you express your feelings.
This is because when you know how you feel and what is working and not working for you, you will know what to ask for. As sharing your feelings at this point will be because you are ready to change something or make a situation better and you know what WOULD make it better.
4. Practice generosity and gratitude
By expressing what you are grateful for each day no matter how big or small uplifts your mood and so does giving unto others. Because when we help others we are helping ourselves.
5. Expect valuable feedback
One awesome thing about speaking up is that you will be given valuable feedback that could motivate you and help you grow as a person. Because every time you defend yourself and speak your mind is a learning experience. Be open to it - you might learn something that changes everything for you.
Don‘t get me wrong, sharing can be scary, especially when sharing at work, or in a group of people you might have just met or to people you’ve known for a while it can be terrifying. But find your people who you can share with.
I was afraid for a long time to share how I felt. To Get real - because in black culture that is not something that is often advertised that it’s okay to do. Also, from my experience I was terrified from getting real about my feeling because one too many times it was used to hurt me and my family and people had looked at me differently as if I was weak and eventually I associated sharing my feelings as a weakness.
But then I learnt, that when you #getreal about your feelings and share your vulnerable moments with the right people you trust and who want the best for you at work, at home, in your friendships, and relationships you start to build stronger connections with those around you.
When I speak honestly, using my own words to express ‘how I feel‘ and work towards a healthy solution, I find there is no additional emotional, physical or mental tension.
Remember, we are wired to have feelings, but if we express these feelings in an off-putting way, this can cause a disconnect in our relationships. If expressed in a safe way it can lead to you feeling more connected especially to your loved ones.
For example ‘You make me feel’ can sound like an attack - which can escalate your conversation into an angry argument, instead use your words ‘I feel...’ is empowering and keep you and the other person you are speaking with focused on the matter at hand -so together, you can open the door to finding solutions.
Next time you are in a vulnerable moment and want to bury your feelings, push yourself to try. Take a deep breathe, try these tips to help you practice sharing your feelings with your spouse, friends, mentor, colleagues or someone in your circle you trust to help you find your strength to speak Up and Get Real.
The amazing things here is that the more you do it, it will get easier and easier.
Speak up for yourself - Speak up for others if you have the voice and continue to strengthen your mental well-being by getting real about your feelings.