I’m an open and brutally honest person; it’s easy for me to just talk about things that people probably don’t want to hear or need to know, but I say them anyway. Oddly, I’m also the type of person who hides my emotions away into the depths of my soul until one day they just come bubbling out like a witch’s brew on Halloween night.
Obviously, this is not a practical way to live my life. I know that, you know that, we all know that. So why do I do it? Why does anybody do it?
I know plenty of people who act this way, and it hurts their relationships and themselves. They cannot open up or tell people how they are truly feeling. They just think about things nonstop and never talk to anyone about it.
On the other hand, I also know people who are too emotional, who cry at the drop of a hat, and who are hurt so easily that you can’t say anything that’s on your mind to them for fear they will feel attacked. That doesn’t help much either.
I have to come to the conclusion that an overly emotional person and an emotionally detached person cannot have a constructive conversation about their feelings.
So how do you find a balance? If somebody hurts your feelings, which they inevitably will at some point or another, do you admit weakness and just tell them or do you suppress those emotions until they all build up and you just want to punch the person in the throat? I’m thinking the former — but at what cost? When you tell someone they hurt your feelings, it impacts them too. They probably didn’t even realize they did something wrong.
Maybe they couldn’t have possibly known that it would have hit you so hard because they never knew it was something you were insecure about. Or maybe they knew it was going to make you emotional, but there was no way around it.
Either way, it sucks to hear that you’ve hurt someone just as much as it sucks to be hurt; and, once you’ve had this conversation with someone, your relationship may never be the same. It could improve, but it could also be irrevocably broken. Should you even take that chance?
Well, there is no good answer. You can’t just ignore all of your feelings, and you can’t let every little thing get to you. You have to pick and choose. If it’s a relationship you really care about, you should probably face it head-on. For example, if you are feeling uncomfortable with a budding romance, you should probably let the other person know. If you are the only one of your friends with a car on campus and you feel they are using you for it, you should discuss it with them.
But if someone forgets to post a birthday message on your Facebook wall, or your roommate changes the temperature without getting your permission, just ask yourself, is this worth caring about? If not, then let it go, but don’t let everything just build up until you are in a situation where your relationship is damaged forever.
If you do choose to be heard, make sure it’s in a constructive way. Don’t just have a screaming match. Don’t shut the other person out, forgive them. Emotions are a tricky business, but we all have them, and could all benefit from an increase in our emotional intelligence.