Showing Your Emotions

It seems to me that many people consider people who are free with showing their emotions weak, “drama queens or kings” or even crazy.  Not showing emotions is often looked on as a sign of strength.  I really disagree with this thinking.  There really is nothing wrong or bad about showing what you feel inside.

Years ago, I remember my mother telling me about her mail carrier.  She hadn’t seen her for a while, then finally saw her one day.  She asked how she was doing & where she had been.  Turned out the lady’s husband committed suicide.  My mother thought her composure in discussing this topic was admirable.  I disagreed!  This lady could have been in a state of shock & was unable to show emotions due to that.  But, she also could have been glad he was gone & didn’t miss him.  Her lack of emotions gave no clue which was how she was feeling about her loss.

Showing emotions is a healthy thing to do.  It helps you to process them in healthy ways.  Did you know many people who don’t process anger often end up with health problems like high blood pressure, diabetes, kidney disease & digestive issues?  They also can suffer from depression since sometimes repressed anger manifests as depression.

Showing emotions also helps people to know where they stand with you.  If you weren’t obviously happy that your spouse brought you your favorite coffee as a surprise sometimes, how would he or she know how much you appreciated it?  Or, if you held in disappointment, how would your child know that he or she needed to work harder to get better grades?

The Bible even describes times when Jesus showed His emotions.  When Lazarus died, Jesus knew He would raise him from the dead, but even so, He was emotional & let that show.  John 11: 32-35 says,  32 When Mary came [to the place] where Jesus was and saw Him, she fell at His feet, saying to Him, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.” 33 When Jesus saw her sobbing, and the Jews who had come with her also sobbing, He was deeply moved in spirit [to the point of anger at the sorrow caused by death] and was troubled, 34 and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” 35 Jesus wept.”  The Gospels also tell the story of Jesus becoming enraged when He saw people buying & selling in the temple.  He drove animals & people out & flipped over tables.  Hardly the actions of someone afraid of showing their emotions.

Showing emotions is truly a courageous thing to do.  It shows you aren’t afraid of the opinions or judgment of other people.  It shows you are brave enough to be vulnerable.  It shows you are in touch with your emotions, which is a very healthy way to be.

What is not courageous is hiding all emotions behind a mask of stoicism.  This often is a trauma response created by those who have been exposed to cruel people who criticize them for how they feel & invalidate their feelings.  If this describes you, please know that you don’t need to be that way anymore.  You are an adult & allowed to feel your feelings & yes, even show them!  That doesn’t make you oversensitive, overreacting, stupid or even crazy.  It makes you human. 

If you’re struggling to get in touch with your emotions, I suggest praying, paying attention to how you feel about everything & journaling about your experiences.  Read over your journal entries periodically too, don’t simply write them & forget them.  They can help you to have insight. 

6 Comments

Filed under Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Enjoying Life, Mental Health

6 responses to “Showing Your Emotions

  1. Cynthia, I totally disagree with that line of thinking as well. A broken heart will drop the biggest of men to his knees. A mother dying will impact anyone. And, it seems the big football players say “Hi Mom” when on TV.

    It is OK to show one’s emotions and it is OK to be quiet as well. The toughest person is not the one who is telling you how tough they are. It is the one who acts tough because of their resolve and resilience. A tough person will cry when needed.

    I have had the misfortune as a manager of people to have to let people go due to some corporate downsizing or poor performance that was not remedied. The fact the person saw it bothered me to have to do this actually helped in the tough conversation. If someone is stoic when firing someone, then that is callous to me. The movie “Up in the air” with George Clooney who worked for an outsourced displacement firm offended me greatly.

    Keith

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    • YES!! Totally agree with you!

      To be stoic when firing someone seems so heartless! Even if someone is the worst employee ever, seems there should be some kind of “I hate to do this but I have to” vibe.

      I never saw that movie. Doesn’t sound like Clooney’s best work. 😦

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  2. ibikenyc

    “. . . sometimes repressed anger manifests as depression. . . ”

    Thank you so much for this! I had forgotten all about it!

    Like

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