I was not raised as a mushy person. As an adult, emotional intimacy was a hard thing for me to learn. Sharing feelings, talking about things that made us sad or emotional was pretty rare.
We talked about issues we had, but in a very “rub some dirt on it” type manner. We joked it off, or tried to push past them.
So when it came to matters of the heart, sensitive topics were sometimes awkward or avoided.
I don’t regret the way I grew up at at! I had a great childhood, and have amazing parents. This was just something that I struggled with, and that I would learn later on.
Learning to Communicate
After Ashton (my husband) and had I started dating, I realized having someone to express my feelings to, to hold me accountable, and having someone to hold my hand through hard times was something that I really needed.
I didn’t realize till after we started dating that I was afraid of sharing feelings with others.
Building Trust with Ashton through the years as both friends and being in an intimate relationship with each other, I learned that telling him how I felt about things and why I felt the way I did had helped me connect with him better.
Letting my thoughts and reasoning behind things be known to him made it easier for me to see things without blinders on.
Your feelings are valid.
Having this intimacy with him also helped me to open up in my other relationships, with my family especially.
It is a very important thing to know that it is okay to cry, to not always need to be tough, and to really feel everything.
Knowing that our feelings are valid is SO important.
While that doesn’t mean that it’s right to react in an emotional manner, how we treat others when we feel thar way is whats important.
It’s OKAY to feel angry or sad or happy or restless, and to need to acknowledge that is the way that you feel.
Learning from others
Our college leader, who we had gone through pre-marital counseling with, put it this way:
If I feel angry and upset about something and it is affecting me, I need to tell Ashton;
“Hey, I’m angry and this is affecting me. That is not your fault, that is just the way I feel right now.”
Addressing the feeling is the first step to figuring out why you feel the way you do, and letting the people who you love help and strengthen you.
Be a good listener
The other half of communication is knowing when to listen.
Just as we want to be heard and to express ourselves, when others talk and express themselves we need to learn how to really listen.
Listening is not just waiting for the other person to finish speaking without interrupting them.
Truly listening means taking in what the other person is saying, evaluating what it means to both you and them and hearing them out.
Empathizing with those you are in relationships with is very important to having a good basis of healthy communication.
Holding back frustration
Keeping feelings of pain, resentment or frustration to yourself is like drinking poison every day.
It’s just going to make you sick.
Holding feelings back can only make those feelings worse. It hurt’s you and the person you are upset with more than it maybe needed to.
I learned at a young age that when you are angry with someone, you let them know. And you fix it.
Whether that means separating yourself from that person for the betterment of both of you, or resolving the matter so that you can both put it behind you and move on together.
The Toxicity of Pent-up Feelings
That was one thing that my family had down growing up.
We love each other very much, and staying angry was never worth it.
Holding things in, letting them fester inside of you is possibly one of the worst things you could do to yourself.
It hurts you emotionally and physically, and it can hurt your relationships with others, where the communication of your thoughts and problems will make your relationships healthier and stronger.
I would love to hear your thoughts, let me know how this post benefited you on your walk today.
And as always, have an awesome and healthy day!
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