I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who said he would rather stick needles in his eyes than talk about his emotions.
He eventually admitted that he puts a wall up by limiting his conversations to light-hearted banter. In his mind, joking around and talking about current affairs is ok; while talking about feelings is definitely not.
When I questioned him a little more, he revealed he has been taught from a young age that expressing emotion is a sign of weakness and weak people cannot be successful. While I thought this was absurd, I could clearly see how difficult it was for him to say and I greatly appreciated his honesty.
He was way out of his comfort zone and I was pushing his buttons!
I told him that in my opinion, being open and expressing your emotions does not equal weakness. In fact, it is quite the opposite. It takes great strength to allow yourself to be vulnerable to others.
What we sometimes fail to realise is that burying emotions deep down does not make them go away. It is only when we bring our emotions to the surface, acknowledge their existence and actually deal with them in a constructive manner, that we can really let go of the emotional baggage we hold on to.
Men often find expressing their emotions more difficult than women. Unfortunately, in our culture, men are taught that emotion is a sign of weakness. From a young age, boys are told to stop crying, toughen up and take it like a man.
By adulthood, they have had years of suppressing their emotions; stuffing them deep down in a place where no one will find them, putting their chin up and carrying on.
Chances are they are putting a wall up around themselves… if no one can break though their wall they can’t get hurt. Perhaps they have been hurt in the past and they are protecting themselves from being hurt again. Unfortunately, if they don’t bring their walls down and reveal their true self to others, their relationships will not be as close as they could be.
We all want better relationships. We all strive for more love in our lives. For the opportunity to give love and to be loved. For more intimacy. For that special someone to create special moments with and make cherished memories.
So be your authentic, real self and show your true colours to your friends and family. Don’t be scared of what their reaction will be, most people will accept you for who you are. Those who don’t are not worth having in your life anyway.