Many of us tend to bottle up our emotions and keep them to ourselves, and over time they begin to flood our minds and build up our frustrations. Eventually, our feelings pile up to uncontrollable levels, and by the time we pop like a cork, even if we aren’t ready, our stored thoughts all come spilling out in a scrambled mess.
Expressing our feelings can be one of the hardest things we do as humans, but understanding that getting what’s bothering you off your chest sooner is always better for your short and long term mental health. If you ever feel frustrated and don’t quite know how to express it, here are 10 tips that will help you communicate your emotions more effectively.
1. Assess & Analyze Your Emotions
Before you do any outward expressing, you have to figure out what’s going on internally.
First off, you want to slow down and confirm exactly what type of emotions you’re feeling in that moment. Once you have that all figured out, you’ll want to identify why you’re feeling these emotions and what or who caused you to feel these emotions.
You can’t properly communicate your feelings and emotions unless you first take the time to assess and analyze yourself first.
2. Practice In Your Head
Before you communicate your emotions to another person, you should think of exactly how you want to get your messages across. Which words are going to perfectly describe your feelings in a way that the person you’re talking them through with can understand and perhaps even relate to?
You should treat communicating your feelings like you would a speech and have your words prepared and ready to go.
3. Speak To Ones You Trust Most
Because you’re not going to share your top secret feelings with just anybody, am I right?
If you’re going to communicate your feelings to anybody, it has to be somebody that you can fully trust not to judge or mock you. A parent is a great person to turn to, or if you have a solid day one best friend. If you need to, you could schedule an appointment with a counselor, someone who is professionally trained to help people talk through their feelings and problems with.
Either way, the best way to express your emotions with confidence is to reach out to somebody who you know you can trust to be there for you.
4. Be Open About Your Emotions
If you’re going to communicate your emotions effectively, you’re going to have to open up to the one you choose to communicate them to.
Being open means telling it all. Once you’ve mentally processed everything that is bothering you or has you feeling some type of way, all of that information should be shared with the person you choose. Holding anything back doesn’t allow you to receive all of the help you desire, so spill all of the beans when it comes to communicating your feelings.
5. Be Honest About Your Emotions
You can be open all you want about your feelings, but it won’t mean anything unless you’re being honest as well.
Be truthful about your emotions. Don’t lie to downplay them. You’re only hurting yourself by doing this.
Being open and being honest really go hand-in-hand. The person you’re communicating your emotions to can only work with the information you give them, so it is important that you are both fully truthful and open about your feelings to them.
6. Listen With Intent
If you’re going to communicate your emotions effectively, its going to take more than just knowing how to say what you have to say.
Allow your listener to hear out everything you have to say. Also allow them to respond and give you ways that can help handle your emotions. Let them try to help you or voice their own feelings in response to yours.
7. Be Aware Of Their Feelings
This is especially important when you’re expressing yourself during an argument.
You choosing to sit down and communicate your side might seem like its all about you, but you need to also keep in mind that the person has feelings of their own, and in an argument their feelings hold just as much weight as yours.
8. Don’t Take Offense To Feedback
Sometimes your listener isn’t always going to say something you particularly like, but don’t take it to heart.
Your listener has taken the time to hear out and try to understand where you’re coming from with your expressions. When it comes to an argument, you might not want to hear that you’re in the wrong. When it comes to expressing your feelings to a crush or someone you love, being denied is the last thing you want to have happen. But don’t pout, don’t throw a fit, and don’t let your emotions escalate.
9. Express Yourself Calmly
You should not only be calm while you’re listening to what your trusty person has to say, but also while you’re conveying the messages of your feelings, too.
Take a deep breath, relax, and calmly communicate your emotions to them. Its going to be hard for your listener to hear you out or try to help you through it if you’re letting your emotions get the best of you. Speaking calmly is speaking clearly, and being riled up will have the way you express yourself all over the place, too.
10. Use “I Feel” Statements
Link the emotions you feel with the actions that caused these emotions to arise. Address whatever the situation is and point it out to your listener.
If the listener themselves has caused these sour feelings you have, don’t launch emotional attacks toward them. Let them know about the things they’ve done and the emotions they’ve given you by using “I feel” statements. I feel this way when you do this, and I feel this way when you feel that. Directly link an emotion to an action to get your point across even more clearly.
To communicate your emotions effectively, it takes you being cool, calm and collected mentally. As high as your tempers may be flying or your sadness may be sinking, breathe and gather yourself. Mentally prepare to unload your mind and how you’re going to do so, and when you’re ready, be calm and let loose. The sooner you address your feelings the healthier you’ll be emotionally, as bottling them all in will only weight you down over time.
Also understand that as human beings, we all have emotions. Having feelings isn’t “soft,” and expressing them takes a lot of courage. Stand up for yourself, let your voice be heard, and consider these tips to better communicate your emotions the next time you’re ready to explode.