When it comes to emotional expression, there are two types of people out there.
There are those who live their lives like open books, wearing their heart on their sleeve. They believe in open expression of all the feelings that bubble up, no matter what the consequence.
There is another type of person though, the type that spends a large amount of energy trying to keep all those feelings hidden deep down inside.
Maybe it’s their way of trying to spare the people around them from pain or difficulty, maybe they don’t like confrontation of any kind, or maybe they’re trying to protect themselves from feeling vulnerable to their emotions.
Whatever the reason, suppressing your emotions can have some very negative effects on your mental and emotional well-being.
If you can relate to a lot of the things listed below, you may want to seriously consider working on opening up and getting those feelings off your chest sometimes. For your own good and the good of your relationships as well.
1. You never feel at peace inside.
If it seems like your inner dialogue is more like a constant argument or conflict in your head, you’ve got way too much pent up in there.
You’ve got to have some kind of outlet for these things, or else you’ll end up living your life with a war always raging inside of you.
2. You’re like a magnet for other people’s negative feelings.
There is something about the kind of person who tends to suppress their own emotions, they are almost always extremely empathic as well.
They’re very attuned to how the people around them feel and it can seem as though you are a sponge just sucking up these negative emotions and internalizing them.
3. You let toxic people walk all over you.
You might be well aware of how toxic they are or how badly they’re treating you, but somehow you can never bring yourself to confront them about it.
You end up quietly taking all of the rudeness, condescension and abuse without ever saying a word.
At some point though, you won’t be able to hold it in any longer, which will cause an eruption that will probably happen at an inappropriate time and place.
4. You’re living in survival mode.
Stuffing those feelings down isn’t healthy for you, but the urge to do it does come from a basic self preservation instinct that we all have.
Putting your feelings out there can put you in a tough spot, feeling bare and exposed. This is very scary for some people, and they’ll do just about anything to avoid it.
5. The emotions you do feel are overwhelming and uncomfortable.
When you refuse to properly acknowledge the feelings on a regular basis, they build up to a critical mass.
When the time comes that you can’t ignore them anymore, suddenly even the simplest of emotions feels agonizingly intense.
6. You’re afraid to cry because you know once it starts, you won’t be able to stop.
Crying is a great way to pour out and exercise all of that emotional stress, but when you ignore the emotions themselves, this type of open expression is a worrisome thought.
Because you’re so exhausted from projecting that strong happy facade all the time, you know that if the tears start there’ll be no stopping them until they’re all out.
7. Your anxiety is amplified.
Anxiety is more than just a simple feeling, it can be a real mental health issue.
Unfortunately someone who can’t share their feelings is even less likely to share the struggle they experience with high anxiety levels.
This turns into a nasty cycle, the less you talk about it the more anxious you feel, which makes you want to talk even less than you did before and so on.
8. Your anger is scary explosive.
Anger is the most dangerous emotion to bottle up. If left unchecked and never dealt with, it turns into extremely uncontrollable energy that can blow up at any time.
The problem here is that when the levee finally breaks, it’s frighteningly unpredictable and you often end up taking it out on the wrong people.
9. You struggle to speak up even in casual conversation.
You get so accustomed to keeping things to yourself that you end up doing it even with basic thoughts, ideas and opinions.
You have to try and remember that you have good points to contribute, your thoughts are valid and the people around you want you to share them.
10. You shut people out when they try to get close to you.
You’re so worried about revealing yourself that even when someone really reaches out and wants to know you better, you have a habit of shutting it down immediately or even lashing out.
You think that you’re protecting yourself, but you’re really just pushing away anyone who wants to care about you.
Don’t be afraid to let them in, you deserve that.
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