Our emotions are complex things.
Yet, we are conditioned to bury them, to trivialise them and to just soldier on, be tough.
In life we suffer from moments of humiliation, shaming, feeling uncomfortable.
We suffer loss either through the death of someone we care about, or the end of a relationship.
We suffer upheaval of things from the past coming back into our lives that bring back painful memories that we have been conditioned to bury.
We are lead to believe that showing our emotions is a sign of weakness.
Most of us struggle in expressing our emotions, most of us don’t share our real emotions, even with people we are close to.
Our world is often harsh, lacking in compassion, understanding and empathy.
Yet the strongest cultures, teams, families, relationships, connections, bonds and trust comes when we are prepared to be open, vulnerable and to share and be comfortable with our true emotions.
There are three important elements in creating this.
Firstly, we need to create a safe, non-judgemental environment to allow others to feel comfortable in sharing their true emotions and to do that we have to allow others to speak without reply.
Second, we need to all learn the art of listening, and that is true listening with empathy, not the listening where we are only thinking about what we are going to say next and trying to ‘fix’ the other person. They do not want to hear your autobiography, people want people to listen with genuine empathy, understanding and to be without evaluation.
Lastly, we need to have patience, and an ability to walk in moment in the other person’s shoes and understand that no one is broken and their emotions and journey is unique and that their emotions are important to them and we need to be respectful of them and be encouraging to them in sharing and being accepting of their emotions.
The real key element is empathetic listening, not autobiographical advising and fixing.
As always life is about the human touch, kindness, compassion, understanding and allowing ourselves and others to be vulnerable.
The greatest wisdom is to listen without evaluation.
Allowing people to express openly their true emotions gives them a space to heal, a opportunity to delve into those emotions, understand what causes them and then look to write a different narrative in their heads and with world, so that they can move on.
Burying emotions is what brings us all down.
True courage comes from allowing our emotions not from hiding and burying them. This is how we heel and we owe it to the world to help others feel safe enough to express their emotions and to help them to heal. It is how we all feel better.