There’s so much talk around vulnerability and how healing it is to express your emotions and be comfortable with doing so. We connect vulnerability with “being weak” and that’s obviously due to these ingrained beliefs from older generations telling us “be a man and stop crying” or “strong people don’t cry”. Even the media subconsciously drills these things into our heads, remember when Fergie said “big girls don’t cry”? I was raised with these beliefs and now as an adult I realize how damaging they are. My romantic relationships have been SO difficult because I never allowed myself to be open with my emotions. I would just shove them all down until I couldn’t take it anymore and explode. That is NOT healthy and it will only create more tension and resentment in the relationship.
I’m a very intense person. I feel emotions very deeply and throughout the years, I’ve done so much work on myself and I’ve discovered so many things about myself that I never knew. These emotions have to be communicated. My fear with communicating emotions would always go back to “what if they don’t accept me for who I am? what if what I’m feeling right now is wrong? what if I’m overreacting?” These are questions I still ask myself (although I’ve gotten so much better at allowing myself to just be) and it’s hard to open up and feel comfortable with saying what’s on your mind. Trust me, it’s not an easy task to tell your partner what bothers you or what your fears and insecurities are but it’s necessary. A healthy relationship requires that kind of communication and openness...or else what’s the point?
There are moments where I find myself going back to my unhealthy habits and shutting down when I feel a negative emotion. I’m only human, it’s bound to happen. Give yourself permission to be human, no matter how much we work on ourselves we’ll always feel comfort when we retreat back to our shells. When I notice myself feeling like that, I immediately challenge any negative thoughts that come up. The key is always self-awareness, not perfection. It’s totally okay to mess up, but notice when you do and pick up on those patterns so you can teach yourself to be stronger every time.