Communicating to express our feelings.
Communication is challenging under ideal circumstances. When we are experiencing strong emotions it is vital to openly express what we are feeling. Neglecting to openly communicate our emotions leaves us vulnerable to assumptions, which are often incorrect, and the cause of many misunderstandings.
Many individuals were never provided the language or opportunity to express emotions. Consequently it has left people fearful of the risk of conveying what they are feeling. Often times individuals avoid, or shut down. Harbouring unexpressed emotions can cause problems in relationships or cause the individual to become increasingly anxious.
I find the Emotional Wheel helpful, it allows me the opportunity to reflect on what I’m feeling. Having taken a moment to think about it I am able to clearly express what I am feeling.
It is important to recognize, people from all walks of life and levels of education, experience difficulty, at various times to accurately express their emotions. There are, those among us, who grew up being encouraged to express their feelings. These fortunate individuals, have established being transparent as a way of life, a natural part of their daily communications. For many others it requires practice, but it is achievable.
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg, a research psychologist who specialized in non-violent communication speaks of the significance of being fully accountable for our emotions. Conveying openly the emotion we are experiencing, putting the feeling into words, and owning the feeling. This accountability enhances communication with others from a non-threatening language to an authentic, sincere approach. Dr. Rosenberg’s research has been replicated throughout the world in public and private organizations.
Dr. Rosenberg cautions individuals to carefully select the language they use when expressing emotions. Many individuals begin with “I feel _______.” This confirms responsibility, we are owning the emotion, we are accountable for how we manage the emotion.
Dr. Rosenberg discovered many individuals followed expressing their emotion with the clause “when you…” This shifts the onus of responsibility for our feelings from the individual speaking (expressing the emotion), to another person. When we include “you” we have placed blame or responsibility on another person. We are not holding ourselves accountable.
An element of improving communication requires individuals take full responsibility for their emotions. We must be accountable, to experience true growth.
Coaches, change the world, one person at a time.