Most young children have no difficulty expressing what they feel at any given moment.
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When they are happy, they skip, dance, run and scream in joy!
When they are sad, they cry and cry and cry till there are no more tears left to shed.
When they are upset, frustrated or want your attention, they throw tantrums.
They are very frank in their expression of different emotions. However, not all children retain this ability to express their emotions. As they move closer to adulthood, many of them lose this ability.
Why is that so?
Remember an instance from your childhood when you were really troubled by something.
Maybe you fell sick and could not go to a friend's birthday party. How did you feel? Probably disappointed?
Maybe your younger sister got away with some mischief on grounds of being young while you were reprimanded for the same? How did you feel? Angry?
Maybe you were told by your teacher that you are dumb and you felt sad and cried about the same. How did it feel?
Under such circumstances, maybe you were frank enough to express all that you felt- in your own way. But you were not understood. You were also ridiculed for feeling in certain ways.
Maybe you were told, "Only bad children feel this way? Are you good or bad?" And then you suppressed your emotions for fear of being labelled bad.
Or maybe you were told, " Only babies feel this way. Are you a baby or a big boy/girl?" And then you suppressed your emotions for fear of being labelled a 'baby'.
So, now you see how most of us lose our ability to express our emotions.
We were always afraid of expressing our emotions for that would make us seem inadequate. In order to be accepted by people and look 'GOOD' in their eyes, we learnt to put on a mask. And as an adult, it is so difficult to remove this mask and throw it away for good- unless one makes a conscious effort over a period of time.
As children many of us were not guided on how to express our emotions in a healthy manner and that made us throw tantrums and behave in unacceptable ways at times.
Think about it. Is there anything wrong with expressing what we feel? We are human beings after all and that means it is perfectly normal for us to have emotions. Expressing our emotions does not mean throwing tantrums or behaving in unacceptable ways. Children do the same because most of them are not taught how to express emotions in a healthy manner. They were born with the ability to express emotions naturally but lost it somewhere along the way.
And this is the case with most of us today.
Can we regain this ability?
Can we express our emotions without feeling bad about it?
Can we be like children-natural and spontaneous in our expression of emotions?
Yes, we can. It takes a bit of conscious effort and practice. But it is certainly possible.
Observe children! See how they express. Learn from them.
We don't have to throw child-like tantrums but we can certainly learn to express emotions as spontaneously as children do!