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“Oh, no. Here comes the crying and yelling.”
I heard this response over and over again whenever a “minor inconvenience” happened in my presence, and I just couldn’t reasonably deal with it.
But then I thought to myself, “Why the hell am I crying because of this? It’s not that big of a deal.”
Though, at that moment, it felt like a big deal.
The thing is that we call so many issues “not a big deal” over and over again, letting them build a home inside our subconscious, piling up inside a drawer we refuse to open, until the drawer is so damn full that it doesn’t close anymore. And finally, all those not a big deals burst out of the drawer and turn us into an emotional mess.
One thing I used to hate is to act on my emotions in front of people. I would cry in my previous job’s bathroom; I would cry alone in my room; I would scream and punch the wheel while blasting the music in my car (definitely looking crazy to those who passed by me).
But when it really did matter, I gave no sign of emotions, was extremely patient in the face of adversities, and tended to force myself to think logically…even when the same issue came up repeatedly.
And this makes me wonder…am I bottling up my emotions until they explode at the most inconvenient time, or am I just tired of talking about my feelings?
What is really the difference?
According to verywellmind, “There are so many scenarios in which we feel compelled to suppress our feelings. For example, we may just want to get through the day, we tell ourselves we’ll deal with the emotion later, we think the feeling isn’t worth exploring, or we try to conceal our feelings in order to make a relationship ‘work.'”
However, Jacquelyn explains that emotional exhaustion “is a state of feeling emotionally worn-out and drained as a result of accumulated stress from your personal or work lives, or a combination of both. Emotional exhaustion is one of the signs of burnout. People experiencing emotional exhaustion often feel like they have no power or control over what happens in life. They may feel ‘stuck’ or ‘trapped’ in a situation.”
While both are closely related to keeping our emotions to ourselves, neither is healthy in the long run.
Ultimately, though, we tend to keep our feelings to ourselves for one key reason: it seems easier and safer to do so.
I may sometimes become exhausted of expressing how I feel because it seems futile in certain situations, but in other times, I desperately want to seem like the adult, understanding, and mature person and try to ignore the things that are making me upset. Why? Because they seem trivial to me, and I won’t accept the fact that they bother me so much.
But as I was growing up, my circle of friends shrunk, I met the love of my life, I became more self-aware, and I realized that it’s okay to express our feelings. It’s okay to cry and be vulnerable. It’s okay to talk about what’s bothering us.
What’s not okay is refusing to face our feelings and emotions and letting them manifest in the worst way possible, leading us to an emotional sh*tstorm that could’ve been easily avoided.
Here are six signs we’re bottling up our emotions:
1. We rarely outwardly express our emotions, but it’s easy for us to explode with anger at the tiniest issues.
2. We seek distractions whenever the feeling of uneasiness creeps over us.
3. We are different with others than how we are when we’re alone.
4. We are overcome with discomfort around emotional people.
5. We feel distant from others and unable to engage with them.
6. We avoid confronting our emotions or the cause of certain emotions.
If you’re feeling the same way, you’ll likely enjoy this video by Psych2Go: