Learning the Language of Emotion

Learning about emotions usually happens when you are a kid. You’re sad, you cry. You’re happy, you smile. Then, as you get older you learn about excitement, anger, confusion, jealousy etc., but is learning the language of emotion just as easy and similar for all? Or, does how we are raised have everything to do with how we handle our emotions and how we communicate them? I’ve always been the person that has trouble communicating my feelings and emotions. Maybe it was because emotions and talks about emotions didn’t really happen growing up. Did I know this? Not until recently. I mean, I knew I understood emotions, and I could recognize them when I saw them expressed by people, but I never really knew my own emotions when they came up. I was never talked to in the language of emotion, at least not in a “well rounded” sense. Anger and hurt were the emotions that ran my house. A lack of comfort. Not that it was done purposefully, I just don’t think my parents were taught how to properly express their own feelings either, as the same with their parents and so on and so forth. It’s crazy how much is passed down from generation to generation, the good the bad and the ugly.

In this past year, I have been doing a lot of self-healing. A lot of internal processing, and a lot of reflecting on my life and how I live it. I’ve made many realizations, some small and some really big. One thing I’ve recently realized is that I’ve never really liked being asked my feelings about a situation. It would bother me so much, and I realize now that it was because I never actually knew how I was feeling. And of course, not knowing something for me was me being a failure. You see, being smart and educated was a really important thing in my house. Having good grades, being a good student, having a stable secure job with benefits. So the fact that I may not know my own emotions when asked seemed, to me, that I would be seen as a dumb person; and of course I couldn’t take that- not with my birth chart (but thats a whole other post).

So now I find myself, 28 years old and barely learning the language of emotions. Learning how to feel and know what I am feeling and then communicating it in a loving and compassionate way. A way like “It makes me sad that you are going through this because it doesn’t always have to be that way, but I am here for you if you need anything.”, when a loved one tells you that they are struggling with a situation. Instead of just saying, “that’s sucks”. Or actually expressing your feelings instead of just shutting down and checking out of a situation/conversation because your feelings got hurt. Such as, “It hurts me when you ask me to repeat myself over three times because it makes me feel like you aren’t listening to me.” These two simple phrases have taken me 28 years to be comfortable saying. Now, I’m not saying that I am the expert on the language of emotions, because I’m not. I am still in the learning phase, and chances are that I may still revert to my old comfortable way of dealing with emotions. It’s a daily thing I work on, but hopefully with each day that goes by those moments happen less.

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