Denying Your Feelings
In America people raise their children to deny emotions. Mothers discourage children from crying, being sad, being angry or even being happy. These children then grow up to deny themselves these same emotions. Today doctors diagnose happy children as having Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and prescribing Ritalin for them. Teachers, who are ill trained and probably have no business being in the classroom, describe these children as “uncontrollable”, and hence there must be a problem with them. All of this amounts to, people who are not raised properly, have no psychological training, and are so out of tune with a healthy mind that they don’t understand one when they see one.
You and your children need to feel all emotions. Let me repeat this.
- You need to feel happy on a consistent basis
- you need to feel sad on a consistent basis
- you need to feel angry on a consistent basis
- you need to feel aggressive on a consistent basis
- you need to feel meek on a consistent basis
Notice fear is not on the list. Sadness, is not akin to fear. And, understand sadness and happiness can be linked together. There can be things that are so beautiful that they not only make you happy to see, but they make you cry and ache with how beautiful they are. The emotionally sound mind can run the gamut of emotions all in one breath. You can laugh until you cry. You have heard, “tears of joy”. This is from an emotionally sound mind. They are so overcome by their emotions that it brings tears to their eyes in a joyful situation.
Stifling Emotions can be Dangerous
“Big boys don’t cry Billy.” Have you heard this? Have you said this to your own child? Have you been told this as a child yourself? The pervasive notion that men or males should no cry set a very dangerous precedent. You are teaching male children to repress all emotions which lead to crying. This repression of course has to come out some way. So if it doesn’t come out by crying, it comes out by beating his wife, murdering his children, opening fire with a machine gun on a crowded room.
Of course men should cry. Of course boys should cry. Are they any less human? Are women the only human on the planet privileged to show their emotions? Our society is so screwed up that we welcome the sick mind, instead of the healthy mind. If something is “wrong” you should cry about it. If something is sad you should cry about it. Feel the emotion. Does God not cry over us? Does he not weep? I have no idea who started this notion that men shouldn’t cry, but it is a very dangerous act.
“A real man sucks it up.” No no, a real man keeps going in spite of a sad situation. That is a totally different notion than a real man not feeling emotions.
Who here, reading this, would expect a father to NOT cry at the death of their child? Cry, I would expect them to be inconsolable, for at least a week if not a month. Who here would expect a husband to NOT cry over a wife leaving him? Again, I would expect him to be nigh comatose for a good half month. But you see, in each of these instances, the unhealthy mind represses the feelings. And, what do you have with that? You have a disaster waiting to happen.
What should you do in that situation, if it were a friend / relative going through that situation? You should:
- put on a ragedy shirt
- buy some cleenex
- go over to his house
- sit him down next to you
- put the cleenex on his lap
- pull his head right on your shoulder
- order, command, demand him to cry
Yes, you should make him cry, right on your shoulder. And, what happens after a good cry? We all feel better don’t we?
Have you ever just got the urge to cry? This is your body telling you, you need this release. You need to be angry and sad, just like you need to be happy. Your body needs to feel all of those emotions, and quit frequently.
But Isn’t Being Angry a Bad Thing?
We need to be angry, just like we need to be happy. Have you ever see a baby, infant, cry and then growl while they’re crying? Obviously they are feeling the anger emotion. It just naturally comes out. There could be no change in the environment, they just wanted to growl a little. And, you can be “angry” over many situations. In fact the word – anger – is the child version of the word. You can be:
- hurt / sad
Those are more specific emotions. We go through those daily. But most of us were raise to think it was bad to actually feel or worse, admit to those emotions. How many of you reading this would admit to being jealous? How many of you would admit to being frustrated.
Most times, these emotions are embarrassing to admit to, because we feel it is a reflection on an inadequacy that we, ourselves have. Why would I admit to being jealous. That means that I feel beneath that person that made me feel that way. Why would I admit to being frustrated? That means that I am too stupid to understand the problem. Why would I admit to being embarrassed? That means I am a virgin / fat and don’t want people to know.
Anger is an emotion people are not only taught to avoid, but they themselves try to repress. We have so many social stigmas that people are often made to feel they must repress anger and the subcategories under it, in order to fit in. It has to be the most unhealthy emotion to repress. The person that represses anger, blows up eventually.
The nagging wife, the busy body mom, the nosy neighbor – these all make people repress their anger emotions. Then one day … They blow up, and the person doesn’t understand why they blew up. That’s what is truly ironic about the situation.
“Behave billy”, says the overbearing mother. Anger is a behavior, mom. Be a better mother and understand how to be a mother and allow your child to be angry. You as a parent need to simply ask questions in those situations. Don’t try to repress the anger. I repeat, do not say “calm down”. If someone is ranting and raving, simply stand back, let them rant and rave. They need the ranting and raving, as much as they need laughter. When you can get a word in edgewise, assist them in feeling the emotion by asking them “why”. A parent is a “guide”. You’re not there to beat them over the head. A good behaved child, is not a sheep that follows you around with a silent smile. You’ll raise a doorknob of a kid, if that is what you think the ideal child is.
You need to feel anger, just as much as you need to feel overjoyed the 49ers won the superbowl. Think for a second. Who’s the best friend you ever had? Did he / she just let you vent about whatever and just nod and let you keep venting? That’s a good friend. That’s a good parent. That’s a person that lets you be emotionally healthy. Why do we talk to psychiatrists, bartenders, priests? We need to let it all out. We need to tell it. We need to get it off our chest.
You as a wife / husband / father / mother need to be the bartender / psychiatrist / priest. Hear the confessions. Hear the emotions. Hear the sob stories. And you need to nod and say “mm hmm”. And take turns with your wife / husband.
Wfie: “How was your day hunny?”
Husband: “Oh let me tell you, first I dropped the honey bun in my lap on the way to work.”
Wife: “oh I bet you got frustrated at that. Did you stain your pants?”
Husband: “yes and I had to hide under my desk all morning long till it evaporated and went away.”
Wfie: “oh I bet that was embarrassing. Did anyone see you?”
Husband: “no, and I just casually walked around with files if I had to get up”
Wife: “did you make it home ok?”
Husband: “yes, on the way home Timothy saw this pretty woman who came to the car and asked us directions. He was so smitten, he started stuttering. I couldn’t stop laughing.”
Wife: “oh, poor thing, and you laughed right there as they were talking, or trying to?”
Husband: “I couldn’t help it. It was funny.”
Wife: “Well besides the honey bunn sounds like you had a good day.”
Husband: “how was yours?”
Wife: “oh the teacher called and said Billy peed his pants. Come to find out another kid had spilled a drink on him. At first I was so shocked, but then when they found out what happened, I didn’t know if I should laugh or what..”
Husband: “I hope Billy didn’t punch the kid or anything.”
Wife: “oh no, I think it was a friend of his. He would never punch one of his friends.”
Husband: “lucky for his friends. He’s a real fireball when he gets angry.”
Wife: “Yes, it’s pretty funny when he gets so angry. But honey, that wasn’t the main reason his teacher called.”
Husband: “don’t tell me something serious happened.”
Wife: “yes, one of the kids at school died of a rare disease. They called all the parents to tell them. They want the parents to be the one to tell the kids. It was little Susan, the neighbors daughter.”
Husband: “well, I’ll be. I just can’t believe that. Instead of just telling Billy, let’s bake a pie, get some Kleenex and all three of us go over there and give them all a big hug. Speaking of hugs, where’s Billy now. I think he’s going to be needing quite a few hugs before this is all over.”
Feel all of your emotions. Don’t repress them. Don’t teach your children to repress them. You can see people who are emotionally stressed out, break out on their skin. They are holding and bottling up their emotions and their bodies are trying to let it out. If you need to have cry sessions with your mother or husband, do it. Tell them, it’s a new thing you want to start up. Invite friends over and watch sad movies and everyone cry. Afterwards, hug each other or talk about it. Go around and ask how it made you feel.
You might want to start a pillow fight night. At least once a week. Get some anger out. It is a good thing. Can you imagine how much you can get your family to let out, if you did this on a consistent basis? Wrestle with your kids. Keep it clean and fun. You can laugh and let out anger at the same time. These emotions you want to let out. If you or your children are feeling an emotion, go through the entire emotion. Don’t just cry for a second and then repress it. That’s just as dangerous as not doing it in the first place. If it takes you an hour to cry, so be it. You work at your job for 8 hours, why not cry for an hou? Keep everything in perspective. If your boss makes you angry for 8 hours, you might need to pillow fight for a whole hour to let it out.
No one said you couldn’t mix fun, with feeling emotions. If you kid is angry, give him a notebook to rip up, sit him in the bathroom and tell him to rip it up. Simply have him clean it up afterwards. These are ideas to let you feel your emotions.
Bottling emotions in, can lead to a shorter life span. I am being completely serious about that. Can you imagine, high blood pressure so high that you lose your hair and other outrageous symptoms? No, let the emotions out and do it on a consistent basis. Encourage your family to do it. Encourage your friends to do it. If society looks at you strange, keep in mind, this is your health you have in your hands. Think to yourself, “I’m not going to repress this and kill myself at an early age, just to make them not feel awkward.”