Join the Facebook Wellness and Relationship Group and Get Valuable Live Sessions and Tips with Nicola Beer
We are built to feel and express emotions from birth in order to survive. Without loving parents or caregivers, a child would not survive; without a baby crying out for food, needing help with trapped wind or discomfort, the caregiver would not be able to help. Therefore it is innate the ability to feel and express emotions, however, somewhere along the journey of life, some children are taught not to show emotions, to be strong, or they discover themselves it’s not good to display emotions; it gets you in trouble and learns to hide how they feel. Sometimes this is done in an attempt to please people, other times fear, some it does not want ever to be seen as weak, and others shy away from as they believe they just don’t know how to react and better to avoid all expressions of emotions.
I decided to do a PODCAST/article on this because over the last 3 months, several people who booked my 3 day intensive breakthrough sessions had a hard time sharing their feelings and knowing how to react when their loved ones expressed their emotions around them. They froze instead of saying soothing things, which made their partner or family members feel that they didn’t care. Or they got angry. This is actually because the 4 human natural responses are not understood or talked about. Have we all heard of fight and flight, right? Well, there are 2 other responses when things trigger us. The other two are to freeze or have intense rage (which is often displaced). It may be the rage at themselves because they are annoyed they don’t know how to respond or rage at the person for putting them in the situation.
Let’s imagine for a moment, you being 5, 6, or 7 years old, and something emotionally triggering happens. You freeze or get really angry inside in response, or you fight back, or you run away from all-natural human reactions. Then let’s say you get a positive reaction back, someone cuddles you and says it’s ok, they reassure you your reaction is fine and comfort you. You may feel good, ok, this response works, and you are likely to repeat it until it becomes a default habit. Now let’s say you get a negative response back, don’t be angry, sad, walk away when I am talking to you, don’t just stand there and say nothing, little girls and boys should be seen and not heard you may believe
It’s bad or unsafe to express emotions, or I am bad with emotions, or I am not good with emotions; I hate seeing other’s emotions.
This then becomes how you operate, and maybe this is fine until you get into serious romantic relationships. Then, your partner feels unloved, unseen, because of your default pattern. Are you with me?
Now I don’t believe when I help people. We need to spend weeks and months going over childhood or blaming parents, and it’s a pointless exercise that doesn’t get most people who try that therapy very far. The only thing I look at and am interested in is how is this a problem now, in the past affecting the now? And if so, what are the beliefs that person has about themselves. Does that mean if you find it hard to express your emotions or handle other’s emotions – you must look at what you believe about yourself and your emotions if that makes sense?
If these beliefs are not supporting you, be the best version of yourself and be the person you want to be – you need to take action to clear them, create new ones and learn the tools to be able to express your emotions with confidence and ease.
It is important to express emotions because countless studies have shown that when you repress emotions, it can lead to higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression, as well as a range of illnesses because that is one of the ways our bodies learn to signal to our minds that something is wrong.
It is also important for us to remember that emotions are a form of communication, even without words. For example, if I’m annoyed about something, my facial expressions and gestures will communicate how I’m feeling to others. If I’m excited, my actions will tell you I can’t wait for what’s about to happen. So, when we aren’t able to express or respond to these emotions, then we are also stopping ourselves from developing different forms of communication.
Releasing emotions for some can be easy. I have friends who cry at those emotional videos or films, can talk openly about their feelings, and know exactly what to say when someone else is going through a tough time. However, I know people who find it harder to share emotions and struggle to find the right words to say at the best of times.
Laura came to me specifically looking for a Dubai counsellor, in her words, sort out her responses. She booked a breakthrough session with me. After all, she felt guilt and inadequate because she didn’t know how to react in situations that required sensitivity and emotions. A few years back, her brother was involved in a car accident, and she found it hard to know how to respond and what to do. When her mother was upset with her, she also froze, not knowing the right thing to say or do. She was told by a university Dubai counsellor once to watch weepy movies to feel emotions, and she found this suggestion ridiculous and couldn’t do it. She was not interested in movies like Titanic; she studied engineering and liked numbers, not romantic movies. So she adopted the belief that she was just bad at emotions.
Laura was then told on numerous occasions that she was quite awkward, cold and that people were unable to turn to her. Her family members used to tell her to show her emotions when you visit your aunt who is sick, express yourself, and she saw this as a major failure. All I hear Nicola when they tell me how to react is that I am terrible at emotions; I just want the earth to swallow me up in those moments.
There was one particular occasion where she had upset her friend and didn’t know what to do. She had never been an expressive person, so when her friend was going through such a sad time following the loss of a family member, Laura really struggled to be there for her. This wasn’t because she didn’t care for her friend; it was purely because she hadn’t experienced that kind of loss herself and wasn’t sure how to handle the situation sensitively.
Instead of being honest with her friend, she found it easier to avoid seeing her, which only made her feel terrible on the inside, consumed with guilt for not being there. Laura thought maybe I am doing best by her as I may let her down more by not saying or doing the right things to make her feel better. So you can hopefully appreciate how it is important also to have a compassionate view towards people who have not been taught to express emotions or fear expressing emotions.
It’s also something that many men experience as they struggle to express their emotions in a society that tells them being a man is to repress emotions and be strong.
I worked with a man who found me in a Dubai Counsellor search on Google. After reading the review, I booked a 3-day Intensive Breakthrough Session within 10 minutes of talking. He was finding it difficult to be there for his wife when she was upset or was crying and had searched high and low for counsellors in Dubai, when he came across my website. His wife had complained for years that she felt unheard, unloved, and alone in their marriage because he didn’t react at all when she needed him. Whenever his wife was crying, he would freeze because he had thoughts like “I’m a lousy husband,” “I am causing her pain,” “I can’t do anything right” going through his mind, so he would try to avoid her emotions altogether, especially emotional conversations. All this did was reinforce the idea that her husband didn’t love her.
The sad thing is that he actually really loved his wife, but he lacked the confidence to respond to her. He wasn’t brought up in a household that encouraged expressing emotions. So he was never able to feel vulnerable and share feelings. Yet, he loved her so much that he was also worried about saying the wrong thing to hurt her even more.
I help people to change their inability to express emotions or respond to the emotions of others by getting to the root cause in their subconscious mind. Often, clients who turn to me for support are filled with fears, worries, self-doubt, and beliefs like –