Growing up, I remember that whenever I cried, my mom would say, “Why are you crying? There’s no reason to cry.” When I grew up, I got used to this reaction, and it became the way I dealt with my and my parents’ reactions to my emotions these days.
A few months back, I was talking to my dad, and I started crying because I was missing one of my best friends that I hadn’t seen in a long time due to the pandemic. He saw me crying and he asked that question, “Why are you crying? and, I blurted out, “I don’t know why I’m crying.” The reality was I did know why I was crying, and it was for a valid reason. My dad replied with, “I don’t know either,” and the conversation came to an abrupt end. Instead of receiving the emotional support I needed, we stopped talking about it. However, I’m a firm believer that we should feel our emotions openly.
Here are five reasons why I think it’s important to wear our hearts on our sleeves every now and then.
1. Showing your emotions creates relationships based on trust.
When we show others our feelings and give them a glimpse into our emotions, we establish a strong connection and trust. Showing your feelings allows you to find common ground with the person you’re talking to. It also makes you feel grateful that you can find support and vice versa.
2. Changing how you show emotions to one person impacts how you interact with everyone.
If you find yourself unable to express yourself to certain people (in my case, my parents), you may also find it difficult to express your feelings to others. Without having an established trust and openness with your parents — arguably one of the most important relationships in our lives — you may never be able to be fully intimate and connected with others. And we all deserve that.
3. Life can be tough, so cry it out!
We all just went through a world-changing, historical time. So many people lost loved ones, faced unemployment, and endured many other struggles. This pandemic has impacted everyone in one way or another. And it’s okay to cry about it. But bottling up your feelings won’t do you any good. And we all know that we can only do that for so long until we can’t hold it anymore and need to let it out.
4. Create common ground.
Showing people our genuine emotions allows us to find connections with those we have found nothing in common with. I’ve noticed this with my friends who have gone through similar experiences as I have. This has allowed us to express to each other that we’re not alone in our struggles. Through that, we can give each other comfort and find support.
5. Bridge the age gap.
More often than not, older generations believe that showing emotions means you’re weak. Back in the day, asking for help meant you weren’t strong enough to solve a problem on your own. So asking for help wasn’t something one should do back then. On the other hand, younger generations are trying to turn that around and create dialogue to make sure we are all comfortable discussing those once-taboo topics. If we show our emotions, we can establish a new sense of normalcy — one with a healthier focus.
So, cry it out. Find common ground with someone. Seek support and be someone’s support system. Be an example of how someone can show their emotions and still be a source of strength. Don’t let the old habits or reactions of people who may not know how to express themselves impact you negatively. One certain thing is that we are an ever-changing, ever-growing human race, and we have to roll with the punches, paving the way for our own successes.