Please Stop 🛑 Emoting All Over Me
Sharing emotions is not about vomiting them all over unsuspecting victims.
There is a right way and a wrong way to share our emotions with others. There are people we should share our emotions with and people whom we should not share them with. There is a time to share and a time to shut-up.
Emotions Are an Internal Communication System
Our emotions are important. They are an internal messaging system. A way that our brain can send us a notification that something requires our attention.
Sometimes our brain just wants us to celebrate, so it signals joy or happiness. Celebration, joy, and happiness are an important part of both emotional and mental health.
Sometimes our brain sends us the emotion of fear to signal danger. Our brain thinks we should proceed carefully.
Sometimes it sends anger, frustration or, sadness our way.
We experience all of these emotions for reasons our brain believes is best for us.
Emotions Are Our Brains Gift to Us
But our emotions are for us. They are not for anybody else. This does not mean we shouldn’t share them. But sharing them in an uncontrollable, vomity way actual undermines and belittles the emotions.
Such sharing allows us to release the emotion out into the world without going through the hard work of actually listening carefully to our emotions. Without digesting them we rob ourselves of the opportunity to understand the depth of the messages they are attempting to send us.
Not to mention the fact that emotional flinging is icky. It makes people, even if they love you deeply, just want to get away from you. It is a violation to throw your emotions all over other people. A breach of intimacy. You took your unprocessed crap and threw it at me. Gee, thanks, I really wanted that.
The worst part of all this is that no one else can process your emotions for you. I mean, if you are having a rough day, I will wash your underwear. Or have a heart to heart, leading you through the process of communicating with yourself. But please, don’t expect me to allow you to cover me with the slimy stench of your emotions just because you aren’t brave enough to listen to them yourself.
I’ll walk through them with you. But I won’t tolerate you flinging them at me.
A Solid Example of Emotional Flinging
This is why no one likes witnessing a toddler's tantrum. Because they are uncontrollably sharing their emotions. Toddlers are learning how to handle their emotions. They need help processing them.
Wise adults don’t teach them to either suppress them or to let the emotion take over control.
The answer to emotions is always…I hear you, self. You are concerned about my well being and have an important message to convey.
You sit with the emotion. You process it. You try to get to the bottom of it. You discern the proper action to take. You decide if any action is needed at all. You might need input from other people, but the deep truth of the matter is that no one else knows exactly why you are having this emotional struggle. Journaling can help as can talking with someone. But not if that talk is just shoving your emotions in someone else’s face so you can ‘feel’ better.
Why do we have therapists instead of just going to our family and friends? Because therapists are professionally trained to deal with our emotional barfing. Because they know the secret questions that will lead you into processing your emotions. Because it saves our relationships when we don’t expect everyone around us to just let us cover them with filth whenever we are overwhelmed with our brain's messages to us.
Post Emotional Processing
Only after you do the hard work of talking and listening to yourself can you move on to this next step safely. By safely, I mean, without that work, the next steps you take can easily be self-destructive if you have not gone through the work first.
Now that you know where your emotion came from, why you feel this way, and what message you are giving yourself, you can proceed.
Action May or May Not be Needed
Now you act or don’t act.
But you can’t do all this stuff with your emotions if you are constantly flinging them at other people.
Now (that you have done the work of processing your emotions) you might know that when so and so does such and such it makes you feel **** because of ****. You might need to tell so and so such and such. Without accusation. Because chances are they don’t say such and such to make you feel ****.
But if you don’t take the time to process the emotions first, you will not be able to articulate all this…you will just be ****. And the **** that you feel will serve no purpose.
Of course, if someone is purposefully saying hurtful things we should call them out on it. That is never cool. But most interpersonal problems are more complex than that.
But most relationship strife requires conversation, listening, and careful communication. Work just like your own emotions require of you. So now you can take those skills outside yourself to deepen your relationships with others. But this does not feel, taste, or smell like the emotional vomiting you were going to do before you processed your emotions.
This is a whole new journey.
Emotional Vomiting Allows You To Skip The Journey
But the Journey is What Leads You to the Best Version of Yourself
Emotional vomiting just tricks you into thinking you dealt with your emotions when you haven’t. Like when you open and read an email. But you don’t do the thing the email says you need to do. But you forget all about the email. Because both your brain and your inbox think you took care of it. The only chance you will remember to go back and take care of it is to mark it “unread”.
Choosing not to vomit our emotions all over whoever happens to be standing nearest to us at the time our feelings hit is the same as marking them ‘unread’. We save them for later, not as a way to repress them, but as a way to honor them. Because our emotions deserve our complete attention.
This doesn’t mean we have to bottle up our emotions. It doesn’t mean there is never a time to share.
Sharing emotions with those we are close to can help us process them. But even then we should strive to share after processing.
No one deserves to have our emotions shot at them.
Projectile emotions are not what our loved ones are for. Unless you really think your loved ones are just targets for you to throw your emotional arrows at.
But let’s hope our relationships are slightly more mature than that.