Are you expressing your true feelings? When someone asks you how you are, do you tell them the truth? When your partner or close friend asks if you are okay, and you shrug it off and say, “yes,” are you being truthful? When you don’t express those emotions, the same relationship patterns occur over and over again.
I experienced this first-hand the other night. I didn’t want to seem needy, didn’t want to rock the boat, didn’t want to be “demanding.” Regardless of how the other person perceives your emotions and needs, they need to be expressed. When asked if I was okay, I responded affirmatively, while I knew I was not. I went in my room, stopped, and said out loud, “NO, I am not okay.”
I went back out and said, “I lied. I am not okay. I am hurting.”
When someone close to us perceives dis-ease in us and reaches out, we are not doing them or ourselves justice by downplaying how we feel. It confuses the other person, for their intuition said something is wrong, yet we denied it. It also builds mistrust, for the person reaches out and we deny their expression.
Attempting to not upset anyone with what is upsetting you is called CARETAKING, aAnd it hurts everyone. First, you are denying yourself your true expression. You are telling yourself that your feelings don’t matter. Second, without telling the other person how you feel and what they can or can’t do to help, you offer them no tools. Hence, you leave them powerless. Eventually, they stop reaching out.
My goal is to stop caretaking (I just recently realized I was doing that by not “rocking the boat”) and be as authentic as possible. That means taking a breath, staying present, acknowledging and questioning every emotion that comes up.
It’s work, and it’s completely worth it. That’s why they call it “doing your Work.”