Blocks to Expressing Feeling

When it comes to expressing feelings many people have a difficult time.  However, effective communication, including appropriate ways to expressing feelings, fosters intimacy with others and can help build a strong sense of self.  When we lack the skills or knowlege to effectively express our feelings we can create "blocks" which can hurt or hinder how we relate to others.  These "blocks" can create the opposite effect of intimacy, which can lead to a variety of problems in our relationships.  The following illustrate 10 blocks to expressing feelings effectively:  


  1. Mind reading. You expect others to know how you feel and what you want without taking responsibility for expressing yourself directly.
  2. Fear. Your fear of rejection and disapproval is so great that you abandon yourself and swallow your feelings.
  3. Conflict avoidant. You avoid conflict or uncomfortable feelings at all costs.
  4. Passive-aggressive. Instead of sharing your feelings openly and honestly, you use covert tactics to communicate your displeasure.
  5. Hopelessness. You believe the situation will never change so why try? This creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  6. Martyrdom. You don't want to admit your feelings because you don't want to give anyone the satisfaction of knowing they've upset you. You suffer silently with great pride.
  7. Low self-esteem. You believe that you don't have a right to express your feelings or to ask others for what you want. At the expense of self, you focus on pleasing others instead.
  8. Feeling defective. You believe that you shouldn't have irrational feelings like anger, jealousy, anxiety, depression, as that would indicate that you are flawed or "un-together."
  9. Volcano. You believe once you start expressing your feelings the hot lava will begin to flow and no one will be able to stop it! All will be destroyed.
  10. Miranda Warning. You don't want to express your feelings because you are afraid they will be used against you.
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