“He who swallows much, eventually drowns.” Maybe you’ve heard this expression before. It’s an old saying, and like the majority of these sayings, they remind us of our ancestors and contain universal truths that we need to know.
How many things do you hold in every day? How many thoughts and feelings do you keep to yourself trying not to offend others? Be careful, because in the end you’re only doing damage to yourself. We’ll explain some of the dangers of repressed emotions below.
1. Silence can mean consent, but… everything has a limit.
Silence is wisdom, there’s no doubt about that, and it’s always better than saying something foolish. Before making an off color comment or saying something inappropriate, it’s better to shut your mouth and show more intelligence than someone who doesn’t think before they speak.
However, there has to be a balance between keeping quiet and defending your needs:
- Keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself doesn’t let others know how they’re hurting you or that they’ve crossed the line. No one is a fortune teller, if you don’t let others know that something upsets or offends you, they won’t know.
- Sometimes it’s wise to stay silent and other times you’ll have to choose wise words. Knowing when to speak up and when to stay quiet is one of the most important skills you can learn to develop. It’s not about keeping absolutely quiet or letting out every last thing on your mind. Extremes are never good. Maintain a balance, but always remember that hiding your feelings only damages yourself. It allows others to violate your personal space, cross the line, speak for you when you say nothing, and choose for you when you don’t speak up. In the end, you’ll be little more than a puppet strung along by others.
2. Holding things in leads to psychosomatic illnesses
It shouldn’t surprise you that the body and mind are intimately connected. So much so that specialists warn that 40% of the population suffers or has suffered from some type of psychosomatic illness in their lives.
Nervousness, for example, alters digestion, causing diarrhea and headaches. Cold sores are triggered by elevated stress levels. Ignoring your thoughts and feelings leads to high levels of anxiety in the body.
Think about the things that you don’t tell your parents or friends because you don’t want to hurt them. They do things for you thinking that they’re helping, when in reality they’re just making you feel bad. Why can’t you tell them the truth? We also think of our partners, not wanting to offend them, although there are times that they behave in a way that hurts us. But, we choose to remain silent.
All of that will sooner or later result in psychosomatic illnesses, like migraines, tension, chronic fatigue…
3. Speaking up: the key to emotional release
You shouldn’t be afraid to express yourself, and even less afraid of others who do it also. It’s just as necessary as breathing, eating, or sleeping… Emotional communication is necessary in our day to day lives to establish healthier relationships with others and with ourselves.
Here are a few basic keys to follow:
- Remember that everything has a limit. If you don’t speak up about your thoughts and feelings, you won’t be acting in a dignified manner, you’ll lose your self esteem and control of your life. In the first place, always remember that it’s your right to express what you’re thinking and feeling.
- Saying what one thinks is not hurting anyone. It’s defending yourself and letting others know how you feel.
- Don’t obsess over how others are going to react or be afraid. If you’re worried about how things might be taken, you can prepare yourself for possible reactions. An example: you’re tired of your parents coming over every weekend and not having any intimacy with your partner. You’ve decided to tell them to stop coming over so often. How do you think they’ll react? If you think they’ll be offended, prepare yourself to explain that there’s no reason to be upset. If you think they’ll feel hurt, also be prepared to tell them that they shouldn’t feel this way either.
- Remember that speaking up for what you’re thinking and feeling is, in reality, the best method of emotional liberation that exists. Practice it with wisdom and take care of yourself.