A significant aspect of achieving personal growth is being able to effectively communicate your feelings to others. However, the ability to genuinely share your feelings takes practice and confidence. Fortunately, there are specific actions you can take to help you develop this ability.
If you apply these strategies, you’ll be telling others how you feel with assertiveness and excellent social graces:
1. Recognize what you’re feeling and put a label on it. Examining your own set of emotions is much different than noticing how others react. Avoid focusing on how you think others are feeling, at least initially in a situation. Stay inside your own self to determine how you feel.
* Getting in touch with your own feelings is a great first step toward expressing yourself to others. When labeling your emotions, consider the full range of human feelings.
* Although you may tend to think of more prominent feelings such as happiness, sadness or anger, there are gradients of these feelings. Think of contentment, disappointment, melancholy, irritation and other emotions to find just the right label for your feelings.
* Once you’ve labeled how you feel, you’re better prepared to share your emotions.
2. Ask yourself if the time, place and situation are appropriate to sharing feelings. If you want someone to really hear you, they must be able to focus on your words. In order to be heard, it helps to be judicious about these three elements: time, place, and situation.
* Telling your sister at the family picnic that you’re disappointed in her not showing up for plans you had earlier might reflect an ill-timed effort. On the other hand, calling your sister the next day and sharing your sentiments when she can focus on you and the conversation shows a better choice of time, place, and situation.
* When these 3 aspects are right, go ahead and share how you feel.
3. Remind yourself you have a right to feel how you feel. As a human being, you’re entitled to feel however you feel. Your feelings are just as relevant as the next guy’s emotions. And you don’t really have to explain why you feel a certain way.
* In essence, you feel what you feel because you feel it. No other reasoning is necessary.
4. Show confidence during your exchange. Avoid being afraid to say how you feel. If you state your feelings with confidence, others will listen and respect you. But if you feel unworthy of someone’s time, your self-doubt will reveal itself in the discussion.
* Take pride in the fact you’re connected with your own mind and emotions and that you’re not too afraid, ashamed or embarrassed to share it.
5. Use respectful voice tones. Even though you sometimes might experience strong feelings, take special care in moderating your voice tones while expressing emotions. Using a calm voice tone makes it easier for listeners to hear what you’re saying.
* Loud or disrespectful tones will divert the listener from what you’re truly trying to communicate. The listener will focus on your demeanor instead.
6. Be appreciative. Finally, in your efforts to express yourself, show gratitude for the listener’s time and patience in hearing you. After all, people have a choice as to whether they communicate with you. A word of thanks to them for taking the time helps to build strong relationships. Saying, “Thanks for listening” shows you appreciate the listener.
Sharing your feelings takes time, effort and tact. However, as you apply these strategies, you’ll improve in your quest to reveal your feelings to others. Once you become skilled at expressing yourself, you’ll be well on the road to living the life you desire.