“Many of us have an uncomfortable relationship with our feelings. We might stuff down our sadness or sweep away our anger. We might even have trouble identifying what we’re feeling in the first place.
This isn’t surprising. According to psychotherapist Joyce Marter, LCPC, we’re socialized to mask our feelings. We learn that we must cover up our emotions ‘in order to behave appropriately, professionally, and to avoid conflict and navigate relationships.’
People also worry their emotions are wrong, bad or even crazy, she said. They fear being rejected or perceived as needy or foolish. People may believe they’re weak if they feel sad or scared, so they avoid these emotions. Or they may ignore other emotions, believing they shouldn’t be feeling that way. While feelings may be tricky and we may view them with unease or even suspicion, they’re actually important and valuable.”