How To Share Your Thoughts and Feelings

Sharing our thoughts and feelings with others can be a daunting task. It requires us to be vulnerable, open, and honest. As someone who has struggled with expressing myself, I understand how challenging it can be to share what's going on inside your head. However, I've also learned that sharing our thoughts and feelings is crucial for our emotional wellbeing and the health of our relationships.

Here's an example scenario: Imagine you've had a rough day at work, and all you want to do is vent to your partner. However, as soon as you start talking, you notice that they're distracted, scrolling through their phone. You feel frustrated and unheard, and the conversation ends with you feeling worse than before. This is a common situation that many of us have experienced, but it doesn't have to be this way. Learning how to share your thoughts and feelings effectively can improve communication, deepen your relationships, and help you feel understood.

Here are some ways to share your thoughts and feelings:

  1. Start with "I" statements: Begin your sentences with "I feel" or "I think." This approach takes responsibility for your feelings and avoids putting the other person on the defensive.

  2. Practice active listening: When someone is sharing their thoughts or feelings with you, give them your full attention. Make eye contact, nod your head, and ask questions to show that you're engaged and interested in what they have to say.

  3. Use "because" statements: When you need to express a difficult emotion or opinion, explain why you feel that way. For example, "I'm upset because I feel like my needs aren't being heard."

  4. Be specific: When you're sharing your thoughts and feelings, try to be as specific as possible. Instead of saying "I'm mad," explain why you're angry and what triggered that emotion.

  5. Take breaks: If you feel overwhelmed or emotional while sharing, it's okay to take a break. Go for a walk, take a few deep breaths, or do something calming to help you collect your thoughts.

I've personally found that these techniques have been helpful. When I started using "I" statements, it was easier for me to express myself without feeling like I was attacking someone else. Practicing active listening helped me be more present in conversations and build stronger connections with the people around me. Being specific and using "because" statements helped me communicate my needs more effectively and feel more heard.

Sharing our thoughts and feelings can be scary, but it's worth it. When we communicate effectively, we can build deeper connections with others, resolve conflicts, and improve our emotional wellbeing. Remember, it's okay to take your time, be specific, and use "I" statements. With practice, sharing your thoughts and feelings can become a natural and empowering part of your everyday life.

It's also important to do regular check-ins with your partner/friends. Doing it in a guided way like playing the Case of Feelings card game is a great way to do so without the pressure of initiating hard conversations. Expect questions that touch on your shared memories, expectations and future goals.

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