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Denying feelings never helps

We all have feelings. Even though some of us may find it at times difficult to recognise or understand them. It is amazing how often we can ignore this fact and this can lead to two possible impacts. We can sometimes deny our own feelings or we deny the feelings of others.
Denying our own feelings comes about when we try to hide what we really feel. Our body language and behaviour can communicate what we really feel but what we say is something different. People can usually tell there is something wrong because the messages they get from our tone and body language do not match what we are saying. This is called being incongruent and makes people weary due to feelings of uneasy which then leads to questioning of our trustworthiness.

For people to trust you, you need to be able to express your feelings in an appropriate way. Sometimes it is better to just let people know how you are feeling but not go into all the details. "You might have noticed that I am feeling worried at the moment. I do not want to say any more or discuss it but I did want you to know that it is nothing that you have done. There's not really anything that you can do to help me with at the moment." This at least communicates something to help maintain trust and alert them that you are aware of the impact this is could be having on others.

At other times we can deny others feelings even when we are tying to be helpful. Saying “Come on, you should be happy" can suggest there is something wrong with being sad and/or that they have no reason to feel their current emotions. Telling people they “should not feel that way" is definitely not going to help them change. It is likely to make them worry about the emotions they have and what they are told they are supposed to feel. They feel what they feel and trying to deny it will not change that.

Ignoring or minimising others feelings communicates that you do not care about how they feel. We need to recongise their feelings but we do not have to take on board the feelings ourselves or allow others to treat us badly because they are going through these emotions. Empathise but you need remain assertive and respect your own rights as well. "I can see that you are angry at what has happened and I would most likely feel the same way. At the moment though, I feel I am being treated badly in response to those feelings."

Be honest about you feelings in an appropriate way. And be sure that others do no disregard your rights because of the emotions they are feeling.
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