Withholding Your Feelings

When in a relationship withholding your feelings can and often will lead to detrimental consequences. An unexpressed feeling can be likened to a rubber band that is being stretched to its limit. The longer the feeling is being held, the more the tension grows. Eventually something has to give or the rubber band is going to snap. When this happens someone gets hurt.

Some of the common reasons why some people hold onto their hurt feelings and emotions can be to avoid conflict, that they feel that the feeling is wrong, the fact that when you last shared what you felt it was rejected and that rejection left a bitter taste or that the memory is now hovering right below the surface of what you feel and you are not going to run the risk of making someone angry.

One of the sad realities is trying to avoid conflict does not prevent the hurt mates from harbouring grudges or resentments against their partner. Anger is a common response to feeling hurt and if not discharged, tends to increase and distance the hurt person from the perceived offender.

When trying to protect your mate or other people from your feelings you may believe they cannot handle your feelings and that you don’t want to hurt or upset them. Unfortunately your plan isn’t working!! They are already upset!! The reason why they’re upset is that they already know that there is something you need to say and in not saying it only creates more tension.

For couples Michael Kolevzon, a professor of social work at Virginia Commonwealth University, states: “Marriage has become the forum for the negotiation of a balance between two conflicting needs: the desire for intimacy on one hand and the need to establish one’s identity as a separate person on the other.”

Negotiations cannot occur without the wounded party stating his/her hurt feelings, as hard as it may seem. Many partners actually find that voicing an old or recent hurt is a relief and frees them to communicate and regain their sought-after intimacy.

Moving forward we all need to understand that harbouring thoughts and feelings especially negative ones are not conducive to our well-being. You may not have realised that what you feel is important and that expressing it is an important step to healing yourself and someone else.

Honour yourself by taking the decision to seek help and support to release and express all those thoughts, feelings and emotions that have kept you in bondage. Take time out where possible to be still with yourself and seek guidance in finding the appropriate words and the right opportunity to share your feelings with others and be healed.

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