If you are out of touch with your feelings, and don’t understand how you feel or why you feel that way, you may have a hard time communicating your feelings and needs to others. This can result in frustration, misunderstandings and sometimes conflict. Coming to know your feelings through a therapeutic relationship can provide you with the tools for understanding both yourself and other people, and the real messages they are communicating to you.
Communication is the giving and receiving of information. It is the foundation of what we do in everyday life. What we say, how we say it and what we do will communicate a multitude of messages that are given and received consciously and subconsciously through different communication methods.
People communicate with you because they have something they want you to know, or something they want you to tell them. We communicate to share information and ideas. The key point to remember is that everyone is different. We all think differently and communicate in different ways, and we sometimes need to adapt our communication style to be seen and heard.
Emotions play an important role in how we communicate. It’s the way you feel, more than the way you think, that determines how you communicate and make decisions. Being in touch with your emotions will therefore give you more choices about how and when you communicate: you’ll know when to pick your moment, how to phrase what you want to say, and speak from a place of truth.
When you don’t address what’s really bothering you, you can become drawn into petty squabbles instead—arguing with your spouse about how the towels should be hung, for example, or with a co-worker about whose turn it is to restock the photocopier.
Knowing your own feelings, and how they get triggered, may sound simple. However, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions such as anger, sadness, and fear. Your ability to communicate depends on being connected to these feelings. If you’re afraid of strong emotions, or if you insist on communicating only on a rational level, it will impair your ability to fully understand others, think creatively, resolve conflicts, or build an affectionate connection with someone.