Have you ever been in a situation when you know your feelings are there but for whatever reason you decide they don’t need to be? So you start the messy job of trying to hide them and keep them undercover to either keep the peace or simply avoid conflict. Yet no matter how hard you try to disguise them somehow you always end up in a moment where your feelings are showing.
Throughout my life I have always had trouble addressing my emotions. Never is that more difficult than when dealing with family. I haven’t always had the best relationships and for me trust is always something I struggle to offer people. So when I do and I feel that trust has been abused or betrayed my feelings go into over-drive.
Whether it be hurt, sadness, anger or annoyance I rather ignore and disguise than address them directly. I never want the conflict that expressing them would most likely bring. So I hide them. I say nothing and do all I can to remove myself completely. I present everything as being ‘okay‘ even when on the inside I am screaming – on the outside I smile and make nice. Or so I think…
Your Feelings Are Showing
The problem is, when I fail to address them, those same feelings seem to find their way into my life in every other way. I become grumpy, irritable, moody and at times flat out mean. Despite my desire to avoid the situation I end up creating an entirely new one through my actions and the way my secret feelings begin to show themselves.
Then comes the time when those feelings and the awkwardness they create between me and whoever reach the boiling point. They simply can’t be ignored anymore and either the person decides to address things or someone else decides it has gone on too long. That’s when I am forced into a confrontation – the exact thing I didn’t want in the first place something I normally try to avoid at all costs.
I am not what anyone would call a confrontational person. So when I am forced into a place where I have no choice it is always most uncomfortable for me and in most times a bit uncomfortable for the other party as well. I am that person who gets so upset I cry. Yup cry. Not sadness or hurt but my anger get so overwhelming it’s about the only way it can get out. Then I become angry at myself because I think the tears show weakness. This just fuels things even more and things almost always end in yelling, misunderstanding and the destruction of a relationship.
Is It Me?
It can be really difficult to take a step back and glance in the mirror. No matter how hard we try many of us prefer to think we are right, justified and completely innocent when situations go wrong. Yet sometimes that isn’t always the truth. There are times when we should ask ourselves…
- Who am I truly upset with – this person or someone/something else?
- What can I do to express this better?
- Where are my feelings really coming from – hurt, envy, jealousy…?
- Why did I choose to hide them?
- How can I take responsibility?
It is so much easier to simply blame the other person. It’s all their fault for making me feel the way I do and therefore I don’t need to do anything. Easy but not true. Perhaps they are at fault in some ways but it does not mean my responses were justified. I am not responsible for their actions but I am responsible for my reactions.
I may not be there fully but understanding that hiding my feelings only for them to show up in other ways isn’t a solution but merely a delay to resolving an issue is already a step in the right direction.
How do you react to conflict?
Address it directly or Avoid it completely?