Emotions are useful. They are powerful. They are our barometers for what’s going on in and around us.
So why are we encouraged to stop letting them show?
What is the benefit of keeping our anger, our disappointment, our worry, our sorrow to ourselves?
The only benefit is that it keeps others from being made to feel their own reaction. If we don’t get feedback from others on our shows of emotion, if we feel alone in our emotional states, then the problem becomes our own and eventually we learn to question the legitimacy of our barometric readings, so to speak. If I’m angry, but I can’t tell if anyone else is angry about the same thing, then I’m less likely to act on that anger. I’m less likely to try and do anything about it other than make the feeling go away. I’m more likely to feel crazy for getting so angry.
And if we all stop showing our emotions, stop responding to and resonating with the emotions of others, then there will be no action.
The things which ought make us all angry will go on without resistance.
The things which ought make us sad or worried will persist until we are numb to reality.
The things which ought make us afraid will never be confronted.
The idea that our emotions, our most basic reactions to the world around us, are something to be avoided, hidden, and suppressed goes seamlessly with the idea that we should be obedient, docile, and subservient.
If we’re honest, this is modern society. This is the world we live in. Anger is bad. Sadness is bad. Emotions are bad. Emotions are for the weak. Emotions are for… women?
Perhaps it’s time to start letting ourselves feel again. Together.