Why You Can't Describe Your Feelings

Have you ever had such a great idea or epiphany and wanted to share it with someone? Or maybe you’ve had a complicated emotion that you wanted to express to someone, but couldn’t?

That’s because the emotional centres of the brain are nowhere near the language centres of the brain. In fact, they are in completely different layers.

That explains why it is so hard to tell loved ones just how much they are loved.

That’s why it is so difficult to describe your self-discovery to someone else.

That’s why if I asked you to describe what anger feels like, you’d be unable to say anything about the emotion itself, and only describe bodily sensations such as pressure or heat.

We are emotional beings, constantly experiencing an emotion, whether we are aware of it or not. It can be quite damaging to relationships to be unable to express those emotions, fostering disagreements, arguments, and hurt feelings. 

So, what is to be done?

If language is insufficient to communicate feelings, what do we do? The answer is to use emotion.

That way the language part of the speaker’s brain is talking to the language part of the listener’s brain. And the emotional part of the speaker’s brain is talking to the emotional part of the listener’s brain. 

Brain scans indicate that we can literally feel the emotions of those around us. This is done with empathy (translated from “in feeling”), and compassion (translated from “to suffer with”).

In other words, understanding someone emotionally involves getting out of yourself, standing in the other person’s shoes, and really feeling what they are going through, good, bad, or otherwise.

Do you see how empathy and compassion can neutralize disagreements, repair hurt feelings, and foster connection? Where are you going to use empathy and compassion today?

Here’s to conquering Stress,
The Stress Experts

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