A 2018 study revealed that people who are vulnerable with their feelings are more likely to be viewed in a positive light by others. Sharing feelings openly displays honesty and authenticity. Getting vulnerable fosters deeper connection with those around you.
When’s the last time you shared honest feelings with a friend?
We all have feelings; it’s a part of being human. But we get it–sometimes sharing those feelings, even when we know we need to, can be challenging. However, talking out your feelings honestly with someone helps eliminate the potential for miscommunication, breaks down walls, and allows us to be fully ourselves. It’s crucial for social health.
Today, we’re taking a moment to simplify this often difficult step of connection by giving you tips on how to share your feelings and why it’s important. Consider taking just a first step, even if it’s a little awkward or uncomfortable.
- Take a moment to write down a few words describing how you feel before you talk. This can help prepare you for the conversation if you often have a hard time finding words for what you’re feeling.
- If possible, call a friend or sit down with them in person. Texting does not work well for this practice! Genuine human connection requires presence in the moment, whether face-to-face or voice-to-voice on the phone.
- If sharing feelings feels out of the blue for your relationship, explain that you are trying something new and want to be more open to sharing feelings. Ask them if it’s okay if you talk about some high and low points of your week. Share the stories and words that you wrote down earlier.
- If you’re not sure where to start, this format works great: share a high moment and a low moment from the day or week, and describe how they made you feel. For example, “yesterday I had a conflict at work that was really stressful and made me doubt myself.” Or, “Last week I helped my daughter with an art project and we had so much fun laughing and creating. I felt really grateful for that memory we built together.”
- Just be honest and have fun! Who knows, they might need to do the same! Invite them to share if they want to.
This may feel a bit forced at first, but it becomes natural over time. Highs and lows are a great topic at dinner, when putting your kids to bed, or when catching up with an old friend on the phone. Try incorporating this practice into your conversations and give your relationships space to grow.