People who aren’t honest with their feelings experience something called emotional blocks. They aren’t familiar with vulnerability. Vulnerability is being aware of your feelings and open to sharing them. It’s the essence of a successful and healthy relationship.
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Dr. Dan Hanscom’s article, “You Have to Feel to Heal: Emotional Awareness,” published on Psychology Today caught my eye because of the first sentence.
“Why is there such a block to experiencing deep emotions?” Dr. Hanscom writes.
What is vulnerability?
How many callers have you heard on my program say they spent 10, 20 or 25 years never taking action? They spent time being miserable and anxious to avoid vulnerability.
According to Dr. Hanscom, “Being physically vulnerable is not rewarded in nature. Survival of the fittest is rewarded. Being vulnerable physically is paramount to death."
To be vulnerable means you're certain in your own mind and heart that you can survive the pain of being upset or devastated. Everyone experiences pain, betrayal and anger at times, and it’s important to learn how to deal with these emotions.
Pain is meant to be felt
“Research shows that mental threats are processed in a similar way in your brain as physical pain. We are programmed to be strong to survive, and feeling things deeply hurts,” Dr. Hanscom says.
A person first learns about safety and survival within the first three years of their life. Without a loving parent to guide a child in the first three years, they will grow up without knowing the feeling of safety.
I strongly warn parents against shielding their children from the pain of certain experiences. “We want to hide from our kid that the puppy died,” a father will say. No, your kid needs help learning how to deal with the puppy’s passing.
People don't like pain or uncomfortable feelings. People will resort to drinking, using drugs and being promiscuous just to avoid feeling.
But emotions like pain are intended to be unpleasant, so you're forced to take action. Without feeling or sensing the feelings of others, you're never going to have a good relationship.
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