How To Share Your Feelings

Sharing how we feel — especially during deeply vulnerable moments — can be so scary!

I remember an experience I had many years ago when I first started dating my partner. In the middle of a discussion, he said something that instantly caused me to feel really insecure. I felt my chest tighten, my heart start to race, and my stomach swirl — the familiar sensations that I experience when I’m feeling rejected and that are connected to emotions from my past relationships and my experiences with racist childhood bullying

He instantly knew from my energy that I was upset and asked me what was wrong. It was a scary moment of deciding between three options:

  1. Do I pretend that it’s nothing? (i.e. run away from my discomfort)
  2. Do I get mad at him about something else instead because the truth is too hard to share? (i.e. deflect my discomfort onto him/push him away)
  3. Do I tell him the truth, that I’m feeling rejected by what he said? (i.e. authentically share my feelings)

In that vulnerable moment, I knew I needed to tell him the truth and share the real reason I was upset. Even though I’d been living in accordance with what I call the “I Don’t Give an F Plan” —  meaning I’d committed to being authentic without worrying about how I might be judged or perceived — this was different. Because I care deeply about his thoughts and reactions, I owed it to him to share my feelings.

How Sharing Connects Us as Humans

You’ll have heard me mention before that sharing connects us as humans and opens the door to receiving the love, support, and guidance we need to heal and thrive. Sharing your feelings helps to nurture the authenticity, trust, and open communication that are so important for healthy relationships.

Sharing our true feelings is often frightening because we fear how we’ll be perceived and how others might respond to our vulnerability. The fear of being judged can cause tremendous stress in our bodies. It dysregulates our nervous system and results in the manifestation of unpleasant physical symptoms — think of those uncomfortable situations that cause your muscles to tense, your heart to race, your jaw to lock, your glands to sweat, and more. (Sound familiar?) These physiologically induced reactions occur when our body senses danger, activating our fight, flight, or freeze responses.

And while in one of these states, our brain can stop us from fully communicating everything we need or want to say.

But leaving a situation without openly sharing our feelings and speaking our truth — giving in to the “flight” part of fight, flight, freeze — doesn’t serve us. In fact, it can create additional emotional, mental, and physical stress, while potentially causing tension in a relationship that matters to you.

So what did I do in the situation from before with my partner?

I repeated a few mantras in my head — “I can do this!” and “I am safe!” — to help calm the sick feeling that was flowing through my body, and I told him that his words made me feel rejected. As I expressed my truth, the empathy I saw on his face melted away all the tension and negativity I had been holding. I could physically feel a weight lifting from my shoulders. 

My partner was so kind and loving in that moment because he knew I was speaking from a place of hurt. His response allowed me to calm the agitation in my body, but it also filled me with the reassurance I needed. It was a powerful learning moment for me about the importance of sharing my feelings, especially when I’m feeling vulnerable.

Making the Choice to Share Vulnerably

I know it may feel scary as hell to share vulnerably, especially if you’re dealing with a toxic relationship, but the next time you feel tempted to bury your emotions, pause for a moment. Take a deep breath and ask yourself these questions:

What am I truly feeling in this moment?

  • If you could speak your mind without consequences, what would you share about how you’re feeling? What would you say that would truly reflect your authentic self?

What is holding me back from sharing?

  • What are you afraid of? What is holding you back from sharing what you’re feeling?

What is the worst thing that would happen if I shared?

  • Will sharing hurt you? How long will those feelings last? (I note that if you’re afraid for your physical or psychological safety, then you may want to behave as your Adapted Self here.)

What would be the benefit of sharing how I truly feel?

  • How will sharing serve you? How freeing will it feel?

Once you’ve had time to think about your answers, you’ll know whether it’s safe to share. Then all you have to do is find the strength to speak.

The beautiful thing here is that it will get easier and easier the more you do it. Leaning into our vulnerable moments and sharing our true, authentic feelings does not weaken us — it makes us stronger.

I'm Ritu.

I’m an award-winning life coach, empowerment speaker, author, and inclusion expert dedicated to helping you live your best life.

sincerely-media-HL3EOgFiy0k-unsplash

Join MY COMMUNITY

Sign up for my newsletter to get free tools, resources, and more straight to your inbox.

Top Posts

Your authenticity and empowerment journey starts here.

Be the first to learn about my new authenticity and empowerment goodies and get them straight to your inbox.