NO ONE CAN TELL YOU HOW TO FEEL!
Ask Dr. Pam
Upon learning of the deaths of Bahamian Icon, T'Rez Hepburn and actor, Michael Clark Duncan, I was very saddened. I did not know either one of these individuals personally, but the contributions that they made in the entertainment field are priceless.
I shed some tears and reflected on life. These expressions are not foreign to me because I can cry at the drop of a hat. My children say it well when they tell others, "Our mummy is special."
Indeed I am special, very special; special enough to know how and when to laugh, cry, grieve, smile and get angry. I am emotionally healthy. Emotions are strong feelings, fullness of heart, agitation, excitement, passion, sentiment, vehemence and warmth. People express feelings in different ways for different circumstances.
The challenge is usually found when people show too much, or too little expression. Key factors such as culture, religion, value system and family beliefs, generally play a vital role in this quantification.
The important thing is to appropriately assert or demonstrate what you are feeling. When bottled up, emotions may find other ways of being exposed, sometimes with detrimental consequences. In some cultures, women are taught to discuss their feelings, while men are taught to suppress them. Women are often expected to vent such feelings as sadness, loving thoughts and happiness. While men are taught to show anger, disgust, guilt and frustration.
Sometimes this conditioning is so deep seated, that women can send men mixed messages; "I want a man who is in touch with his feminine side." But if he cries after a touching movie, they bellow, "I don't want a soft man or a sissy." Which is it going to be?
Emotions belong to the individual. Emotions keep one balanced. Healthy development occurs when you are able to talk about what you feel and act accordingly.
Emotional expressions are a form of catharsis and very soothing. Sometimes, we as a people don't allow others around us to be emotional, and this is often due to our comfort level in self expression. Emotions show our human side. The only caveat here is in knowing that too much of anything is unbalanced.
Therefore, if you find that you are expressing the same emotions all the time with little or no explanation, this may be cause for a deeper concern.
So, laugh if you want; Cry if you want this helps you to live longer. After all, no one has the right to tell you how to feel.
Point to Ponder: "Don't judge me because I know how to show me." Ask Doctor Pam is an advice column that is featured every Saturday in this journal.
Your letters and comments are encouraged.
You may email your letters or comments email@example.com, or write to Askdoctorpam P.O. Box F43736. Dr. Pam is a Clinical Psychologist trained in all areas of mental health.
© 2012 The Freeport News