You’re talking to someone, thinking you’re being understood. The other person listens to you, thinks she gets it, but it turns out she didn’t. You get pissed because it’s always the same thing, and the other person also gets pissed because you’re pissed at her.
A common conflict scenario that could be avoided if only we had more emotional vocabulary. We’re often simply expressing a frustration that didn’t find words to be told.
We didn’t learn to describe what we’re feeling, or what our needs are because it’s too darn narcissist and egocentric. Let’s be logic, efficient, and productive, and forget what’s going on inside!
While logic has its use, when we think with our heads about our emotions, we end up feeling guilty for having these emotions. Instead, identifying our sentiment gives us clues about who we are, and what our needs and values are. It’s like the symbols on your car’s dashboard, telling you a need is or isn’t satisfied.
A rich emotional vocabulary opens up our consciousness to what’s happening in our lives. When we can name and differentiate abstract elements, we can understand how they interact, change them and act upon them. It gives us power of action.
Without vocabulary, clarity is impossible. Because we can’t name that thing inside us that’s trying to make us realize a basic need, we feel completely powerless. We don’t know what to do. So we blame someone or something. We wait for that someone to come satisfy our need, and on top of it, they must guess what would please us most, even though we don’t know ourselves.
Only when we can name our emotions and our needs can we make a clear and negotiable demand to get satisfaction. Only then can we be free because we can nourish our needs in so many different ways. We’re not blind anymore to the belief that there’s only one solution. We can start being creative in taking care of our heart.