Our Culture of Emotional Suppression and Judgement
Recently I've found a new love in myself, a larger amount of confidence, and a deeper understanding of what I want and what makes me happy.
I've been constantly thinking about being free with my emotions, allowing myself to enjoy positive moments (and even just enjoy myself), and especially, not being critical or judgemental towards others.
Recently - I stopped being in a relationship that made me feel emotionally suppressed. If I cried I was dramatic, if I was upset I was overly emotional, if I was angry I was crazy. I felt like I had to constantly be happy - but even as I'm writing that - I know it was a low level of happy. If I was too happy, if I smiled at others, if I talked to people I didn't know, if I was free and open... it was overly open and either weird, suggestive, or obnoxious!
It took me taking the time to step back from this relationship and to be open to others about my experience for me to realise that I was being emotionally repressed and had absolutely lost a sense of what made ME happy. Not someone else - ME.
I believe that our culture is in part to blame - we emphasise positivity and try to ignore everything else. Let me be clear: yes - it is great to be positive. However, if you're not feeling positive you should be able to express yourself without fear of being judged or criticised!
Here's things I noticed that can be emotionally suppressive:
- Not accepting someone being hurt or crying
- Letting someone's emotions affect yours and then blaming them
- Being embarrassed by another's behaviour
- Wondering if the person you are with is being judged
- Judging or criticising anyone other than yourself
- Being negative towards someone that is in pain
- Thinking that YOU know what makes someone happy
- Accusing someone of being crazy or mentally ill when they are upset
- Constantly telling other people what to do (instead: recommend, advise, LISTEN... )
- Critiquing something someone cannot change about themselves
- Blaming someone's actions on their childhood or culture
- Accusing someone of affecting your life (only you control this)
- Not respecting someone's response or answer
- Making assumptions about other people's motives
While I'm sure I'm missing other items - my whole point is the following: we need to be open and accepting of the emotions of others, we need to share love and understanding, we need to let go of judgement and begin accepting each other, we need to stop seeing positivity as the only positive emotion, we need to understand that we are all different and unique, we need to find beauty in each other's quirks, we need to respect each other.