Understanding & Sharing Emotions

Emotions are important in that they tell us about our needs, values, sensitivities, fears, and strengths. It is important that we address our feelings, understand why we are feeling a certain way, and effectively express our emotions with others in appropriate ways.  

Richard Chidester gave six suggestions for managing and sharing our emotions:

  • Accept the concept that feelings are honorable. Don’t feel guilty about having feelings.
  • Identify and express emotions appropriately. It takes wisdom to know which emotions we should share openly in a healthy way and which ones we should handle privately.
  • Express emotions by describing them. For example: “I feel so discouraged about the way the children have been acting lately; I would really like to talk to you about it.”
  • Treat negative feelings respectfully. Share negative feelings in an honest way that will not make others feel defensive or put down.
  • Don’t criticize another person’s feelings or try to change them. We can help most by listening and empathizing.
  • Keep in touch. Take time each day to share feelings with those you love.  It only takes a few moments, but it gives those in the relationship a sense of oneness.

Our emotions make us human and are a crucial part of some of the most important moments in our lives. It’s how we express our joys, sorrows, love, and testimony of what we truly believe in. Our emotions are a gift from our Heavenly Father.