(Ahem. Apologies for the 1980s Madonna reference there. I couldn’t help myself.)
When Tiny throws a tantrum (which isn’t often, thankfully) or gets upset, we usually let him have a quick cry before encouraging him to use his words to tell us what’s wrong. He’s the kind of kid who responds exceedingly well to reasoning and explanation, and most times, having the opportunity to talk about why he’s grizzling helps to calm him down.
Great advice, right?
It’s just a pity that I don’t follow it myself.
I am terrible – absolutely terrible – at dealing with my own feelings of frustration, anger, sadness, disappointment, being proven wrong….you get the idea. I tend to internalise everything, and try and deal with it in my own mind before expressing my feelings to other people. Over the years, Tall has learned that when I’m ready, I’ll share, but not a moment before. He’s also expressed how frustrating he finds this trait, because if there’s something up, he wants to know and to help get it sorted if he can.
My biggest problem with not being able to express negative emotions is that if I try, I cry. I am the worst person to try and have an argument with, because I will always, always start to cry. It’s not a tactic to get the other person to feel sorry for me, and believe me, I find it incredibly frustrating – I’d love to be able to strongly disagree with someone, or express my anger or disappointment without the leaky eyes – especially as this just compounds the issue.
BUT – this month seems like the time to start figuring out a way to express myself in a healthy way. I’ll admit that this is the one challenge that I’ve been putting off, because it is not going to be easy – but if I leave it any later, I’ll be dealing with the last month of pregnancy, birth and a newborn, which will just be messy!
The timing also seems right because I’ve been feeling irritable, anxious, tired and grouchy recently (heyyyyyyyy, low iron levels and pregnancy hormones!), but instead of dealing with it, I’ve been throwing myself into a frenzy of Other Stuff. I didn’t really think about what I was doing until a friend asked last week if everything was okay because I didn’t seem like myself, and then I realised I was bottling again. So I admitted I was tired and grouchy, and it felt good.
In May, I am going to [attempt to]:
- stop bottling things up: learn to express frustration, anger, sadness and disappointment in a constructive, tearless way;
- learn to tell people when I’m feeling less-than-100%;
- ask for help when I need it: from family and friends; and
- admit to being wrong, without adding any “but…”s
Linking up with Simone‘s Best in Blog Monday linky