I have always been told, and known, that I am an emotional person. Some have said too emotional, some have said empathetic, some have said girly, some hormonal, but at the end of the day it is simply that I feel things deeply and am honest about what I am feeling. Now, sometimes, I lack a filter. And just say what I am feeling or thinking. But, most of the time, I try to be respectful while doing so. However, there have definitely been times in my life when it wasn’t always a good thing. People don’t always appreciate my openness with my feelings.
I get too hurt by other’s words, even when they don’t mean anything by it. I am sometimes offended easily and make things about me when they have nothing to do with me. I love deeply, I care deeply, I cry when I am upset, or happy, or angry. If I am pissed, you know it. When I am happy, you know it. Basically, I don’t hide my emotions very well. For many years, I tried. It was exhausting. And I was very sensitive, constantly second guessing myself. I have come to learn that not everyone does this, shockingly enough. Most people just feel things, express themselves and move on. Lucky me. 🙂 However, I have come to own my feelings, and my ’emotional’ side. It is part of who I am. I am not ashamed.
But, let me explain what bothers me the most about being an emotional person. So many people see it as a weakness. I some how am unable to make logical decisions because I am so ’emotional’. I somehow cannot have a mind because I have a heart. It is ludicrous, and it angers me. How, in any way, does it make me inferior because I feel things? Because I care about how my team feels, or about the way we treat each other, or how people might perceive a decision or communication we make? Why am I, all the sudden, incapable of leading, simply because I cry? Simply because I feel something and express it. Do tears and feeling emotion mean that I am losing bits of my brain while I cry? Is this something scientific that I just never learned?
Why, in a world where we are accepting of people stabbing each other in the back, and being cut throat to get what they want, is it not ok to be ’emotional’? Why is crying seen as weak but yelling in someone’s face is seen as strong? It seems so backwards. I cannot tell you the number of times I have had tears in my eyes because a co-worker was crying about something in their life. Or how many times I have pounded tables because I am upset about the way a friend was treated. Or the amount of times I have had to take a walk around the block and just swear because I had to get the emotion out. None of these are bad things, or weak things. They are simply forms of feeling and connecting. Ask the friend who I cried with or the friend I pounded tables with or swore with while complaining about life. Do you think any of those people would tell me that me being ’emotional’ with them made me any less of a person? Or made me some how too weak or incapable?
I was made to feel like for many years, even recently, that being emotional is a weakness. A sign of strength is to hold it in, be stone faced, to not express any emotion about how people are treated or what they are experiencing. Because somehow I cannot be strong, smart, educated, powerful, a leader, and emotional all at the same time. I have gotten to the point where I believe that is bull shit, my friends. Now, I don’t think that it is ok to go into work with mascara running down your face every morning, being emotional in meetings and lashing out at coworkers because you heard how they treated someone in the checkout lane at the supermarket. There is always a time and a place, and there are still many occasions I save my emotions for a breakdown at home. However, I don’t shy away from feeling what I am feeling and expressing my feelings.
And to be honest, I think I am stronger now that I own that is who I am. It is a hell of a lot easier to sit in an office, or cube, or bedroom, and mind your own business. To not involve yourself in anything emotional. I think it takes strength to care. To show people that you care, to stand up for something that you believe in even if it puts you in a scary position. It is tough. But, I think it has made me a better friend, a better mother, a better leader and a better person. It has given me the ability to find strength in situations that are horrible, because I feel it, then try to make sense of it and figure out how to move forward. What many people call ’emotional’, I have come to call passionate. Because if I care enough to be emotional about it, I am passionate about it and the outcome. And I don’t see how having passion in life makes me, somehow, a weak person.
So, I say, be emotional. And logical. And brave. And strong. And weak. And carefree. And responsible. Be them all. Own them all. Find how being all of those things makes you the best person you can be. Don’t let people tell you what you are is weak. Find strength where you don’t think there is any. Because that is how we learn to be who we are.