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  • Fiona Harvie

Feelings - we all have them


We all have feelings yet why do so many of us find it difficult to talk about them? I think that we need a language to enable us to express the nuances of our feelings which I believe is lacking in our stiff upper lip culture.

At a basic level, feelings can be experienced by our five senses. We can use words to describe what these senses are telling us. This picture of a flower can be described by its colours and shapes. If we were to have experienced Fuchsias in life we could describe texture and smell (none from this flower). However there is a different type of feeling, an internal emotion that our very rich language lacks. As children we learn about being happy sad or angry. These come in the same category as hungry or thirsty to describe a current fleeting state.

When I ask clients about feelings the answer is often 'I'm not sure' or 'I don't know'. It is obvious from the client's body language or expression that they have feelings but they don't 'fit' in the neat categories that our language allows.

Anyone that has been around a toddler who is ready to walk and talk, but not yet there will have experienced the sheer frustration that the child expresses through tantrums, screaming and doing whatever they can to try and express their feelings but being unable to.

Take a moment to sit and consider what adjectives you could use to describe your feelings right now? Like everything the more you practice this and become familiar with the language, the easier it will become.


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