The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

The words in feelings

An important task parents take up when they have children is to help them feel their own emotions. When emotions first appear, babies have little clue of what’s happening to them. They sense something but don’t know what it’s for or what it tells them.

Emotions don’t disappear with age.

Getting used to the context we live in, what most people learn, is to refrain from displaying some of the emotions they experience. It’s building on what we learn as children: “Boys don’t cry. Girls aren’t angry”, it might be the stereotype we are most used to in this context.

As people adapt to the expectations they experience in their environment, they also grab on to the emotions which seem to be acceptable in their environment. They’ll do it even more so if the feeling named gives them a container for their own lack of comfort. Overwhelm and pressure are such examples.

It’s only when asking them to describe what they are experiencing that they’ll start to find the words for their own experience. Once they are able to describe their experience, they also start to connect to their feeling instead of the container. It’s when they connect to their feeling that they realize that there are options they can choose from. They’ve freed themselves from the container their feeling was keeping them in.


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