We live in a gloves-on society.
We can sue someone for spilling coffee, call the cops when our neighbor plays music too loudly, but Bob forbid we tell a coworker “I find you annoying.”
From our earliest days in school, an implicit fear of conflict is embedded in us under the guise of “niceness” with phrases like “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” That ingrained fear of conflict stays with most of us long after we’ve graduated from safety scissors to create the default preference to say nothing rather than risk someone an emotional boo-boo.
The truth is, it’s not even the nice thing to do.
Withholding irritations have serious negative consequences for us, the other person, and dare I say it, our entire society. When I work with clients to improve their relationships and sex lives, we often must start with identifying truths the client hasn’t expressed. Not expressing our “negative” emotions has a huge impact on our relationships and ability to feel.
Here are some of the reasons we ought to let it out.