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5 Reasons To Say Honestly, “I Am Unhappy.”

5 Reasons To Say Honestly, “I Am Unhappy.”

I’m fine…I’m good…everything is OK.

These are some of the typical responses we give when someone asks how we’re doing, regardless of how we are actually feeling. When we are truly frustrated, angry, sad, or even depressed, we tend to deny those feelings, both to ourselves and to others.

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When you lost that baseball game, your dad may have told you to “suck it up” and try harder next time. Maybe your well-meaning best friend warned you against having a heart-to-heart with your beau, lest you push him away.

Although you were socialized to believe that you are a burden, weak, or a downer for expressing your feelings, the truth is that talking it out is the first step towards boosting your mood. Here are five reasons why speaking up is the key to your emotional well-being.

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1. You need support from your friends.

When you are feeling low, the last thing you want to do is go out dancing at that new club with your friends. You avoid being social, fearing that you’ll have to lie again when someone asks you how you’re doing. Stop lying and tell them how you really feel! They are your friends, and they want to be there for you. An added benefit is that getting out and having fun may get you out of your emotional rut.

2. Help yourself, help someone else.

Everyone experiences setbacks and challenges that lead to feelings of defeat and discouragement. In fact, someone you know may be going though something tough and also need a shoulder to lean on. When you share your feelings, you invite others to share theirs. You may find yourself giving good advice to a friend or family member, giving you the confidence and motivation to work through your own issues.

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3. Improve your relationship.

Communication is one of the keys to a lasting, healthy relationship. Failing to share your feelings with the one you love is a surefire way to alienate your partner. When you enter a relationship, magical thinking often comes into play where you assume that the other person should know how you’re feeling because they should know you. Your partner may be many things, but a mind reader he is not. If you are not happy with an aspect of your relationship, you must speak up about it. Not only will it liberate you, it will also give the other person a chance to work on the problem with you to improve the relationship.

4. Your health depends on it.

Studies show that bottling up your emotions can have negative effects on your physical health. Wondering why you can’t sleep, eat, or have nagging headaches? It could be because you are stuffing your feelings. In addition to perpetuating your emotional turmoil, keeping mum about your misery can also make you sick. If you have ruled out serious health conditions, you may want to consider opening up to a close friend or loved one about your unhappiness. It could reverse some of those physical symptoms you’ve been having.

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5. You deserve to be happy.

Positive psychology tells us so. But, on a practical level, you really do deserve the same happiness and contentment that others have. Why? Because you are alive! You can make an impact on others’ lives, whether it is on a global scale, in your community, or in the small circle of your family and friends. Stifling your feelings not only robs you of your right to happiness, it also keeps others from having the opportunity to experience the benefit of having a relationship with the real you. Take control of your emotions and share your feelings with someone today!

Featured photo credit: ira-5 via flickr.com

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Malika Boyd

Social Worker

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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