“Tell me how you feel”, “it’s okay, you can tell me”. Do you ever hear these words from people that care about you? When we’re feeling happy, excited, sad, stressed, angry, or frustrated, there may be people around us who can listen to how we are feeling, but we often push them away. As a teenager, I know how you feel. What if this person judges us? What if they tell someone what I told them? Regardless of our fears, talking to someone that we trust about our feelings really does help express those feelings, and boosts our mood.
In this BIT: How do you tell your best friend that you’re upset? How do you talk about feelings? Discover these answers here.
In my experience, there are two types of ‘feeling’ talks: The “In The Moment” and the “Overview”.
You express how you feel in the moment that you’re feeling it. For example, if you feel really annoyed because your friend keeps stealing your phone, tell them “Hey, it’s really annoying when you take my phone away, can you please not do that?” When you say how you’re feeling, you let your friend know that you’re annoyed, without yelling or being rude – which could upset your friend as well. This is helpful, because when we attach words to our feelings it helps us express those feelings, without having an outburst.
You talk to someone about how you’ve been feeling lately. Examples of this include:
– You and a friend have a conversation about how stressful school has been lately.
– How annoying your siblings can get.
– How excited you are for someone’s birthday party this weekend.
When we talk about how we’ve been feeling with someone we trust (friend, family member etc.), it not only helps improve our relationship, because we’re sharing and relating to something personal, but it also helps relieve those feelings. Why? You will likely feel less lonely once you share your feelings with someone. Often, this person can either relate to how you’re feeling, or, if they can’t relate they can give you comfort in sharing. Either way, you’ll likely feel a weight lifted off your shoulders, because you won’t be going through those feelings on your own.
Talking about our feelings is good. By talking about our feelings, it validates them and helps us process our emotions associated with those feelings. If we bottle up or ignore our feelings they can often lead to outbursts.
Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to let the person listening to you open up about their feelings as well. Consider prompting them with a question, like “how have you been lately?” or “can you relate?”. When we share mutual experiences, whether negative or positive, our relationship with someone deepens and grows.
Also, talk about your positive and happy feelings. This includes good things that have happened and exciting things that are upcoming. When you share something positive that happened in the past, you actually relive it, bringing more happiness into your life. By sharing positivity, we bring a small bit of happiness to others and help them focus on the good.
Talking to someone about how you feel doesn’t have to be a big sit-down conversation (unless you want it to)! If you’re unsure how to start a conversation relating to your feelings, use the strategy pictured, or below. This strategy is especially helpful when you’re telling someone In the Moment.
1. Think about the name of your feeling (excited, happy, stressed).
2. Think of why you’re feeling this way (holiday, good or bad mark on assignment, someone is sick, family is coming over, or if you don’t know: that’s ok too).
3. Link the two together (I’m excited because we’re leaving for a holiday in a few days).
– “I’m excited about Taco Night!”
– “I’m stressed about all the tests we have coming up.”
– “I’m sad that the movie didn’t download.”
We hope that knowing why sharing your feelings is helpful inspires you to share how you’re feeling (positive or negative) with someone today, and gives you a small bit of happiness.
For more happiness check out our Mood Boost page.
Featuring quick videos created for teens by teens.
Discover why it’s good to talk about feelings, how to tell your best friend that you’re upset, and how to talk about feelings.