17 – Express your feelings. – 2:00

#17 Express your feelings. - 02:00

Women live longer than men. One of the reasons is that they openly share their feelings more often. Men tend to stuff their feelings. This is a good practice to continue if you want an early trip to the grave. The concept I want to discuss is the topic of self-disclosure. Women have more women friends because of it. Women have better relationships with their male friends because of it. What is self-disclosure? It is a willingness and ability to share your honest feelings, pain, grief, fears, frustrations, and anything that, if stuffed, will contribute to greater stress and less than satisfying relationships with others.


Men were raised to be tough, competitive, to win, and not to show emotional weakness. I have never considered sharing your true feelings of weakness, although there have been many times in my life when I have resisted for fear of rejection, embarrassment, and to be perceived as weak by others. I am learning that managed self-disclosure builds bridges in relationships and more satisfying outcomes than sharing too little or too much. Sharing too much of yourself invites pity, scorn, ridicule, and a variety of other adverse reactions from others. Sharing too little of yourself keeps others in your life at a safe yet unhealthy distance.


We are all in this life together, doing the best we can with what we have at any given moment. Why not let more people into your inner circle of shared feelings? You might be surprised at their support, love, and acceptance. Balanced self-disclosure builds bridges with others. Too much or too little builds barriers. This is true just as much in business as it is in your personal relationships. There is no sin in crying in public, sharing your innermost fears with those you trust and respect, and hugging those that cross your path. On a speaking trip to Buenos Aires, I couldn’t help but notice how everyone kisses everyone when they meet or before they depart. It’s a shame that in many parts of the world, kissing and hugging is seen as unnecessary or taboo.