our everyday life

Can I Talk About My Emotions With My Girlfriend?

by C. Giles

If you are in a close, loving, supportive relationship with your girlfriend, you should be able to talk to her about anything. Sharing your feelings with your partner can help you solve problems, prevent conflict and make important decisions. If you repress or bottle up your emotions they may end up controlling you, says psychologist Dr. Martin Phillips-Hing on the website Psychologist1.

The Difference Between the Sexes

Talking about emotions may be much harder for men than for women. Most men find it difficult to communicate their feelings because they struggle to attach words to emotions, says psychotherapist Barton Goldsmith on the Psychology Today website. This may be why you feel anxious and under pressure when you talk about your emotions. By accepting that, in general, men and women tend to communicate in different ways and that it is not an issue unique to you, you may feel more comfortable sharing your emotions with your girlfriend.

What's Your Motivation?

What you say and how you say it may come across as an attack or a criticism if you are angry or frustrated with your girlfriend, which could lead to conflict, warns Margaret Paul, Ph.D. on the Huffington Post website. While there's nothing wrong with telling your girlfriend you feel neglected when she spends all her free time with her friends, if this is all you say, in an accusatory or moaning tone of voice, she may feel that you are blaming her and react defensively. Paul suggests keeping the tone of your voice warm and friendly, and making it your goal to learn from the experience, rather than control your girlfriend.

Let Yourself be Vulnerable

Don't fear that sharing your emotions with your girlfriend will make you seem less of a man. Showing your vulnerable side may be the key to a healthier, happier, more trusting relationship, Dr. Brene Brown, professor at the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work, told Dr. Emma Seppala, in a Psychology Today article. Be brave and reveal your true self to your girlfriend, Seppala, who holds a Ph.D. in psychology, explains in her article. By doing so, you will give your girlfriend permission to do the same, thereby strengthening your bond.

Productive Communication

While it's good to share your emotions with your girlfriend, it's important to communicate in the right way. Start the conversation in a calm, positive manner and use statements that begin with "I" to express your feelings from your point of view and avoid coming across as accusatory or critical, advises the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center. For example, say something like "I feel hurt when I feel like you're ignoring me in front of our friends, but I'm sure you don't do it intentionally. Could we talk about this?" instead of "You never speak to me when we're out in public!" Don't let the conversation become a monologue. Let your girlfriend share her own emotions and listen to her when she speaks. Remember that the aim of the conversation is to relieve yourself of the burden of your emotions, while treating your girlfriend and your relationship with respect.

About the Author

C. Giles is a writer with an MA (Hons) in English literature and a post-graduate diploma in law. Her work has been published in several publications, both online and offline, including "The Herald," "The Big Issue" and "Daily Record."

Photo Credits

  • Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images