Holding back

I used to hold back on expressing myself as a child, because it was obvious no one was listening. I also wasn’t articulate at saying what I wanted to say and saying what I wanted to say, usually got me into trouble.

Although I would have been happy to share my feelings, we’d rather say nothing than say something. We keep the lid on our emotions and bottle up what we really feel. We will always harbour resentment if we don’t say what we really need to say. In the longer term that doesn’t work, it just leads to more resentment.

Some people aren’t prepared for dialogue, others may not be so sure how to say what they really want to say. I have family who tend to work like that. In the short term it’s not a problem, but it can become a very big problem in the longer term, when we continue to hold back. 

What holds us back?

Our past, a bad experience we’re still unconsciously holding on to. Feeling inadequate from having had very little praise in our lives, or never being praised; having to prove ourselves to the one person who makes us feel inadequate. Our inability to cope with life generally and being stuck in the same negative emotional patterns.

As we fail to interact as well as we should and generally talk about how we feel about things, we do however, on some level manage to get on with our lives.


19 Apr, 2013

10 thoughts on “Holding back

  1. I hold back my share of things. As a child I think I voiced my opinions, but it didn’t matter. Things were either blown off, twisted or taken out of context, so I just quit and I can see how that has affected me today.

    I don’t feel safe voicing my opinions or saying how I feel. I can put my feelings here because I feel safe doing so.

    Thank you Ilana for this opportunity.

    1. Thanks Lisa!! You’re welcome. That’s one of the main reasons why I started The CP Diary.

      I am so encouraged by your comments Lisa and love the fact that you feel comfortable enough to express how you feel, whilst helping me out too!!!

  2. I hold back on a daily basis to keep the peace in our household. If I didn’t do that it would be a war zone.

    1. I completely understand you Randy, but in the longer term it doesn’t work or help us emotionally.

      Even though we may end up in a war zone by saying what we need to say, I believe personally we’ll end up in our own individual war zone by not saying anything. I would rather say what I felt I needed to say than keep the peace for someone else!

      Relationships have to work both ways and both people have to contribute.

  3. I used to bottle things up, though eventually it would come out as anger. Since starting anger management, I have learned that talking about what we are feeling, expressing my thoughts has helped immensely. Don’t get me wrong, I still get angry, but it’s not because I’ve been bottling things up.

    I am trying my best to take a step back and look at things objectively. In the heat of the moment it may be difficult, but I think in doing so it can help us avoid saying something we don’t mean in anger.

    1. I completely agree with you Maria, that is what I do.

      When we stand back and look objectively at what we have to deal with, we give ourselves time to work out how to deal with and resolve certain issues. I believe that helps us with control so that we don’t have to get angry and defensive all the time.

      Even though someone else may be responsible for the way they have made us feel, we’re ultimately responsible for ourselves; in the way we deal with and resolve our issues.

  4. I can see where holding back in some situations may be advantageous and appropriate at that particular time. But in general, holding back only delays the conclusion to a situation one is involved in.

    I prefer to have instant clarity to avoid misunderstanding and confusion. Ironically, I was in a business conversation today where I did not hold back, thereby setting the tone and establishing barriers that should not be crossed.

    Great post.

    1. Thanks Tim. I would rather set the tone myself. I think it’s far better so that we avoid any possible misunderstandings and we have more clarity in the process.

      I do believe, that although it’s hard sometimes to be pro-active, I think it’s always the best way.

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