Home  >  My Life  >  A Better Life

How to Express Your Feelings: 16 Must-Know Ideas to Speak Your Mind

We all have emotions, but sometimes it’s difficult to get them out to people. So, here’s how to express your feelings, and do it the right way.

how to express your feelings

No one ever teaches you how to express your feelings. In fact, many people spend a large portion of their lives trying to figure out how to do it the right way, because sometimes when they try, it comes out wrong. They might stumble over words, say the wrong thing, and make people upset.

Most of us don’t have bad intentions, but we don’t know how to express ourselves without upsetting the people around us. Sometimes it ends badly, so we choose to stop expressing our feelings altogether.

As you can imagine, this is not good. If you’re having a hard time learning how to express your feelings, you’re not alone.

Choosing to lock away your feelings is not the solution to being bad at expressing your feelings. Learn how to express your feelings because you need to know this skill throughout your life. And you need to get good at it!

[Read: How to communicate in a relationship – 16 steps to better conversations]

How to express your feelings

Here’s the biggest piece of advice. Acknowledge the fact that you are allowed to feel the way that you do. Never feel the need to apologize for how you feel at any moment, because you’re entitled to your feelings.

Once you accept this as common knowledge, expressing your feelings becomes exponentially easier on a daily basis.

Do you remember how it felt to be 13 and had your first crush? The thought of telling them how you felt was completely foreign. It landed in the “never gonna happen” category.

Some of us never really outgrew that stage in our lives. Here we stand, numb and confused about our emotions, and ignoring the beautiful things happening around us.

You need to understand how to express your feelings, one step at a time. The first step? Listen to everything we’re about to tell you. And we do mean everything.

1. First, you need to relax

Seriously, let it go. Let it all go. We don’t even know what “it” is for you, but you certainly do. Whatever holds you back from expressing how you really feel, kiss it goodbye: FOREVER.

Don’t think that you are the only one who has been through this. We all have. We all express our feelings all the time to people, and it’s not always easy. But getting all uptight about it won’t change anything. So, relax and realize that telling people your emotions is just part of life, and you just need to learn how to express your feelings the right way. [Read: 27 ways to focus on yourself and create your own sunshine]

2. How ARE you feeling?

Before you can tell anybody what you feel, you must figure it out yourself. Did somebody hurt your feelings? You need to lay it all out for yourself. Be brutally honest—you are the only one who is listening right now.

Figuring out your feelings might sound like an obvious thing to do. But honestly, it’s more difficult than you might think.

Many times, people don’t know what they are feeling or why they are feeling that way. That’s why this is the first step. Get clear on your feelings before you figure out how to express them. [Read: 25 self-discovery questions to help you get to know yourself better]

3. Dig deeper

Okay, so it’s great that you figured out that Jimmy broke your heart and it upset you. But you’re going to have to dig a little bit deeper than that.

We understand that he did something hurtful to you, but you need to figure out why his actions affected you the way that they did.

We all have our reasons for feeling the way that we do. We cannot articulate our thoughts and feelings until we fully understand them ourselves. [Read: Repressed anger – 15 steps to let it go before it eats you up inside]

4. Is it worth it?

Sometimes people don’t want to hear how we feel, and, yes—it does suck. But that’s life, and we need to accept that. You can gather your thoughts until you understand them perfectly, but if they fall on deaf ears, then what’s the point?

You need to really decide what is worth your energy, because it is so very precious. Sometimes it is best to just understand how you are feeling for yourself and end the journey there.

5. Come up with three solutions to your problem

If you have a million problems and expect others to come up with the solutions for you, you aren’t going to be very successful in your journey—regardless of what it entails.

Somebody hurt you? Okay, so you can (1) walk away, (2) work it out, or (3) pretend it never happened. Figure out your unique solutions before you try to confront somebody about how you feel. [Read: How to stop being angry and finally free yourself]

6. Take your time

Think about what you are about to do. If your boss sent you a super passive-aggressive email, and you’ve had it with their negative attitude towards you, STOP. Don’t reply right away. Sit on your feelings.

Have a 24-hour rule, unless it is something that requires an immediate reply.

If you’re angry, wait for 24-hours to reply. Chances are, by the time you return to the issue, you will be a lot less angry and able to respond in a calm manner. This diffuses situations that don’t need to exist and take up our energy for no reason.

7. Do it in person

In today’s age, it is easy to send a text or an email when you express your feelings about something. However, it is important that you don’t do this. It’s easy—and that’s the problem. Expressing your feelings isn’t meant to be easy. [Read: How to stop fighting in a relationship – 16 steps to really talk]

Talking about your emotions in person is risky, and it takes courage. But it is a respectful thing to do. It takes a lot of character and ethics for someone to express their feelings face-to-face, but it’s the right thing.

When talking in person, you develop a bond and a connection with the other person, and it becomes increasingly easier to work out any issues that you might have. Don’t back down from your feelings though.

8. Be confident in how you feel

Once you figure out what your feelings are, you need to be confident about them. Stand in your emotions and make sure you project that confidence.

Since you chat in person, it can be very easy to hide behind a smile or a laugh and ignore how you truly feel. Expressing your feelings is not a walk in the park, that’s for sure. But it needs to be done.

Walk into the conversation with intentions and things that you need to talk about before you walk away. Make sure you follow through with that. [Read: How to be assertive – 17 ways to speak your mind loud and clear]

9. Understand the outcomes

This might not go well, and you should understand that. Sometimes people don’t want to hear what you say, or they will get angry because they feel attacked by your expressing your feelings.

This could end with a loss of a friendship, relationship, or any other connection. If it does, then it’s really for the best.

So, it might even help to write down the pros and cons of expressing your emotions in any given situation. Sometimes it’s important and necessary to get your feelings out, but other times it won’t make anything better. It could even hurt other people’s feelings.

Make sure you are mentally and emotionally prepared for any outcome – positive or negative. [Read: How to move on from the toxicity of life for good]

10. Practice makes perfect

It can be scary when you express your emotions to people, because you fear being rejected or misunderstood. But you know what? Everyone feels like that.

So, in order to prepare for the real “event,” practice with yourself first. Prepare what you are going to say, and say it in the mirror. Or grab a friend and practice on them before you say it to the person you want to express your feelings to.

You can’t do this once and expect to be an expert.

You need to wake up every single day with the intention of being true to yourself and expressing your feelings whenever and wherever you deem fit. The only way to become comfortable expressing your feelings, is by doing so. [Read: How to stop being passive-aggressive and get out of that negative state of mind]

11. Eye contact is important

As the saying goes, “the eyes are the windows to the soul.” So, when you are expressing your emotions, looking at someone adds to the intensity of your feelings.

Eye contact connects people, and hopefully, it will also help them feel empathy towards you and your emotions.

You really should look somebody in the eye to understand how they respond to what you have to say. This is why meeting in person to discuss your feelings is crucial to expressing yourself. It also shows a level of respect if they look you in the eye as you talk about how you feel. [Read: How to calm your nerves in any situation you walk into]

12. Be positive

Emotions are both positive and negative. It’s not like we all go around in a state of bliss and want to hug and kiss everyone we see. Sometimes, we are very angry and we just feel like we want to let it out – right away.

But that will not make things better. If you are feeling negative emotions, it’s best not to unleash them on the person right away.

Instead, walk away, calm down, and put things into perspective. Once you have reached that point, then express your feelings as positively as you can. Doing this will help avoid any negative fallout from a tense situation. [Read: How to be more positive – 24 steps to a happy and dramatic life shift]

13. Use “I” language

When people are feeling negative emotions, lots of times they are feeling like a victim.

For instance, if your partner lied to you, then you think you have a right to be angry *and you do*. But when you feel this way, you want to attack and blame the other person.

Instead of saying, “YOU are such a jerk! YOU are a horrible lying pathetic excuse for a person!” you should say, “When you lied to me, I feel like I can’t trust you. Trust is important to me, and so I feel emotionally disconnected from you now.”

See the difference? It’s saying the same thing, but in an alternative way.

Using I-language will make the other person feel less attacked, and they will be more likely to actually listen to you express your feelings. [Read: The power of words and how they can make or break your relationships]

14. Pay attention to your body language

Nonverbal communication *body language* is so important when it comes to communicating a message.

In fact, approximately 80-90% of the meaning of a message is contained in the nonverbal aspect of it. In other words, how someone says something is more important than the words that were spoken.

The reason for this is that body language is much more believable. Your actions are tied to your emotions, and it’s very difficult to control how you feel.

So, it’s important to just be aware of what you are saying with your nonverbal communication. You want to make sure you are getting across the right message to the person. [Read: How to read people – The secrets to figure anyone out instantly]

15. Accept your feelings

Sometimes we don’t like how we feel. Because of this, sometimes we try to talk ourselves out of having certain emotions.

We might try to convince ourselves that we’re being silly or wrong. And that these emotions will cause more problems or won’t be helpful.

But you just need to accept the fact that you are having these feelings – without judging yourself. Hey, you feel that way. So, just own it! That is just how you feel. It’s not right or wrong, it’s just the way it is. [Read: How to confront someone when you’re terrified of uncomfortable conversations]

16. Never ever, ever apologize

You’re allowed to feel the way that you feel. Emotions aren’t logical, so don’t try to make sense of them. And don’t let anyone else try to tell you what you are feeling is wrong. Or that it doesn’t make any sense.

In other words, don’t apologize for feeling how you feel. And don’t let anybody tell you otherwise.

Stand tall, and tell somebody how you feel, because it is important. Be honest, stand in your truth, and don’t let anyone talk you out of your emotions.

[Read: Why am I so emotional? Science has the answers you may not know]

Learning how to express your feelings clearly is a crucial step in understanding our true selves and being transparent in our lives. Start slow, and you’ll get there sooner than you think.

Liked what you just read? Follow us on Instagram Facebook Twitter Pinterest and we promise, we’ll be your lucky charm to a beautiful love life.

LovePanky icon
Team LovePanky
The editorial team of LovePanky comprises relationship experts and real-life experts that share their experiences and life lessons. If you want the best love ad...