How many do not name what they feel, or do so in a superficial and hasty way just to get the question out of their heads? Yet, it is not a matter of organizational or control mania, much less of putting a label on it: being able to identify what one is feeling means being aware of it, carrying out that process that inexorably leads to analyse the causes that generated what we perceive, in order to figure out how to act accordingly. Instead, what often happens is that we avoid this introspective step, minimizing and devaluing it.
A few days ago, my colleague and I attended a workshop called 'Emotions Identified’ by our ESC project mentor. The goal of the tool provided to us was to accommodate the emotional domain in learning and personal and social self-development to make it more holistic. This is because, according to the method, identifying emotions is part of a quality reflective journey to understand what is happening inside us and be aware of our needs.
He handed us two discs, with more and less in-depth descriptions of possible feelings, in line with two patterns of self-examination, one simple and one complex. After that, he made us select which ones we thought we experienced during the ESC project period, and he had us talk about each one: what do you think caused this emotion? How did you react to it? And so on and so forth. What I noticed is that it is not that we fail to understand emotions, but that we often lack the right words that will satisfy us in our attempt to recognize complex states, as if suffering from alexithymia. The fact is that talking about oneself, about one's feelings, is not easy and takes time and willpower, but, as with most relationship problems, the best choice to make is to voice them. Cry, laugh, fantasize, connect with the world: what else makes humans special if not their ability to communicate? In all its possible ways.