Why It's OK to Text How You Feel

Why It's OK to Text How You Feel

I feel like there's such a standard when it comes to expressing emotion and feelings. They need to be:

  • Genuine.

  • Heartfelt.

  • Deeply processed.

  • Expressed through human interaction: face to face or over the phone. 

As someone who sometime suffers with really figuring out HOW I feel about something, or HOW I should respond to a particular emotion of mine or others, I'm here to tell you that sometimes expression through human interaction is ... too much. 

Now, like all things, I'm working on it. But for those of you who choose not to say or express your feelings because the idea of doing it in person is too daunting; I want you to know that your feelings are just as worthy over - text, email, message or any other non-personal outlet you feel safe communicating them. 

So here are my standards for expressing feelings:

  • Genuine.

  • The other person has the physical ability to receive them.

So why is it so hard for me to express feeling/emotional things in person or on the spot?

  1. I haven't fully processed how I feel about the situation. As an INTJ my feeling (Fi) function is third. I HAVE FEELINGS! I know I do. But they are often times undermined by my extroverted thinking which tends to rationalize their importance. At this point in my life, I am aware this happens and know I need to take some time to process the situation and the words I wish to attach to it for either myself or others. 

  2. I don't know what an appropriate response would be...at this very second. I'm very aware of my tendency to over rationalize everything, and thus bump the significance of the feels to last place. However in recent years I've attempted to get better at responding in reality to how something made me feel, or how something made somebody else feel. But... I'M STILL SLOW OK? I still need to rationalize my response options (outside of the feeling itself), figure out the best one, and oftentimes I can't just do this in a matter of seconds. I'm getting better with practice but honestly... If I want it to be good, I need to weigh my options and then act accordingly. 

  3. I'm going to cry if I do it right now, outloud, to you in person. Like I said, I'm aware I have feelings. And for me I would much rather clearly express them than express them as a blubbering mess. Clarity for the extroverted thinker (Te) is really important. Will crying in front of someone probably convince them your emotion is utterly genuine in that moment of true vulnerability? Yes, probably. But I don't want to convince, I want to communicate in a genuine way. Genuine communication for me, again, means clarity…which is something I'm not capable of when crying. 

So for all of the introverts (or anyone) out there who has been discouraged from communicating feelings because of their inability to do it in a more extroverted way, please tell yourself it's ok to express them in a way you are comfortable with. They are valid in any medium.

Remember: It's OK to spend actual time trying to write that text or email. Look at your words. Allow yourself to process them. Get in touch with your real emotions regarding the situation by thinking them out and understanding them. As a thinker… that’s how we show them respect.

 And then when they're ready... set them free.

 There's some peace in knowing you are one step closer to being a human and not a robot. 


To all of the people who are agile with feelings:

Please be compassionate to your feeling impaired counterparts. Us not communicating with you face to face or over the phone was never intended to be offensive or make you feel undeserving of our compassion. Try to understand that while we have the ability to feel, our brains take WAY more time with it's communication. We are slow. Please be patient with us. 

Want to say something helpful if you can see us struggling to come up with words?

"I would be happy to talk with you later after you've had some time to process this...feel free to just send me a text." 

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