One of our principal needs is the urge to express oneself. That can be done “oral or physically in a cultivated  or in a primitive way: a cry of astonishment, a sigh of release, a cry from lack of power and pain, a wave, a sign, demanding eyes, an open hand… Not expressing certain feelings can have significant consequences, it can bring suppression, several discomforts, even depression. Moreover we expect from the others to notice what’s going on in themselves, expression is also a method of communication. As a result the non-expression of feelings can lead to social isolation, misunderstandings, incomprehension, and indifference.

Do you have the courage to express your feelings? How do you do that? How often? How easily? Are you in search of other methods? Do you consider how other people experience your expression?

We prefer to be free in our expression, but every culture has its standards for utterance or what can be expressed and what not. The standards are not always equally convenient for everybody. The standard has become more tolerant, more loosely then
the past, and different between the one and the other. For example an emotional explosion can be a relief to heavy emotions, as a quiet message can be a frustration. But nevertheless we don’t prefer a society with constant mutual roaring. When our words are carefully chosen, and the voice is powerful and clear, a ‘simple announcement’ can be experienced as an expression. Better to be assertive then aggressive! Or are you afraid of expression? Does it disturb your supposed harmony, or does expression on the contrary repair it?

Do you succeed in that? Did you found for yourself a method to blow off steam when necessarily, without hurting another? Can you make yourself understood in a powerful, self-controlled way? Or do you simply work off: from man to woman, boss to inferior, to the dog underneath the ladder who can only receive the blows? Are you in a constant need to work off steam for all kinds of reasons, or are you able to put it into perspective?

Do you ever change something in your situation? To abreact does not offer any solution; to be assertive often gives better result. Sometimes our hands are tied to some tragedy, we can only try to take a small first step.

As humans we also have the ability to show our expression in a special form. For example in art. Of course, not all expression is art, and not all art is expression. But expression is an important feature in art. Do you have an art or some skill in which you can reveal yourself?

© Copyright Johan Framhout 2009

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