Girls and women are often told that we’re being “too emotional” and it’s not meant in a nice way. It’s meant to stop us giving out about something or it’s meant to make us “calm down” because we’re being so bloody emotional. And recently I’ve been thinking about what that word really means – emotional. And I’ve discovered a whole lot.
‘Emotional’ is defined by Merriam-Webster as of or relating to emotion, and emotion is defined as a conscious mental reaction subjectively experienced as strong feelings usually directed toward a specific object and typically accompanied by physiological and behavioural changes in the body.
This means that it doesn’t just mean you’re crying in your room watching the Notebook with a bowl of microwave popcorn – it means that being emotional means just feeling emotions and luckily for us, that can be anything!
So I’ve decided to reclaim the word emotional and take it to mean I’m happy, I’m sad, I’m angry, I’m scared, I’m shocked – any mad number of emotions are possible and I think it’s about time we ask people to be a little bit more specific when they call us emotional. I think being happy is great. I think being sad and feeling those feelings is great. I think being justifiably angry over something and not simply taking it lying down is great. I think being scared is great; we can be scared and still push past the fear to do whatever our hearts desire.
I think being “emotional” is a blessing that humans (no matter what gender you are) should embrace and stop seeing as a bad thing.
I’m personally so glad that I’m able to feel everything so deeply and express my emotions when I want to. I’m happy that I’m able to express delight at something positive and not hide it for fear of people thinking I’m lame or immature. I’m happy that I’m able to share in sadness with my friend when she tells me something upsetting and I don’t have to be ashamed of not being “strong enough” because feeling sadness and sympathy is a wonderful thing. I’m so happy that I’m able to get angry and not worry that people will think I’m unladylike. Women and girls have a lot to be angry about, in my opinion, and so it’s only fair that we’re allowed to express that anger, obviously in a way that doesn’t harm other people!
Furthermore, when people relate being emotional back to being on your period – “are you on your period or something?” If I am and if my hormones are shooting all around my body, then I will stand up and say “yes indeed, I am on my period and what a wonderful day it is!”. I personally cry at the drop of a hat the week before my period starts and I’m not afraid to say it. Men don’t have a clue what it’s like to maybe not be in total control of your emotions around this time of the month and so we need to be able to stand up and say that yes, I may be a bit more hormonal this week but that in no way hinders my ability to learn in school, or work at my job or play sports (if you’re feeling up to it).
Being emotional is not an inherently bad thing and it’s about time we stopped being afraid of our emotions and trying to shove them down. I am a firm believer that we need to embrace all feelings and lead by example. If we are vulnerable with others and show our feelings and emotions, then they might do the same and I truly believe we will all be much better for it.
So go ahead and feel those feels okay?