My daughter and her friends have started to use the phrase “I have the feels…” when they are exposed to something that makes them emotional. It cracks me up. I have no idea the genesis of this or what it truly means to them. Does it mean that they are acknowledging their feelings openly with their friends? OR are they trying to STOP their emotions by announcing it?
What I like about this is that the kids are able to acknowledge that they are experiencing an emotion. Perhaps we are starting to build a generation of people who can authentically experience their lives as human beings. What I further hope for my kids is that they:
- FEEL their feelings (it has been said if you allow an emotion to fully express itself, it takes an average of 90 seconds to run its course).
- Acknowledge and name what they’re feeling (Am I mad, sad, glad, scared etc?).
- Allow for all emotions to express appropriately and fully.
- Be curious about what preceded the emotion to learn more about what makes them feel the way they feel from a “scientific” versus a judgmental perspective.
- Remove themselves from situations and people who regularly activate their negative emotions.
- Know when the feelings turn from healthy to toxic.
- Ask for help when needed.
- Know that they are NOT responsible for the feelings of others, however
- Allow for their presence and authentic connection to influence positive emotions in others (but not be defeated if the person is not able to receive the positive influence).
- Surround themselves with people who allow for the free/healthy expression of feelings.
- Be the person who allows others to freely express their feelings (and help them to recognize if it is entering the toxic zone).
- Find healthy outlets for their feelings.
- Know the difference between a healthy outlet (humor, connection, sleep, exercise etc) versus numbing ones (sugar, shopping and other addictive vices).
I have to say, that this extensive list was not in my repertoire as a child, and in fact, it really has only become solidly realized in the past five years. I am so glad to have this awareness now as my teenaged children navigate the landscape of their youth.
If I were invited to participate in my daughter’s ‘trendy saying’ (which I am almost positive I am NOT)…I’d say FYF because YOLO (Feel Your Feelings because You Only Live Once) and for goodness sake LOLMO (Laugh Out Loud More Often)! Yay, she will really LOVE me saying that to her friends, NOT!