How To Be More Expressive

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Source: pxhere, public domain

I grew up in the Jewish tradition, in which expressiveness was encouraged. In contrast, this year, I’ve read three books presenting the opposite. In
A Man Named Ove, a Swede so prized keeping his feelings to himself that no one had an inkling that he was planning to commit suicide. The books
show the Japanese culture’s veneration of restraint.

Some of expressiveness or restraint may be genetic and cultural and thus resistant to dramatic change but doubtless, some volition remains. So, in the service of your because whether to go more or less expressive, perchance it’s useful to meet a listing of restraint’due south and expressiveness’due south advantages and then tips for how you might become about changing.


  • If people don’t know what emotionally triggers you, positive or negative, they tin’t employ that information to influence you. For case, if y’all’ve passionately expressed your political views, people tin brownnose to that thereby manipulating you to do their bidding. Conversely, let’s say y’all make clear that you care a lot about your appearance. Someone could utilize that knowledge to hurt yous, even if subtly, for example, “You’re looking practiced today.” (The “today” implies that you lot commonly don’t look practiced.)
  • Restraint is likely healthy. True, some people believe that bottling up feelings is unhealthy, but expressiveness, certainly of anger, tin can be dangerous.
  • Restraint creates mystery. If y’all’re quick to express what yous’re thinking and feeling, it’s easy to be taken for granted—it’s all out in that location. Simply if yous’re restrained, you’re more likely to evoke reactions such as, “I wonder what southward/he’south thinking?” and even, “I’d improve try harder to please the person considering I can’t tell what southward/he’s feeling.”


  • Expressiveness is more authentic—you’re revealing the real you, not only the veneer.
  • It tends to exist fun. It’due south freeing to let ‘er rip. That can evoke similar behavior in others, thereby stimulating a vigorous substitution.
  • You’re more likely to get feedback. Maxim what yous think and feel, even when potentially risky, allows you to go reactions that yous may find helpful or at least more interesting than if you limit your statements to the tepid and your facial expression to the neutral.
  • You may make a bigger difference. Sharing your opinions may educate and fifty-fifty enlighten.

Tips for condign more restrained

  • Recall at to the lowest degree one example in which you paid a toll for “letting ‘er rip.” Write information technology/them down and, at least for one day, each fourth dimension you’re near to be expressive, starting time paraphrase aloud what you’ve written.
  • Moving picture a do good of restraint that’s compelling to you, perhaps one that’due south listed above.
  • With a friend, role-play a restrained person that you know personally or adore in a book, TV prove, or movie.
  • When feeling the urgency to blurt, brand yourself accept a deep breath then, if you think you should restrain yourself, attempt to practise so. It’due south just an experiment—yous can always revert to your more than expressive self.

Tips for becoming more than expressive

  • Recall at least 1 instance in which you paid a price for being likewise restrained. Write it down and, at least for one twenty-four hours, each fourth dimension yous’re most to restrain yourself, outset paraphrase aloud what yous’ve written.
  • Movie a do good of expressiveness that’due south compelling to you, perchance one that’s listed above.
  • With a friend, function-play an expressive person that you know personally or who yous admire in a book, TV bear witness, or moving picture.
  • When feeling you should be more than expressive, make yourself take a deep breath and, if yous still recall you should say it, practice it. It’southward just an experiment—you can e’er revert to your more restrained self.

The takeaway

Then, would y’all like to attempt existence more expressive? More restrained? If and so, are any of the same tips worth a try?

I read this aloud on YouTube.