Is it not unsettling that what we feel can never be expressed entirely with words?
Imagine feeling the whole world, and when you express it, it turns out less than whole – as small, grainy and flighty as sand. Most of the finest specks, lost in translation.
We are only subjected to someone’s surface-level emotions. The tip of an iceberg. Never truly getting to experience the depths.
People often say if given a superpower, they would like to read other’s minds. But how reliable are those thoughts? They can be inaccurate and flippant. You might feel pain, but the comments flaring in your mind might be that of anger. You might feel happiness, but your thoughts could counter with a cynical “Is this too good to be true?” Thoughts can be contradicting, untrue and a spoilsport. Feelings, though – they are as true as they can get.
I would rather feel what people are feeling – in its entirety. Feelings won’t lie even if you desperately wish they would. What we feel inside is the purest, most concentrated form of emotion. When we try to assemble our feelings into words, we dilute the essence by half. When we let it out, we lose more, depending on how skilled you are with the spoken language. Then it is up to the recipient to preserve the remaining as is or interpret it in a totally different way. A game of Chinese Whispers. This is why we are often left stunned, when a loved one misunderstands you, because what you feel is totally different from what they have interpreted it to be. Words can be beautiful but they are equally constricting.
I sometimes wonder if something like an emotion tester (let’s call it a feel-o-meter) would have made us less judgmental and more compassionate. A device that can measure the intensity of someone’s emotions.
- To appreciate those who stay quiet but are filled up to the brim with love.
- To recognize those who sweet talk but feel nothing.
- To understand that someone’s pain is just that – pain, and nothing else – no manipulation, no faking involved.
- To understand someone’s anger is more than just anger – it is a deep-rooted sadness.
- To understand that someone’s inability to express is not apathy but an internal struggle with overwhelming emotions.
People mostly use their reckless judgment to analyze whether someone is being genuine or not.
- We could be crying, but someone would say “Stop acting”
- We could be hurt, but people would say “You are overreacting”
- We could genuinely be sorry but someone would say “You don’t mean it”
We make up these little disapproving stories in our mind about a person, to suit our whims and fancies, without really knowing the truth. There is so much time wasted in this period between judgment and knowing. And who is to blame? Us for being unable to reveal our feelings in its totality, or them for not seeing our unadulterated feelings?