Why it can sometimes help to share feelings, even when it feels scary

People wear high-visibility jackets for a reason. Often they’re engaged in work in a hazardous environment in which they might be clobbered by someone (a driver, say) who didn’t see them. Sometimes they’re acting in some sort of official capacity which requires them to be readily identified by the rest of us. Or, of course, it could simply mean they got up and got dressed in the dark.

The thing is, it’s hard to ignore someone when they’re wearing a fluorescent yellow jacket, but does this mean that the only important people, the only interesting people, are dressed in this way? Of course not. It’s just that the high-vis apparel is the first thing you notice.


So how do you ‘wear’ your mood? Do you go round believing that everyone can see it at an instant – the equivalent of pulling on that luminous jacket? Or do you keep it to yourself – rather like wearing a navy-blue coat on a moonless night? Perhaps for you the truth lies somewhere between these two extremes.

The point is, others will only react to what they are able to see. If you find ways to completely hide your feelings from people (from yourself, too, perhaps) it’s likely that you’ll get little help or sympathy. However, those who broadcast their mood to everyone around them (and it’s terrible, but sometimes true) may be avoided by the very people who might help them.

An answer may be to find one or two trusted people with whom you can be honest about your feelings (perhaps this will be easier if the traffic is two-way, so they regard you as someone they can open up to, also), then resolve to be relatively neutral (to the extent that you can be) with the wider world.

Maybe it’s just a very few who need to know you’re wearing the high-vis jacket under your overcoat?

4 thoughts on “Why it can sometimes help to share feelings, even when it feels scary

  1. I so like the high vis analogy, Jon . I bet I go around mulling that over all day, as family are all reeling after recent death of a

  2. …dear close family member and comments expressed by you are apt. Obviously the supermarket checkout staff don’t need to know chapter and verse when they ask “are you having a good day?” And you don’t want to burden with sorry sagas, but …neither can you say, yes, it’ll be a very merry Christmas and we are so excited…funeral Wednesday so some closure there but it is a fine balancing act as to who, when, how and how much you impart of circumstances …. So, once again, thanks for the pointers, they do help, Jon .

  3. Dear Sally, I do hope things go as well as they can on Wednesday. Death of a loved one at any time is bad enough…happening now in this season just makes it all the more poignant.

    Jon, as Sally says…a great analogy, thank you.

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