Emotional transparency is commonly referred to as “wearing you heart on your sleeve.” To possess emotional transparency is to be willing to share(#) one’s true feelings with others. Having this displays courage (#),but shows a psychological struggle (#) to maintain personal privacy in most people. The bond between those in a friendship(#) or a sexually intimate(#) relationship can be significantly dependent on whether or not both individuals are able to let their guard down in this sense.
Typically, romantic relationships as well as most interpersonal relations are affected by one’s ability to openly share emotions. Emotional transparency often leaves one vulnerable and unprotected from personal judgment by those around them.
Intimate relationships are based on basic concepts of trust, honesty, and communication. When emotional transparency is absent in such relationships, true feelings are often hidden behind forced, or fake emotional signals given by one who refuses to open up. Without both people in a romantic partnership being open and honest, the outcome commonly leads to a separation. This is due to a real understanding of one another (Newenski, 2001).
Young children are a prime example of those who exhibit emotional transparency. They allow their body to show natural and authentic reactions to any given situation. When a child is upset, they cry. When a child is happy, they smile. This makes it easy for those caring for the child to sense the child’s raw emotions. Not all children provide a perfect example of this, such as those who are victims of abuse. These children tend to develop adult security defenses earlier in life. As people grow older and are subjected to criticism or confrontation, causing insecurities, they develop a security defense in which they might hide a need to cry with angry yelling or by making a false statement saying everything is alright. There are many ways people convey false emotions. Instead of this miscommunication, people might try allowing themselves to act more like a child without inhibitions (Gladwell, 2005). When a wife fights with her husband, she might tell him she has been hurt by his actions as she cries, rather than yell in anger. Sending a clear message to a partner, friend, or family member may be hard for those who are afraid to confront their problems, but sweeping issues under the rug is sure to make things worse. Considering a society that prefers to keep to themselves and solve a majority of their problems alone, having a helping hand to approach and resolve problems that arise is a fresh and effective way to produce solutions.
Trust(#) can only truly be achieved when those involved are willing to express feelings freely. Both friendship(#) and love(#) are able to flourish when a connection is made through the exchange of emotion. Overcoming insecurities allows one to make the concious effort that is necessary in order to share(#) these feelings. Learning to be emotionally transparent can increase inner strength(#) and self-esteem when vulnerability and emotional security are no longer a primary concern in interpersonal relations.
Gladwell, Malcolm. Blink: the power of thinking without thinking. Little, Brown & Co., 2005.
Nowinski, Joseph. The Tender Heart: Conquering Your Insecurity. FIRESIDE, 2001