The tears come too easily and a smile masks my nervousness

I find it very difficult to talk about my feelings with anyone, because if I just begin to open up, I start crying! I don't like it because then I find it hard to continue talking about that subject. I don't even feel extremely upset when my tears just suddenly start falling down my face. It's frustrating because I do want to open up to people from time to time about my feelings but I feel I can't because if I start crying, it makes the atmosphere much more intense and serious.
Also, I've found that I can't stop smiling when I'm nervous or feel embarrassed. I don't like this either as no one can take me seriously with a big stupid grin on my face.
Please could you help me overcome these problems?

Ben's Answer:

So to put it directly - it sounds like your discomfort with your own emotions (which we could call "shame") is the only real issue here. You have strong emotions, so when you open up, the tears flow. You're embarrassed about that so you hold back; Then if you're nervous, you cover that up also, by smiling; The more you resist your real feelings, and try to hide them, the more uncomfortable it gets and the more you feel you have to hide; quite a vicious circle.

I know a person, who I respect greatly, who turns red in the face anytime he talks about anything personal or emotional, or meaningful. It's fast and it's quite obvious - the flush. Recently someone commented on it - and his immediate response was "that's how you know I'm talking about something that matters!" What a perfect way to put it. No shame, nothing to hide. He can't hide it, so the only choice is to either not talk, or just accept what is.

Try just voicing your real feelings, with no apologies; and if your reflex is to smile - then tell the person you're with, you always smile when you're nervous. If the tears are flowing, then tell the person it's just what you do, and it's no big deal. There's nothing more powerful than speaking your inner truth.

Tapping can also be a great way to overcome this kind of thing, because as you're tapping the meridian points, you voice all the negative feelings - the raw, present, real feelings and emotions that are in there, without trying to suppress them, or cover them up with phony positive affirmations. While tapping, you're balancing your emotional/energetic system, so that you will no longer automatically trigger tears, or fake smiles, whenever you talk about certain subjects. Try it - you may be surprised.

Take Care,
Ben Schwarcz, MFT
Santa Rosa Psychotherapist

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