Before jumping into a quick answer, let’s discuss feelings in general:
It is important to remember that emotions and feelings are not bad. They often derive from met (or unmet) expectations based on set values or boundaries. These can be both expectations for yourself or for others.
Expressing feelings can:
For example, if you feel angry because your partner did not show up for dinner, try asking yourself: what about them not showing up made me angry? Where does this anger come from?
One common thought is: ‘but they SHOULD know”. We have to remember that our partners are not mind readers. Oftentimes people don’t know because you haven’t told them. What would it be like to tell someone how they made you feel instead of hiding?
Here is a tip:
Instead of shutting down, say something like: when you didn’t show up for dinner, I felt _____ because ____.
Before expressing feelings to your partner, check-in with yourself. Try naming your feelings to yourself before expressing them to your partner. When we know our emotions, we can communicate them in a more effective way. Mutual understanding and positive communication deepens relationships.