The stiff upper lip – A very British dis-ease

We often find it hard to show our feelings, at least our real feelings. From a very early age I remember manners were very important in my family and not hurting other peoples feelings. If I was hurt then it was ‘big boys don’t cry’, and I did want to be a big boy who was strong, brave and all powerful like my father, At school and in the scout movement, self reliance was reinforced; ‘dib dib dob dob, I will do my best..’.

A nation of stoic queuers politely waiting our turn and seething inwardly if someone tries to jump the queue.  Please, thank you and after you. We are also a nation of apologists; someone walks into to us and we apologise to them. I once bumped into a lamp post and apologised to it. Nothing like a good apology ‘Sorry’.

Don’t be angry, don’t get upset, cheer up and calm down. Stay in a neutral mood and don’t share anything too intimate. Going to work, dropping the kids off at school, going shopping – feeling abjectly depressed, hollow and drained. Greeted with how are you? Yeah fine! How are you? Yeah fine!  Yes really I’m FINE – F****d Up, Insecure, Neurotic and Emotional.

So in this context its little wonder that its hard to show our true feelings, let alone even know what we are really feeling. Is it OK for men to feel and share their vulnerability and sadness or is the unspoken message – Look Strong. Is it OK for women to feel and share their hurt and anger or is the unspoken message – Look Happy.

Paying attention to how you feel and I mean really feel is important. Our feelings inform us and direct us when something is right or wrong. That gut instinct. Learning to observe our self and calibrate our feelings can help know who we are and what we need.

How are you?

0 replies

Leave a Comment

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *