I am not very good at hiding my feelings. It all shows on my face and in my actions. It is not difficult to interpret how I feel about something or someone. Anyone can tell just by looking at me whether I am happy or sad, joyful or angry, pleased or disgusted, interested or bored, well or ill. I am fairly expressive of what I like and dislike, agree and disagree to, can and cannot stand, want and do not want, will or will not do.
But I am often told, mostly and especially from my people, that it is not a good quality to have. I am either seen as being childish, not being able to control my feelings, or too Westernized, placing too much emphasis on how individuals feel rather than how we should feel collectively. I am usually advised to grow up or grow accustomed to the way of my people and learn how to put on a poker face.
And to that, I usually reply with a look of appreciation for the advice and say I will try my best… and forget about it the moment they turn away satisfied.
Maybe because I know I am actually much better at controlling my feelings than they think.
Maybe because I am confident that expressions of my feelings were clear and received exactly the way I want, requiring no changes to be made.
And maybe because I have found that this is the best expression to give to an advice that arouses no feelings in me.
Oh, then, maybe I was lying when I said that ALL my feelings show? No, no lies.
The advice in and of itself is neither useful nor useless to me. But I put on a look of appreciation for pointing out to me that I am still not doing a good enough job expressing exactly how I feel. And I say I will try my best to be even more expressive of my carefully controlled feelings.
I strongly believe that there is a big difference between controlling your feelings and controlling your expressions. I find, from studying and through experience, that feelings may vary among individuals and cultures, but expressions are highly universal… which means, uncontrolled feelings may cause tension and conflicts, but uncontrolled expressions of controlled feelings can promote communication and harmony.
I think that if expressions are controlled and poker faces are put on, maybe we would all be left to feel each other out or test each other’s feelings, and grow only doubts and fears towards each other. If that is the case, I am not ashamed to say that I am not very good at hiding my feelings – it is my way of expressing universally my genuine wish to seek communication and harmony, so why hide it?