09/02/2014 11:25 am ET Updated Nov 02, 2014

Emotional Constipation: An Adult Disease?


Emotional constipation is a term that my siblings and I made up when we were teens. (Little did we know it was a term that already existed.) We came up with it because we felt that people around us wouldn't let their feelings show, they kept them bottled up inside and wouldn't let them out. Maybe it was a generational thing because today I do feel that our parents' generation keep their feeling inside a lot more than our children do.

People, who can't just enjoy the beautiful day or laugh at themselves or even just act silly are emotionally constipated -- that's what I thought. And then I turned 40! As adults we run far away from our raw and real feelings. Our lives become a culmination of artificial smiles and inflated egos. I catch myself being that way as an adult now, even though I pride myself as someone who wears her heart on her sleeve. I still am not fully transparent as I wish I could be. Why is that? What is our biggest fear?

It's so great to see children just being who they are without being so vested in how the outside world perceives them. They laugh, cry and act silly, if they want to. Nothing seems to crush their spirit, and joy lives in their hearts.

As adults do we just become emotionally constipated, is it an age-related characteristic? Do we lock up our insecurities and joys because we fear what people will think? Aside from all the other physical changes that we deal with, do we become more protective of our feelings? Do we hide behind the shield of our egos and the facade of having everything under control? Why can't we allow others to see how we feel? Why can't our emotions just run freely? As I turned 40, I did feel a lot better about how I look and the person I had become, but am I more fearful of making a fool of myself now? Yes, definitely.

I keep my emotions inside and try to always remain "in control," which truthfully I feel like is an unrealistic term. Have I also become one of those people I laughed at growing up who had issues showing their feelings or maybe I am just simply" emotionally constipated" too!