“I’m Irish, and Irish people don’t tell you a thing; Irish people keep it so bottled up. The plan with Irish people is ‘I’ll keep all my emotions right here, and then one day I’ll die.'” – John Mulaney
The first time I watched Mulaney’s New in Town routine, I laughed when he said this – I’m 25% Irish. It doesn’t make sense why people waste time concealing their emotions when it feels rejuvenating to release them. After all, bottling up emotions for a long time is the same as having to wait to pee. When you finally have the opportunity to go to the restroom, you sprint to relieve your bladder. In turn, when you finally release your emotions, much more is released than expected. It takes the form of an emotional outburst.
It’s easy to say bottling up your emotions is the best method because you’ll appear strong and in control, but emotions aren’t meant to be controlled – they’re meant to be expressed because they’re the body’s way of communicating. People can figure out what’s ‘under your hood’ when you’re smiling, crying, laughing or frowning. They will also know if you need help, someone to talk to, or need to be left alone. When you bury your emotions and refuse to express them, you’ll experience a spur-of-the-moment emotional outburst.
Over the years I’ve gotten better at sharing, but there are still moments I try to conceal hurt, anguish and pain with a fake smile. Let me tell you, it’s exhausting to make it through a day with a heart ready to burst. Last night I waited too long and experienced a spontaneous public outburst. If you’ve ever cried in public, it’s totally embarrassing. When you cry, you’re at your most vulnerable. Needless to say, I tried to conceal my snot-nosed mess. Luckily the unplanned outburst occurred during a bible study, and the woman seated next to me was a very good listener.
Even though I have two strikes – being 25% Irish and a woman. I’ll heed John Mulaney’s words and try to express my emotions rather than shove them down. The last thing I want is another uncontrolled, unwanted spontaneous outburst.