I am a big believer of healthy, non-violent communication and really try to be conscious of how I present what I want to say so that I honor both myself and the other person. There are some times however when I’m facing a conflict situation, feel angry and then struggle with whether or not I should express it because I’m afraid of saying hurtful things.
I often times try to wait until I have a better grasp on my emotions but then have a tendency to just clam up and let things go. Where is the fine line between telling someone that you’re upset and when you can’t think of anything nice to say, as the saying goes, don’t say anything at all?
If you are concerned that you won’t be able to restrain your emotions and will say hurtful things in the heat of the moment, then you are right to wait and cool off a bit first before speaking with the person. If you are angrily saying hurtful things to someone, then you aren’t practicing non-violent communication and you aren’t honoring them or yourself.
Once you have collected yourself, it doesn’t mean you need to clam up or not express your feelings. You need to learn to say how you feel in such a way that it you aren’t blaming those feelings on them. There needs to be a recognition that the other party also has a valid perspective and feelings that need to be acknowledged. So say what you honestly feel, but be ready to listen to what the other person is feeling as well.