Feelings Are Like Farts

Leadership Tip: Feelings are like farts - build up over time - buildup depends on circumstances and individual - got to let them out to feel well - need to pick the right time, place, and way to let them out

My kid was bottling up their feelings.

They wanted to be strong.   They didn’t want to cry.  They didn’t want to show that they were struggling.

Their feelings would come out in blasts – explosive, angry, unexpected.

And so we talked about farts.  They understood farts.  They loved farts.  Farts were fun.  Farts were something to be proud of.

Feelings are like farts*. 

Just like the gas builds up in your body, the feelings build up in your body.  And just like the amount of gas depends on what you ate, what’s going on in your stomach, etc, the feelings depend on what you experienced, what’s going on in your mind, etc. 

Just like gas, the feelings need to get out.  If you don’t let them out, you’ll start feeling terrible. 

If you hold them in too long, they’ll eventually catch up to you and come ripping out, often in the worst possible places (like at the dinner table).

So just like gas, we have to get our feelings out.  And there are good times, places, and ways and not so good times, places, and ways.

My kid still farts at the dinner table.  But they’re doing a great job of managing their feelings in a healthy way.

*Feelings are more like gas, and farts are more like crying, screaming, talking, going for a run – the things that get the feelings out in a healthy way.  However, “feelings are like gas” isn’t as funny or memorable as “feeling are like farts,” so I went with the not quite true but more catchy line rather than the more reflective of the situation but boring line.  We could also get into the difference between feelings and emotions, but this is meant to be a short read…