Have Your Feelings Or They Will Have You

Posted by Beetle B. on Sat 13 May 2017

Don’t focus on just the objective facts. Feelings have to be part of the conversation.

At the same time, having them explode is problematic. They should not be bottled up.

Unexpressed feelings block our ability to listen. They distract us while listening.

Unexpressed feelings can lead to low self-esteem. We wish we would stick up for ourself.

Relationships are about feelings. Not expressing them makes the relationship hard.

Find Your Feelings: Learn Where Feelings Hide

Explore Your Emotional Footprint

Many of us grow up with rules or traditions about which emotion is OK to have and which isn’t. These may not be explicit. Just stuff you picked up.

Which emotions do you find easy to express? Which are difficult? Maybe you try not to feel anger? Or suppress/ignore guilt?

Emotional themes are different in different relationships. As are the emotions you are willing to express.

  1. Accept That Feelings Are Normal/Natural

    They are not a deficiency.

  2. Good People Can Have Bad Feelings

    Example: You may feel rage instead of sadness at a funeral.

  3. Your Feelings Are As Important As Theirs

    Don’t put their feelings above yours. If you do, friends and others will notice and manipulate you. Do not signal that your feelings are secondary.

Find The Bundle of Feelings Behind The Simple Labels

One emotion may overpower the others. Untangle and look at all of them.

Some feelings are below:

Category Feelings
Love Affectionate, caring, close, proud, passionate
Anger Frustrated, exasperated, enraged, indignant
Hurt Let down, betrayed, disappointed, needy
Shame Embarrassed, guilty, regretful, humiliated, self-loathing
Fear Anxious, terrified, worried, obsessed, suspicious
Self-Doubt Inadequate, unworthy, inept, unmotivated
Joy Happy, enthusiastic, full, elated, content
Sadness Bereft, wistful, joyless, depressed
Jealousy Envious, selfish, covetous, anguished, yearning
Gratitude Appreciative, thankful, relieved, admiring
Loneliness Desolate, abandoned, empty, longing

Ding The Feelings Lurking Under Attributions, Judgments and Accusations

Attributions, judgments, and accusations aren’t feelings. Often after the contributions discussion, we feel a void and fill it with blame. What we need to do is fill it with our feelings.

Don’t Treat Feelings As Gospel: Negotiate With Them

  • Rule #2: Get all your feelings into the conversation.
  • Rule #1: Negotiate with your feelings.

Our initial feelings exist. But mentally explore the story - yours, theirs, etc. What is the story missing? Usually your feelings will change as a result. This is part of the negotiation.

Consider your assumptions about the other person’s intentions.

Consider your contribution to the problem. Can we describe the other’s without blaming?

This is all hypothesizing. But it may change your feelings.

Don’t Vent: Describe Feelings Carefully

1. Frame Feelings Back Into The Problem

Step 1: Realize the feelings are important. And they do not need to be rational. It is OK to be embarassed by them.

2. Express The Full Spectrum Of Your Feelings

You can and should express the positive feelings as well!

3. Don’t Evaluate: Just Share

You’re just sharing. Do not evaluate or problem solve.

  1. Express Feelings Without Judging, Attributing or Blaming

  2. Don’t Monopolize: Both Sides Can Have Strong Feelings

    One person’s feelings doesn’t cancel the others.

  3. Say “I Feel…”

    It’s OK (and desirable) to follow this template.

  4. The Importance of Acknowledgment

    Acknowledge the feelings. But don’t fix them at this stage! Signal that it has made an impression on you. And that you are trying to understand them.

tags : communication, dc