Direct Expression of Feelings Part 4
Lesson 21 Module 2
I love this quote from Mandy Saligari Feelings: Handle them before they handle you.
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First part of the skill of direct expression of feelings is to be aware of and name the feelings you're experiencing. Most acting in or acting out is destructive. The more in touch we are with our emotions, the less likely we are to act out. In the departure launch video, we talked about the alpaca and the turtle.
The alpaca will blame their external world, which creates a feeling of them being helpless. There's nothing anyone can do. The turtle assumes all of the blame and they feel that they have run out of fuel, that their tank is empty. They feel powerless, hopeless. Emotion is energy, and it must go somewhere.
In this case, we're referring to acting in as a person who redirects emotional energy back into the body. And this increases the stress within them, which can cause numerous psychosomatic illnesses, such as low back pain, breathing issues, migraine and tension headaches, pelvic pain, frigidity, and impotence to name a few.
And if your doctor investigates the pain, they are unlikely to find a physical cause, but you can still feel the pain. Just like when a person has lost a limb, they still feel pain in the limb. If they get an itch, they can't scratch it because the limb is no longer there.
If you want to gain more control of your emotions, it's critical that you know how to express your feelings.
Pause the video, and take a few moments to reflect and write down how you express your feelings and your emotions. Do you act in or out? Do you blame others or yourself?
Welcome back. Our emotional system can only take so much stress. And when it's approaching the limit of tolerable stress, our behaviors become more extreme. And when we reach that limit, feelings do not go through the rational brain because we are on autopilot. We feel it in our emotional system, but the mind will not acknowledge it.
However, by naming what you are feeling, you bring it into your conscious awareness. And when you're in touch with the emotion you're experiencing, you have the opportunity to better control that behaviour.
Remember the counter-story story in story listening. When a person is relating a story, your counter story will trigger similar emotions inside you. Directly expressing your feelings is less harmful to the relationship than expressing them indirectly. Indirect expression of feelings is an attempt to manipulate another person. Direct expression of feelings is less confusing and hurtful to another person.
If you can name what you are feeling instead of having a mini meltdown, the situation has a chance to be resolved amicably. Indirect expression of feelings are when the words, tone and body language show an emotion, but the feeling is not named.
If you listen to your inner self and name what you are feeling, then your relationships will be happier and more productive.