When you feel hurt, upset or annoyed as a result of someone else’s actions, how are you communicating that with them? Are you owning and sharing your feelings?
Emotional outbursts might feel unavoidable or completely justified, but they use a lot of energy and rarely get you the outcome you want.
Usually, you’ll ruminate over what’s happened for a while first. You’ll feel upset or angry, blaming them for how you feel, building up the narrative in your mind, giving meaning to everything they’ve said or done.
You start to highlight the words and actions that back up your story, and discount everything else.
Most of this happens subconsciously, you won’t even realise it’s happening. But then eventually all the emotions build up, reach boiling point and then you explode. Either in tears, in anger, or both. Sound familiar?
Own your feelings and communicate them
When you feel hurt, upset or annoyed after something that’s been said or done, try to get into a new habit. Instead of brewing up feelings ready to explode later, take responsibility for owning your feelings and communicating them.
Avoid saying ‘You’ve annoyed/upset/worried me’, in fact, avoid starting your sentences with ‘you’ at all. It can sound blaming, and won’t land well or create the conversation you need.
Instead, try this:
‘I feel/I am ….. when you ….. because …..’
You might want to ask if the person realised that was how you felt. Speak slowly and calmly, let them have space to talk as well, and listen.
Acknowledge that their intentions may not have been to make you feel this way. In fact whatever they have said or done was probably much more about them than it was about you. Don’t assume that you know the intentions behind people’s actions. Remember that it’s mostly their subconscious driving their behaviour. Perhaps they aren’t as good as owning their feelings and actions as you are.
Get into the habit of using this phrase when you want to communicate your feelings to someone, you’re much likely to be able to have a useful conversation rather than an argument or an emotional meltdown.
Do you find communicating your feelings a difficult thing to do? If you would like some support in this area and make changes in your life, then get in touch to see how we could work together.