REMINDER: The term FEEL has 3 totally different meanings : 2 legitimate = physical sensation & emotions. The 3d not = it’s regularly miss-used to indicate THOUGHTS.
This makes communication – with oneself or with others – very confusing, especially for ACoAs, since we already have trouble knowing what we really think or feel half the time! (see Post)
The EASY way to tell the difference:
a. Emotions are always one word – sad, happy, angry, sexy, lonely….
NOT to be confused with Physical feelings, also one word: hungry, thirsty, tired, strong, healthy, ….
b. Thoughts are always a sentence, often starting with “I feel that you…. / I have a feeling that he’s not…../ I feel like____….” which is the dead give-away they’re not going to talk about Es, even when they’re implied.
When most people are asked how we feel, the answer rarely is what’s we are actually experiencing emotionally or physically. It’s most likely about actions, & often native beliefs, such as:
✎ what someone else said or did (Ts or As )
✎ about what we’ve done or want to do
✎ what we’re Thinking, even if we don’t really hear ourselves!
✎ or what we’re afraid others will think of us
Relationship FORM B. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
WHEN YOU ___________________________________________
I FEEL _______________________________________________
& BELIEVE THAT I AM ____________________________________
These are my thoughts & feelings, which are not your fault and which
you’re not responsible for.
HOWEVER, I’D APPRECIATE IT IF YOU WOULD ____________________________________________________
WOULD YOU BE WILLING TO TRY THAT? _______________________
WHEN YOU (As) – I appreciate you washing the dishes, but you keep on putting the sharp kitchen knives ‘face up’ in the silverware drain
I FEEL (Es) – very angry, because I often hurt my hand reaching for a fork or spoon
& BELIEVE THAT (Ts) – my welfare isn’t important to you
These are my …
HOWEVER, I’d APPRECIATE IT IF YOU (As) – would remember to always turn the knives ‘points down’!
WOULD YOU BE WILLING…..?
In general, this kind of communication “WHEN YOU…..” can be applied to your children, spouses, employees, maybe even a boss.
• Start by validating that this situation is real. Even if it’s trivial, you’re having a reaction, so honor that first.
• Identify if it really is effecting you, OR it’s just something you personally can’t stand. EXP: Someone leaving dishes in the sink unwashed – may be annoying but doesn’t actually do you any harm, whereas someone verbally dismissing or attacking you – does!
• Evaluate how severe it is (1-10) in relation to your specific needs, in relation to the bigger picture & to what is ‘normal’, real, healthy….
• Decide what you can do to help yourself if the other person can’t or won’t hear you & make a change. No matter what the issue, in many cases you will have to repeat the request over & over, which will try your patience 🥀 🥀
• Depending on how serious the situation is, you have the right to how you feel and what you think about it. Work on the trigger from the past, do some writing, some pounding on the bed when you’re alone, talk about it in Meetings & therapy. Help your WIC deal with the Es & correct any false beliefs you may have (S-H, paranoia….)
Once you’ve figured out why this situation is bothering YOU (if “it’s hysterical it’s historical”) then you might want to ask them why they are / are not saying or doing this thing.
Most of the time they don’t know OR won’t tell you, but any info you get will help you cope, especially if the issue doesn’t go away. We usually can bear an irritant better if we know the cause – especially since most of the time it has nothing to do with us!
• If nothing changes, at some point you’re going to have to step back & “zip the lip”! Constant complaining is irritating, and ensures that the recipient will become resentful &/or close their ears to you – guaranteeing a stalemate.
It’s also a good time to PRAY – for them to be OK, but mainly for YOU, to have peaceful patience and to have your Abandonment fear healed!
NEXT: Part 3, EXP #2