Expressing your feelings

Being understood and cared about is a source of fulfillment in a relationship. So this is naturally that I feel the need to express my feelings to F. But several time sharing my feelings has triggered frustration and dispute rather than the connection I was looking for. After reflecting on this recurrent pattern I spotted two main problems that can be easily solved. The first one is to understand where our feelings are coming from and the second one is to learn how to express them.

There are 34´000 emotions that can be experienced by human beings. Those emotions (energy in movement) are chemical messages traveling through our body and sent by our brain as it releases hormones after detecting threats or rewards. This message is meant to prepare us to react to this particular external event. Instinctively our body is reacting automatically to those emotions making us feel angry or upset for example. And this is where we should intervene. Mindfulness helps us to do the transition from victim of our feelings to ownership. We can control what we feel by being aware and deciding on how we want to react. Dr Watkins explains in this Ted talk how we can choose our own emotional ‘planetary’ address. Nobody alone can make us feel anything.

Having this in mind we can better communicate our feelings to our partner. This article explains how the sentence “you make me feel” comes across as an accusation and invites to counter-accusations. It also gives you tips on constructive sentence-starters like “I feel”.

“What matters is the combination of what one person says or does and the other person’s interpretation of the words or actions”.

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