This technique came out of a need to quit making a fool of myself,
getting needlessly and prematurely upset
and reacting irrationally.
Does it always work? I wish there was a 100% guarantee......
There isn't, but this is life remember?
We are going to have a few glitches here and there sometimes.
This just is a preventive measure.
So here's how it goes:
(I should mention this works best if you can talk to yourself out loud. Otherwise our mind can wander to what's for dinner, the score of the game or getting those shoes on sale. I do this while sitting in my car someplace safe or going on a "talk-walk". I try to find places of solitude if possible (so others don't feel a need to call in help). If I do it when I'm driving, I bop my head up and down or side to side as if singing to a song.)
Say for instance I get upset at someone for something they did either to me or that affected me.
* I ask myself:
FEELINGS: Why are you upset?
ME: Because she hurt my feelings.
FEELINGS:Why did it hurt your feelings?
ME: Because she said I don't listen?
FEELINGS: Is that true?
ME: No, I was just trying to tell her why I don't like what she did.
FEELINGS: And what was that?
ME: She told me I am selfish.
FEELINGS: Why did she say that?
ME: Because I didn't want to listen to her when she started saying what a bad person I am.
FEELINGS: Do you think you should have listened?
ME: Maybe it was mean not to, but it didn't feel good.
FEELINGS: So what is wrong to have not put yourself in an uncomfortable situation?
ME: I don't know. Friends should be there for their friends no matter what.
FEELINGS:Even if they are saying hurtful things about you?
ME: Maybe not.
FEELINGS: What is wrong with sticking up for yourself?
ME: Nothing, except I am not used to it.
FEELINGS: Do you think it makes her feel better to say hurtful things to someone she cares about? Do you feel better when you do that?
ME: Of course not.
FEELINGS: Then it not OK to do it period.
ME: But what if she stays mad at me or doesn't talk to me?
FEELINGS: That may happen. You have no control over what she does. Your choices are to take the blame and let her criticize you at her will or to take yourself out of an abusive situation. What do you want?
ME: I want her to be my friend and respect me too.
FEELINGS: Why would she do that on her own if you don't expect it from her?
ME: I don't know. I guess I never thought about it.
FEELINGS: My favorite bald guy Dr. Phil, says that we teach people how to treat us.
ME: I can see that.
FEELINGS: So she was right wasn't she? You didn't listen.
ME: I guess I didn't.
FEELINGS: Sometimes just because someone doesn't like what we did does not mean that it is wrong.
ME: But it felt wrong to upset her.
FEELINGS: Isn't it odd how we worry about upsetting someone else but discount that it's happening to us? And then we scold ourselves for having our feelings?
ME: I see that now.
Now this could continue on and on. It's like a mini therapy session isn't it? That's exactly what it is! Only it's at our convenience and it's free! Except for the price we have to pay to acknowledge our emotions. Which most of us avoid.
Sorting socks IS so much easier!
Now when I see her again I can be prepared that she might still be upset. If she wants to talk to me about what happened I am now clear. I can say that I stopped listening because what she was saying was hurting me. That I still would like to be her friend (if that's true) but will leave if it gets uncomfortable. (This also works with family). The ball is now in her court how she will respond to that.
Sometimes when we change the rules it takes awhile for others to adjust. That is another post.
Hopefully this made a little sense. If you want to do a "feelings" session back and forth with me we could give it a shot!
"How much has to be explored and discarded before reaching the naked flesh of feeling." ~Claude Debussy