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We’ve all been there, we’ve all been so caught up in our emotions that our actions aren’t slow to follow. Sometimes we’ve gotten so upset that we throw things, yell at the top of our lungs, or worse… hurt someone we love. And sometimes when the dust has settled, we believe that we were in the right to act in such a way, using our feelings to justify our actions. But if you’re tired of that ceaseless cycle, there IS something YOU can do. Get yourself “out” of your feelings.
It may be easier said than done, but everything comes easier with a little bit of practice! First, we need to learn the difference between feelings and thoughts. Feelings and thoughts are closely related, but they are not one in the same. If you are confused about the difference, think about it this way: a thought is the rambling sentence that runs through your head while you try to sort out what you’re feeling. The actual feeling is only ONE word. I feel hurt. I feel sad. I feel disappointed. Those are your feelings, but people seem to confuse the two a lot. So when you think you’re “in your feelings”, you’re actually “in your thoughts”. Once you’re able to know the difference, figure out what you’re feeling and say it. Say it in your head, say it out loud. But when you say it, own it. This is where you will get your power.
When you say what you’re feeling, it’s not only a revelation to the other person, but it’s also a revelation to you. Amidst anger, you may have not realized you were hurt. Amidst annoyance, you may not have realized you were disappointed. Once you have this revelation, there’s so much more that you can do. So while you’re in the hole that we now know are our thoughts and not our feelings, we can start the climb out. Start this climb by engaging the other person in dialogue. Share how you feel, but also take the time to learn how they feel. But make sure you both slow down. Slowing the conversation down helps you really think about what’s going on with you and how you got to the position you’re in right now.
While we’re climbing out, it’s important to remember just how distorted feelings can be. Our thoughts will combine with what we’re feeling and we’re given a jolt to act immediately. When you slow down the conversation, you’re not only giving yourself time to govern yourself, but the other person is also given the opportunity to make decisions in a timely manner. Also remember that your feelings do not reflect the reality of the situation, but that they are personal only to you. In other words, your reality of what happened may be very different than the reality of the other person. Be able to sift through your thoughts and feelings and extract what is valuable in this situation. Maybe it’s a lesson learned, maybe you’ve learned something new about your self or your partner.
Any time you’re caught “in your feelings”, it’s important to remember that emotions are always fleeting… happiness, sadness, anger, fear… they all come and go. What will always remain is love.