"But these are MY feelings and I get to express them!"
Well... sure you can, but depending on how you express them it's not always the right thing to do. As a psychotherapist, I'm well aware of the importance of feeling your feelings. But it's not okay to hurt anyone with them (including yourself).
That's not feeling your anger. That's acting out your anger.
There are lots of ways to let someone know that you feel angry. Being cruel isn't one of them.
Do you see yourself here? If so, reign it in so you do no harm, okay? ... See MoreSee Less
Thank you. So many unkind things have been done under the justification of "These are my feelings. I get to have them." The last fight my mother and I had, a couple of years before she died, was about this very thing. I told her that she was entitled to her feelings (she claimed I was not letting her have them), but that I refused to be treated meanly by her. She was basically making me choose between her and myself. I had finally gotten to the point in my life in which I could say, "No, this is not right that a parent is putting their offspring in this position." I chose myself; I set a limit on the meanness I would take from her, and it changed my life. That said and that accomplished, I would go on to avoid any further fights with her so that we could use her last few years to be as close as possible. I'm glad that I did. It was such a gift, made possible by my setting a boundary based on the distinction you point out, Diane. 🧡
The word ‘feeling’ is often used in place of ‘my opinion’ which is different than ‘emotion.’ I try to be careful with that distinction.
as well as being cruel in the name of 'truth'
What a wonderful distinction to learn. Would that as many children as possible could learn this as the feelings begin to arise in their childhood!
But just because we then learned it wrong doesn't mean we can't now learn it right.
Thank you, Diane
I am thinking that, with regard to the assertion: "But these are MY feelings and I get to express them!" -- well, when you say something about someone else, that is not your feeling. Your feeling is how you are feeling, not what someone else has done.
So... saying a hurtful thing about someone is NOT, to be precise, an expression of your feeling. That is one part of why it is not helpful. There is a mistaken belief that you have accessed and expressed your feeling, but in fact you have covered up your own feeling by attacking the other person.
An expression of your feelings would address what is happening inside yourself. "I am afraid of..." "I expect loss..." "I am sad..." even "I am angry..." But if your statement addresses anything someone else is, or says, or does, that is not an expression of your feeling.
Attacking others is a way of AVOIDING your own feelings.