Own Your Feelings
I grew up with the message “you shouldn’t feel that way.” Don’t be angry, sad, disappointed, moody, unhappy. Be nice or God and people won’t like you. Smile, smile, smile. My father who was a kind loving man would never admit being angry. He raised his voice in what he called “righteous indignation” over politics, bad driving, and people being treated unfairly,
To avoid “not talking back” I would try to leave the room. My Dad would say, “Get that look off your face. Don’t leave this room. I want to see a smile.” Have you ever tried to smile when you were very angry? It feels like you will explode.
It has taken years for me to learn to identify, accept, and own my feelings, the first step to managing those feelings. Ask yourself what is going on for me? What am I feeling? Why am I so angry, sad, scared, annoyed, embarrassed? For good communication you must identify and own the feeling. Then you can tell your partner, “I am angry.” Don’t say, “You make me so angry!” Don’t try to explain why you are angry until you can figure it out. Then go back to your partner and talk without blame.
Respect each other’s feelings. Emotions are a part of each person’s private self. No one has the power to manufacture emotions. When you ask someone to give up ownership of his personal internal experiences, he can only pretend or repress. No relationship can become a soul mate relationship if one of the partners cannot accept the other without needing him/her to change.