When anger attacks you, you need to give yourself a little psychological air
The importance of invisible friends
Episode One: Dealing With Overwhelming Emotions
Or what do you do when you feel overwhelmed by an emotion.
I closed my eyes and thought, “I need you”, I didn’t even have to click my shoes and knock three times. They were there instantly.
“Tell us,” I heard from deep within.
“Before I tell you, I just want to make sure,” I said to the voices. “I know you said I could call them at any time, but doesn’t talking alone drive me a little crazy?”
“No,” was the reply. “Children do it all the time, but adults learn to overcome it because their culture demands it. Talking to yourself can be extraordinarily healthy. It allows you to give yourself something you need so badly. Psychological air.“
“Like when you are suddenly overwhelmed by an emotion like you are now.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, you can’t convince yourself that you don’t feel what you feel, just as you can’t convince someone else not to feel what they feel. Instead, you need to dig into that emotion and find out what the emotion is trying to say. You. You need to bring the emotion out into the open and give it air. Talking to yourself can help give it that air. “
“So how does that work?”
“Do you know that listening process we talked about in your book? The one that helps people better understand and process their emotions?”
“Yes, it is where instead of offering advice that might not be necessary, you use questions to reflect and understand their emotions.”
“Well, talking to yourself does the same thing, except you’re actually giving yourself the physiological air. By happy coincidence, it’s also a much better read. So why did you call?”
I took a deep breath and started. “Someone, who will remain anonymous, has just told me something that hurts so much, it makes me want to throw something away. I know that what people say about me is not about me. Belief Y Reflection taught me that. I’m trying to take responsibility for my emotions like Responsibility suggests. I tried to refocus my thoughts like Focus recommends, but what do you do when someone says something so deliberately hurtful that none of those other things work? “
“Tell us what this person said.”
“Well she said, ‘I’m really disappointed in you. He then listed a bunch of things he had done when he was half asleep, and then ended by saying: ‘It’s like you do it on purpose‘. “
“And his words hurt you?”
“Yes, they were unfair. I did not do it do it on purpose. I admit I was still half asleep when she needed my help. I also admit that when I wake up like this, I purposely try to stay groggy because it’s easier for me to go back to sleep, but after all, someone else was awake. They called me to help them help her. I was in a backup. I assumed everything was settled and went back to bed. But he shouldn’t have assumed it. I should have woken up more. I should make sure their cups were filled with water, that I turned the fan back on, that I hadn’t left the phone on the table. But I didn’t do it on purpose. “
“Is that why you are so angry?”
“Usually I can let statements like that slip away. But this time I just realized. I don’t know why I feel so angry. That is why I have come to you.”
“Your feelings are trying to tell you something. What are they trying to tell you?”
“They are telling me that what he said was thoughtless and unfair.”
“No, what is the physical feeling?”
“A hole in my stomach,” I struggled to explain. “Like this dark ball of energy that pulls me down and destroys my focus. It’s all repressed and needs to go somewhere.”
“Why do you think he said what he did?”
“It’s his way of getting me in shape.”
“Give body to thought.”
“She has always done that, even when we were kids. She would flare up, tell us how unhappy we made her, and then shut herself in, while we all walked around in eggshells trying to make up for our faults. She would break down. I know she does it like a form of discipline. It’s his way of asking for a change, or getting his way. “
“When she does this, how do you react?”
“I shut down and say nothing because I know that anything I say will only make it worse.”
“You mean you let it sit in the pit of your stomach?”
“You know what to do when people say something hurtful. We wrote a whole book about it. You put them in context. You turn the other cheek. You try to understand what they are really trying to communicate. You already know all the logical tools necessary to deal with the behavior. limiting. So you need to rephrase your question. What you are really trying to figure out is what you do when you have a dark ball of energy pushing you down, destroying your focus, and you need to go somewhere so much that you want to throw something away.
“Then what do I do?”
“Listen to that hole in your stomach. Explore it. When you understand it, it will disappear.”
“I’m not sure I know what you mean.”
“What are the specific words that feel unfair and create that hole in your stomach?”
“That I disappointment her, and what did I do in purpose. “
“Are you sure you didn’t do it on purpose?”
“Yeah! She doesn’t even think I did it on purpose. She only said that to twist the knife.”
“So are you really mad that she said you let her down?”
“Yes,” I replied. The dark mass in my stomach growled in agreement. “And it’s not fair for her to say such a thing.”
“Because it shouldn’t be my job to live up to her expectations, even if I care about her.”
“A logical answer,” said a voice. “However, emotions are rarely logical.”
Reflection’s face came into view. “Listen to what you just said. Use the tools we have learned and reflect your words so that you can be heard clearly.”
Responsibility joined her. “Look first to see if the thought is empowering or limiting.”
I frowned. “Should not they are limiting words, so thinking is probably limiting. “
I saw the Explorer right behind them. “Ask yourself how thought could be limiting.” the suggested. “Ask the question and let me fly with it.”
“Okay,” I took a deep breath. The dark mass in my stomach gurgled. “So I said, ‘It shouldn’t be my job to live up to her expectations, even if I care about her.’ When i look at the word should not, the word is hard to replace, so I guess it belongs there. I must have a belief that has been limiting me. I seem to have a conflict between what feel should be and what i think It should be. I look like think that it shouldn’t be my responsibility to live up to your expectations, but you also seem to feel that it is my responsibility to live up to your expectations. I guess what really bothers me is that I’ve done my job to live up to their expectations, and I don’t like the job. “As I put my discovery into words, I felt the knot in my stomach heave. I sigh of relief. .
“So now that we’ve defined the problem,” the Navigator smiled taking a step forward. “Do we design a strategy for the future?”
A voice yelled, “You need to clarify expectations.”
The Navigator nodded, “Your fair use of the word,” he told me. “It seems to imply that you feel things are out of balance. Do you agree?”
“Yes,” I nodded.
“Have you made your expectations clear to him?”
“No,” I admitted.
“Are your expectations clear to you?”
Not really, I thought. “Not in this case.”
“Therefore, the first step in our strategy should be you to clarify you Expectations. Do you expect her to change? “
“No,” I snorted.
“Do you hope that the people who help you take care of her will change?”
“No,” I huffed again.
“Do you expect it to happen again?”
“Well, since I’m not your idea of perfect, I probably am.”
“Do you want to be his idea of perfect?”
“Not really. But I don’t want to disappoint her either.”
“So I guess it’s my anger,” I said thoughtfully. “It has less to do with what he said and more to do with my inner conflict. Sound good?”
“Sounds good,” he replied. “Resolve the conflict, remove the emotional trigger.”
“So how do I resolve the conflict?”
“Redefine work,” said a voice.
Faith stepped forward. “You said, ‘I guess what really bothers me is that I have set out to live up to their expectations, and I don’t like the job.. You need to clarify your expectations of yourself. Redefine the job into one you want it to be, and then learn to live up to your own expectations. That way, his words will lose the power to hurt you. And you can love her again as much as you do. “
I smiled. “You know I think you’re right.” My face creased at the thought and I added, “You know, I also think you answered my other question.”
“The one about what I can do when I’m overwhelmed by an emotion.”
“What was our response?”
My smile turned into a laugh, “I summon you and I give myself a little Psychological air.“