There are going to be people who feel comfortable expressing every emotion on the spectrum and then there are going to be others who are not in the same position. When someone does feel comfortable with their emotions, they are not going to deny how they feel.
This will allow them to not only be honest with themselves; they can also be honest with others. And during those moments when it is best for them to keep their feelings to themselves, they can still acknowledge how they feel.
When someone is in touch with how they feel, it doesn’t mean they will always let other people know. This is because it is not always going to be appropriate for them to do this, and this is why they will need to think as well as feel.
Their ability to contain their emotional experience will allow them to embrace how they feel. It is then not necessary for them to suppress or to vent, and this will give them the chance to own their emotional experience.
The Other Side
Alternatively, when someone doesn’t feel comfortable expressing certain emotions, they are going to end up denying how they feel. On one side, they won’t be able to express how they feel to others, and on the other, they might end up being out of touch with how they feel.
Their focus is then not going to be on their own needs, it is going to be on doing everything they can to please others. Maintaining a certain image will be what matters, and even though this is their priority, it doesn’t mean they are completely aware of what they are doing.
The Build Up
If they felt comfortable with their own feelings, they would think about other people’s feelings; but this is not going to be something that defines their life. It will be balanced out by their own needs, and this will stop them from having to lose themselves in the process.
Through constantly putting other people’s needs before their own, it is likely to mean that their feelings will build-up within them. This can then cause them to feel weighed down and unable to do what they need to do in life.
Out of Control
And if they do express how they feel, it might not be possible for them to experience self-control, and this is because their reactions can end up being way out of proportion. If this happens, it might be hard for the people around them to work out why they are behaving as they are.
On one side, they may say that they are acting out of character, and on the other, they may say that they are over reacting. However, if they were to take a closer look, they might see that how they usually present themselves is not who they really are.
There are certain emotions that are seen as acceptable and then there are others that are not seen in the same way. For example, it is often seen as acceptable for men to be angry and for women to be sad.
And along with this, people can feel the need to be happy and to cover up their true feelings. It is then not acceptable for them to be sad and they will always need to have a smile plastered over their face.
However, both men and women can find it hard to express their anger, and this can set them up to experience all kinds of problems. They may end up disconnecting from this emotion, and if they were to express it, they may end up feeling guilty.
Although anger is an emotion that is often seen a negative, it is neither negative nor positive. When someone gets angry, there is a strong chance that they have been violated or compromised.
If it wasn’t for their anger, they wouldn’t know that something was wrong, and this is why people who disconnect from their anger often end up being walked over, for instance. The feedback they need in order to realise what is taking place is not available.
The trouble with emotions is that they don’t always reflect reality, and so if someone feels guilty for being angry, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have done something wrong. It might just come down to the fact that they have been conditioned to believe that anger is bad.
When someone gets angry, it doesn’t mean they have to lose all self-control and to cause harm; they can contain how they feel. This means that they are in touch with how they feel and at the same time, they can still think clearly.
A Deeper Look
If someone ends up feeling guilty whenever they get angry, they may have become accustomed to feeling this way, and they can then come to the conclusion that there is nothing they can do. Yet, no matter how long they have been this way, there is a reason why they are experiencing life in this way.
The reason they are like this is likely to be the result of what took place during their early years. When they expressed their anger, there is a strong chance that they were punished in some way as opposed to being encouraged to express themselves.
Disconnecting from their anger was then not something they chose to do; it was something they had to do in order to survive. And because of how the people around them responded to their anger, it would have been normal for them to form a negative relationship with this emotion.
As they were not allowed to be angry, this would have meant that their need to be heard wasn’t met, and this would have caused them to feel rejected. For them to feel comfortable with their anger they will need to realise that there is nothing wrong with this emotion and they may need to mourn their unmet childhood needs.
This is something that can take place with the assistance of a therapist and/or a support group.
With Love Jim Villamor
Guilt is the feeling that results when you tell yourself that you have done something wrong.
Healthy guilt is the feeling that occurs when you have actually done something wrong – such as deliberately harming someone. This is an important feeling, which results from having developed a conscience – a loving adult self who is concerned with your highest good and the highest good of all. People who never developed a conscience and feel no guilt or remorse over harming others are called sociopaths. These people have no loving adult self and can wreck havoc – stealing, raping, killing – without ever feeling badly about it.
Healthy guilt results in taking responsibility for our choices and being accountable for our actions. When we have not behaved in a way that is in our highest good and the highest good of all, our loving adult self will feel remorse and take over, doing whatever we have to do to remedy the situation.
Unhealthy guilt results from telling yourself that you have done something wrong when you haven’t actually done something wrong. For example, if you decide to do something for yourself with no intent to harm anyone, and someone gets upset with you for doing what you want instead of doing what he or she wants, what do you tell yourself? Here are some of the inner statements that can lead to unhealthy guilt:
“It’s my fault that he is feeling angry.”
“I should have done what she wanted instead of what I wanted. I have caused her to feel hurt.”
“I’m being selfish in doing what I want to do.”
“It’s my duty to put myself aside and do what others want me to do.”
“If he gets angry with me, then I must have done something wrong.”
“If she is hurt, then I must have done something wrong.”
Many of us have been trained to believe that we are responsible for others’ feelings, so that when others are angry or hurt, it is our fault. But unless you deliberately intended to harm someone, his or her feelings are not your responsibility. Others get hurt when they take your behavior personally, and they get angry when they make you responsible for their feelings. But this does not mean that you are responsible for their feelings.
You are responsible for your own intent. When you intend to harm someone, then you are responsible for the results of that. But when you just want to take care of yourself with no intent to harm anyone – such as wanting some time alone when your partner wants to spend time with you – then you are not responsible for your partner’s upset.
Unhealthy guilt comes from telling yourself a lie. When the wounded, programmed critical part of you takes over and tells you that doing what you want with no intent to harm anyone is wrong, that is when you will feel unhealthy guilt. This critical part of you wants to control how others feel about you, and so tells you the lie that you are responsible for others’ feelings.
Unhealthy guilt also arises when someone blames you for his or her feelings and you take on the blame. Many people have learned to blame others for their feelings rather than take responsible for their own feelings. When you accept this blame, it is because you want to believe that you can control others’ feelings. You will feel unhealthy guilt when you accept blame for others’ feelings.
Healthy guilt is an important feeling and leads to positive action, but unhealthy guilt is a waste of energy. Learning and developing a devoted Inner Bonding practice heals the lies of the wounded self and moves you beyond the experience of unhealthy guilt.
With Love Jim Villamor