When we are dealing with feelings, it is important to acknowledge the feelings of those around us – those they express as well as those they try to hide. In the next blog post I will show you some ways of helping both others and ourselves with our feelings
The simple act of listening acknowledges the reality of the way someone feels, and sends out a message that says ‘you’re important’. Being listened to makes people feel the way we would like to feel ourselves. If it is important to acknowledge the feelings of the adults around us, the way we deal with the feelings of the children in our lives can have far reaching consequences, as we have already seen.
In addition to the way we feel, other patterns of response we exhibit as adults were probably learned as children. For example, a dislike of insects probably came from the reaction of a parent or a significant other in our lives when we were young. We watched others react in a certain way, and because of our love and respect for that person, we ‘believed’ their reaction, and adopted it as our own. Some of these patterns were very subtle, while others may have been quite overt, and in the form of clear messages, as we discussed in the previous section.
There are two things to be learned from this. In the first place, if we have children, or deal with children in any way, we can cultivate an awareness of the way they express their feelings. We can consciously ‘allow’ them to have their own feelings and not ‘give’ them ones that actually belong to us. It is equally important to do this in relation to the adults in our lives. It is very easy to get into negative patterns with those close to us, such as partners or parents, where we don’t allow or acknowledge the way they feel, or want to impose our views or feelings onto them.
Secondly, by gaining the awareness that our original patterns of response were learned in the first place, we discover that we are able to change the ones we don’t particularly like, and that we can keep the ones we do like. As we saw, and have hopefully been practising, it is possible to choose how, or in fact whether we express a particular emotion. There is also the choice of changing response patterns we do not like by our awareness that most of our patterns were learned in the first place, and can therefore be changed.
There are many things that will help you in Sue’s book “Peace of Mind – Pathways to Successful Living”. Download chapter 1 free now!