You are having strong feelings, let’s say you’re furious at someone who you think has done you wrong. Ideally, you’d use an “I feel” statement to to express how your feeling in a non-judgemental manner that is not insulting to the other party. Instead of cursing and screaming at the offending party (which may seem delightful at the moment), the less destructive yet more challenging option is to use “I feel” statement.
This could work for communicating with the person who you are angry at, but It also is a very effective way to make you feel better. If you trace and find the feeling you are feeling and “put a name to it”, you will likely feel less out of control.
Here is an experiment: Bring yourself to somewhere quiet. Close your eyes and start to gently go through your thoughts and feelings. Think “how did this person done that set me off?” What feeling is coming up to make me feel what I’m feeling? Not only happy or sad, mad, etc. Get a little more specific. Some examples: do you perhaps feel rejected, unworthy, blamed? Perhaps you feel guilty, selfish, alienaTed, misunderstood? There are many feelings that you could be feeling. Think of the person or situation that you’re dealing with at present as the stimulis that tapped into those feelings but not the cause. When you can know what these feelings are, you feel less out of control, your feelings become more manageable.
Marc Alter, LCSW, Licensed Psychotherapist
19 West 34th Street, Penthouse Suite