When you share your feelings with a person you are upset with, do they get defensive? Do you sometimes feel trapped when someone is blaming you for his or her feelings? Do you struggle with knowing when to communicate with your partner about a problem and when to disengage? Discover when it is helpful to share your feelings, and when it’s controlling.
Hi everyone. This is dr. Margaret Paul with the Inner Bonding podcast. Did I want to talk about, I’m a topic that people often ask me about, about When to share your feelings. How does share your feelings is your name is Sharing Your Feelings a loving thing to do for yourself and others, or is it a Controlling thing to do? And of course that depends upon your intention, but we’ve often been told by therapist’s and books, share your feelings, share your feelings without really paying attention to the intention behind Sharing Your Feelings.
Umm, so you know, think about times you’ve shared your feelings with somebody and they’ve gotten defensive. They, they haven’t heard you or somebody has been sharing their feelings with you and you feel, you feel kind of trapped and okay. So think about whether you’ve ever said to your partner or a friend, something like, you know, I’m really angry with you or I’m feeling so hurt by what you said to me or I’m very disappointed in you or right now I’m feeling very irritated with you.
So when you, you say things like that, you are Sharing Your Feelings but what happens? How, how do people generally respond to statements like that? Think about it. Do they get defensive? Do they get angry? Do they withdraw Do they lecture and explained things to you are trying to talk you out of your feelings. Do they become people pleasers trying to fix your feelings or are they open and curious? So most of the time with that kind of statement, they’re going to respond with some kind of protective defensive behavior because they’re feeling attacked and blamed and made responsible for your feelings.
So it’s important to understand why they would feel blamed by your expression of feelings. You know, like I said, we’ve been told that it’s good to express our feelings. And what when I said is that what’s often left out, is your intention in expressing your feelings? So when someone has done something, that’s upsetting to you, the question to ask yourself when you’re Sharing Your Feelings with that person is what is my intent in sharing my feelings with this person.
And there are a number of possible answers to this question. So one of them is I’m sharing my feelings just to give some information. The other is I’m sharing my feelings to blame the person for causing my feelings. Another is I’m sharing my feelings because I need help them from the other person. The other is I’m sharing my feelings because I wanna learn. So if you’re Sharing Your Feelings to give information, you might say I’m feeling angry with you. So I’m going out for a walk and try and deal with it.
Now notice the difference between that and just saying, I’m feeling angry with you. That’s obviously a blame, but I’m feeling angry with you. You are stating your feelings, but you’re taking responsibility. You’re going to do something about it. You’re going out for a walk and you’re going to try and deal with your feelings and you’re just letting your partner or somebody else know. If you were, if you were actually taking responsibility for your feelings, you might not even say anything about your feelings. So the other person you might go inside and to explore what your telling yourself that is causing you to feel angry or hurt or disappointed or irritated.
You might share information such as I’m feeling stressed. So I’m going to take a bath C that’s a sharing of information is different than blaming. If you are open to learning with the other person, you might say I’m feeling angry and hurt by what you said to me, but there must be a good reason you said it. And I’d really like to understand, see that opens the door. You are Sharing Your Feelings but you’re open. You want to understand what’s really going on. But if you just say I’m angry with you or you hurt my feelings, then you’re not taking responsibility for your feelings.
You’re just dumping your feelings on the other person. And it’s likely that that person will feel blamed, but you might be thinking, but he did make me angry or she did hurt my feelings or he did disappoint me. And behind this statement, these statements is a major false belief. The belief that others cause your wounded feelings, such as her anger hurt, disappointment, anxiety, depression, guilt, shame, jealousy, and so on.
Now other people can cause your, your deeper existential painful feelings of, of loneliness, heartbreak, grief, and helplessness over others, but not the wounded feelings that I just mentioned that come from what you’re telling yourself about why they did what they did or said what they said to you. That that’s what it is, what we’re telling ourselves about it. That causes the wounded feelings. So it’s not what the other person says or does that causes your wounded feelings, but your expectations and what you tell yourself about another person’s behavior that causes your painful wounded feelings.
So like if you expected a birthday gift, a gift and you didn’t get one, you’re going to feel disappointed. But it’s your expectation that caused the disappointment. If someone ignores you or rejects you, what do you tell yourself? Do you tell yourself you’re not good enough? You’re not lovable enough. This is actually what will hurt you or make you feel angry. You’re going to feel hurt and angry. When you allow yourself to take others’ behavior.
Personally, if your then if you then blame them for your feelings, you’re being a victim rather than taking responsibility for having taken their behavior personally. So other people will likely feel manipulated blame and controlled. When you make a statement such as I’m angry with you, or I’m feeling hurt by what you said, the other person then says, well, that’s your problem or responds with anger, defensiveness, or withdrawal.
And then you respond with, I’m just sharing my feelings. The interaction can obviously escalate and get really convoluted. Next time you share your feelings with it. And the other person gets angry, defensive or withdrawn would be helpful to take a moment to investigate your own intention. The chances are you are covertly blaming the other person, right for your Feelings. Okay.
Once you discover that this is what you’re doing, disengaged from the interaction and do an Inner Bonding process to explore how you might be causing your own feelings. What are you telling yourself? And how are you treating yourself? That’s causing your upsetting wounded feelings. You are going to discover that your interactions with others greatly improve when you stop being a victim by blaming others for your feelings and start to take responsibility for your own feelings through your Inner Bonding prep.
And it does what if your at the other end of the system, as my client, Darren was when Darren’s his wife, Kelly would say, let’s talk tonight. Darren felt like a deer in the headlights. Darren knew from past experience that let’s talk mint. Let’s talk about what you’re doing wrong and about how you’re not meeting my needs and about how hurt and unloved I feel was not. The Darren was a closed man far from it.
He would’ve loved to talk with Kelly about her own learning experiences and, and about his, he would have loved to talk if he felt her openness and caring about herself and about him. But he hated talking with her when he knew that her focus was to get him, to validate her and make her feel secure. And he knew from the tone of her voice that she was feeling abandoned due to her own and that she was projecting this abandonment on to him.
So he would feel trapped when Kelly said, let’s talk. He said, yes. He knew that they would end up in a fight. If he said, no, he knew Kelly would be furious at him, accusing him of being closed and not working on their marriage. And Darren had never learned how to manage the loneliness and the heartbreak he felt when Kelly not only didn’t see him, but was angry and blaming toward him. So sometimes he would angrily walk away saying you didn’t want to talk.
And other times he would give in talking in the hopes that he could say the right thing that would pacify Cali, which of course never happened. So he said to me, it doesn’t work to talk in it. It doesn’t work not to talk.
And told me this, one of our Skype sessions, he says, I ended up feeling trapped and awful either way. I don’t know what to do. So Darren, I said to him, I know from past sessions that you feel lonely and heartbroken when Kelly doesn’t see what an open and loving man, you are like your, with your son’s and your friends. I know that you keep defending yourself to try and get her to see you. But obviously it never works. The real problem is that you’re not seeing yourself.
You’re not seeing your own feelings of loneliness and heartache. When Kelly treats you on lovingly and you’re not moving into compassion for your own Feelings, which means being very kind and very gentle towards yourself. Instead of doing that, you either give yourself up or you leave in anger. So both ways your, your, your not taking responsibility for your own feelings. And there’s no chance of Kelly seeing you when you’re not seeing yourself, when you’re not seeing your beautiful soul self.
If Darren learned to see himself and move into compassion for his own feelings, he would then be able to take Loving action for himself, which would be to disengage lovingly disengage from Kelly, without anger, engaging and talking with her only when he experienced her as being open to learning until Darren did this for himself, they are dysfunctional system would continue as it is with Kelly, putting Darren with Kelly, putting Darren on the defensive, pulling on him and Darren either giving in or resist.
So I said, Darren, the way out of this relationship trap is to be focused on taking loving care of yourself, of your own feelings, rather than trying to control Kelly by giving yourself up or leaving an anger. As long as you’re trying to convince her that your a good guy, and as long as you’re trying to get her approval or resisting being controlled by her, you are going to continue to feel trapped. It’s only when you give yourself the approval, the, the approval that your trying to get from her, that you’re going to feel any sense of emotional freedom.
So it’s not easy to move out of trying to control your partner or, or trying not to be controlled in, into a true Loving action toward yourself. But it is a powerful way out of a dysfunctional relationship system. The challenge for both sides of the dysfunctional relationship system is for each person to become aware of their intention. So think about this. How often are you aware of your intention?
Those of you who’ve been practicing Inner Bonding know the basis of the Inner Bonding process is the intention to learn about loving yourself and others. And that the only other intention is to try and protect and avoid with various kinds of controlling behavior. It’s the intent to learn that moves you out of your wounded ego self and into the connection with your essence and with your higher self it’s your intention to learn that activates your Loving adult state.
But since most of us have been practicing, being reactive from our wound itself, it’s not easy to remember it to open to learning, especially when fear is triggered in all relationships. It’s important to know when it’s Loving to you to talk with the other person and when it’s loving to you to disengage. So in my work with couples, I’m often asked shouldn’t I communicate with my partner about this shouldn’t we talk this over.
We’ve all been told to talk things over. So for example, my client ginger told me that her husband, Ron became demanding sexually, and it started to complain about not having enough sex. And when he did that, she felt sexually turned off. She would become defensive, explaining her Feelings her on over and over again, the hopes of getting him to stop. She hoped if she explained herself enough, he would understand that is demanding and complaining during her off.
Sometimes ginger thought there was something wrong with her sexually when she was not turned on. And other times she thought if only Ron was stopped and Manny and complaining everything would be okay yet, nothing changed, no amount of talking or explaining helped. So gender ginger and I discussed a new Loving action. She could take When wrong, complained about not having enough sex instead of defending and explaining, which was coming from her attempt to control him and not be controlled by him.
Ginger decided to just say, aha, with a compassionate tone. But she says, shouldn’t I tell him why I’m saying . So I said, why or why do you want to do that? And she said, I guess so that he won’t get upset with me. So I said, so you want to explain yourself when he had again, as a way to have control over, getting Ron to see you and understand you.
So ginger finally saw that much of her desire to quote communicate was really coming from her intention to control her husband. So she asked, well, when is it appropriate to talk about stuff? And I said, when your sharing your own new learning without an agenda to change, Ron, Sharing your own learning can lead to deeper intimacy while repeatedly explaining, defending his Sharing Your Feelings in order to control, generally leads to feeling distant from each other.
So when is it Loving to talk and when is it Loving to disengage you talk when it’s about sharing information or coming up with a plan, for example, it’s appropriate to tell your partner you’re going to be home late. That’s sharing information. It’s appropriate to discuss what you both want to do on Saturday night or what movie or you might want to C, or if you want to go to the party, you’re invited to this talk is about coming up with a plan that affects both of you. But if one partner gets Controlling about the information or the plan, that’s when you might want to stop talking and think about what action you need to take for yourself discussions when one or both partners or Controlling are always going to break down.
When Ron tries to control ginger with his demanding and complaining, and then ginger tries to get Ron to stop trying to control her and become open to learning with her defending and explaining they are going to get stuck because, and trying to get Ron to open and hear her. She’s also trying to control him now with both of them trying to control rather than learn. They just can’t get anywhere. So this is when you need to disengage, open yourself to learning about what you were feeling and take loving care of your own feelings.
Or the time to talk is when both people are open to learning and there’s no agenda to get the other person to change. The time to disengage is when you find that you’re feeling frustrated, sad, lonely, helpless, over the interaction. That’s when you need to remember it to lovingly disengage and do your own Inner Bonding work. Once you lovingly disengage and do your own and her work, then you might be able to go back to your partner or a friend or some other loved one.
And see if he or she is open to learning. You’re going to find that when both of you are open issues actually get very easily resolved. It’s so easy to resolve even longstanding issues. When both people are open to learning. Now, what happens if the other person never does open to learning? Well, when this is this, when this is the case, then you need to accept that you can’t resolve the conflict between you.
You can decide for yourself what you’re going to do regarding Loving action for yourself, but you have to accept your helplessness or, or the other person’s intention. If not having an open arena in which to resolve conflict, isn’t okay with you and you might need to consider ending the relationship. But before you do, it’s really important to do your own inner work and learn how to take responsibility for your own feelings.
And then see when the relationship is they see where the relationship is. You might be very surprised at what happens when you stop making your partner or others responsible for your feelings. Taking responsibility for your own feelings has a major effect on all your relationships. So I hope you all go to the Inner Bonding site.
Inner bonding.com a there’s so much free help or free course. And many other courses are love. Yourself course are wildly, deeply joyously in love relationship, of course. So many ways of helping you learn Inner Bonding and helping you in your relationships are a very in depth online program. SelfQuest is an amazing way to learn in her. Bonnie, if you like working on the computer, it’s a, it’s a very, very complete program that we’ll help you learn.
Inner Bonding in a very, very in depth way. So I hope you go to Inner bonding.com and take advantage of all the free and paid courses that we offer you. I send you my love and my blessings.