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Articles on Love
Working with Charged or Upset Feelings
We yearn for a relationship that makes us feel uplifted.
Many people define a good relationship as the presence of positive feelings and the absence of negative ones...
However, relationships do present us with challenges from time to time. This comes with the territory. And in times of challenge it is likely that charged or upset feelings will enter the picture.
There are many occasions where relationship problems or differences lead to a variety of upset feelings. We may feel angry, frustrated, irritated, hurt, sad, resentful, afraid, ashamed, condeming, or a range of other negative feelings.
If these feelings are strong, the chances are very good that past sensitivities or wounds have become activated and are adding into our emotional mix. Such unhealed issues from our past take our negative feelings to new heights.
How each individual faces and handles their negative feelings will determine how a relationship fares over time. The way in which we deal with our upsets is a key element in the longterm success or failure of a relationship.
Ultimately, if couples have no positive way to resolve negative feelings, good feelings get blocked and they will settle into longterm dissatisfaction or simply split up.
Unfortunately, many of us have poor training to deal with negative feelings. Most of us are in need of some new tools, which can help us transform our own negative feelings instead of making that our partner's responsibility.
Outer vs. Inner Tools
Most relationship skills currently taught by counselors have to do with improving communication. These are "outside" tools used to change the impact you have in the world around you.
Less understood and less used are vital "inside" tools.
If a relationship begins to be plagued with negativity, the driving force that keeps pushing it downhill is unresolved emotional upset. If this upset is not transformed or shifted, communication skills alone will fail to turn things around.
Upset emotions live within us. They are best transformed using "inside" tools.
I find that in my work as a relationship coach, the most positive growth occurs when couples start learning "inside" tools for healing and tranforming negative feelings.
Stop Looking for Solutions Outside
When upset, we usually focus on what needs to change outside of ourselves. We want the other person or the situation to change so we can feel better inside.
This "outside" approach typically fails. So our negative feelings continue to build. After an upsetting event we rehash things in our mind or rehearse what to say or do next. This keeps us upset, even makes us more upset.
If our attention is placed on the outer event and the other person, this keeps us from transforming our own inner world. We may not realize theres a way to directly work with, soothe, heal and shift our inner feelings.
Feelings live within us. To transform them we must first place our attention within our inner world.
There is a growing awareness today that a key to relationship happiness is taking personal responsibility for who we are and how we feel. In support of this, I emphasize teaching people new and powerful "inside" tools to help them calm, soothe and heal their own inner feelings. These are tools that have been known and used for thousands of years and are being rediscovered by psychologists today.
Ultimately, its your world there within you. Why not learn all you can to take the best possible care of it?
When upset, you may want changes to happen outside, from your partner. Such changes may truly be desirable. Regardless, consider the following:
Relationship is an "Inside Job"
This means we will never succeed in relationship if we do not master our own inner feelings and learn to soothe, heal and calm what comes up inside of us.
When we finally wake up to the possibility of taking inner care of our emotional upsets then we can make changes that will profoundly affect our outside world of relationships. When we give up blaming others, and trying to change who they are so we can feel better, the outside world of relationships can shift in a positive direction.
This is a paradox. To change a relationship, the change starts within you.
I am not suggesting that you should allow people to behave in a way that does not work for you. On the contrary, you are responsible to assert healthy personal boundaries, and to constructively communicate what works for you.
In making the statement that relationship is an "inside job" I encourage you to learn to work with your upset feelings. When you do this, you end destructive emotional entanglement and show up in a healthy, powerful way. That feels good! And it changes everything on the outside for the better.
We Learned How to Get Upset
The ways we emotionally react, suffer and get upset are not preordained. They are not set in stone. They are learned in childhood. As adults, we can now learn new ways to respond.
By the time we are eight years old, we have learned what "should" upset us and how we should react with anger, jealousy, insecurity, avoiding conflict, withdrawing from emotions, getting hysterical, feeling trapped, fearing abandonment, resentment, and all the other reactions we suffer.
Many of the problems in adult relationships directly reflect this childhood training. It is literally as if we are still driven by an "inner six year old" when it comes to love.
Most of this upset and suffering is unnecessary.
And there is good news. Since the ways we tend to react and suffer were learned in childhood this means that we can now learn healthier ways to respond.
If you are committed to changing yourself from the inside, you can learn to vastly reduce your tendencies to get upset or react the way you usually do. With practice over time, you can achieve powerful, positive results.
Consider committing to take charge of your inner life, to learn the right tools and to use them. Learn how to hold onto who you truly are, regardless of the stress of your circumstances or how poorly others may be acting.
Do this and you will grow enormously and as a byproduct of that growth, you will have the power to create and sustain a lasting successful relationship.
|©2011 John Grey • Relationship Blog • Site
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