i strive for intimate communication and relationships. as i see it, there two parts to intimate communication; the first is an emotion and the second is the situation. they don’t necessarily have to be in that order though. let me give some examples.
- my friend did not call as i asked, so i feel angry.
- i feel excited because my team won an important game.
- i feel sad because i lost my pet.
- i did well on my test so i feel joyous.
- i am upset because i got written up at work.
- i feel trusted because you turned to me.
i have noticed a difference with how pick-me-up and bring-me-down emotions are handled. when pick-me-up emotions are involved, people are willing to join in on the emotion and celebration. for the most part, there is no need or desire to visit the situation. it is easy to feel excited when someone expresses happiness. with bring-me-down emotions people tend to turn from the emotion to the situation. your sad? what’s wrong? how can we make it better? how can we make you happy again? maybe the emotion causes great fear, so, many people turn the emotion into a problem to be solved. in the process, the person experiencing the emotion can feel like their emotion got run over by a freight train. their emotion remains unaddressed.
this is a problem i experience often. after my emotion gets decimated by an exchange, i feel crushed. if i’m lucky, i recover in hours. unfortunately for me, right now, it’s more like days. the emotion never really gets a chance to get out so it stays inside gnawing away like a ravenous worm.
last night, i pondered the question,”how can i get my needs met with bring-me-down emotions? how can they be heard? how can i have a better chance to get the comfort i so desire when it comes to bring-me-down emotions?” an answered seemingly came from no where and popped into my head.
for starters, how about letting the feeling stand on its own? who says the emotion needs a situation? the situation gives people something to bond to avoid the emotion.
i’m afraid or sad or disappointed. the emotion now scarily stands on its own.
with the situation gone, the other person could be grasping at air, wondering what to do. they could try to get the situation back where they want it,”why are you afraid or sad or disappointed?” don’t fall for it. the emotion can stand on its own…with your help.
it’s time to offer some loving direction.
help me. (pause) help me to be with this feeling. (pause) help me to not feel bad or wrong because i have this feeling. (pause). help me to know i’m still accepted and love. i know you can’t do it perfectly, but help me.
extra credit for the over achievers out there; you know who you are. 🙂 practice this on yourself. be willing to love and accept yourself like you expect others to love and accept you. i tried it; i found it to be powerfully calming to the bring-me-down emotion.
like me, don’t expect miracles. it will take time and practice for this to work. hopefully with the time, practice and work, a truce with the bring-me-down emotions can be reached. and with time, practice and work, some of the underlying wounds can begin to heal. that’s my hope for me. that’s my hope for you.