Unto Thy Self? STOP IT!
I encountered an individual the other night that I’ve done some work with. This individual had not had a good day. The reasons made sense and the individual spoke of their behaviour. We were talking about the triggers and drivers. The individual then made a statement that sent my mind in to pique. Yes I can do that, be inwardly having a major fit and not display outwardly. The individual hit one of my rules in a way that is not of the norm. The individual invalidated their own feelings.
Invalidating feelings is one of the big taboos with me. You do not ever invalidate someone’s feelings. That is rule three in my Rules Of Life*. Rule nine also comes in to play big time! You can use the link to peruse the rules for yourself.
Don’t ever invalidate someone’s feelings
How ever ridiculous or silly or wrong or misplaced you may think someone’s feelings are, they aren’t. You tell someone they shouldn’t feel the way they do and you are headed for a world of trouble. You may wind up wishing you had been eaten by a bear.
It is good and helpful to say something like, “I’m sorry you feel that way” or “I wish you didn’t feel like that”.
If you find yourself going around and around on the same feeling with a friend or loved one it also helpful to point out the number of times you’ve talked about that feeling and you’re wondering why that feeling remains as is without change.
The person I was speaking with had said a bit earlier in the conversation that day was their birthday. The individual then stated, “I shouldn’t be upset should I, it’s only a stupid birthday right”. The person was looking right at me when they made the statement and I could see in the eyes that the statement was also a search for validation.
Feelings being invalidated are for me akin to the Bat Signal lighting up the sky! I don the cape and scowl and race to the rescue. You read correctly, SCOWL. I put the scowl on, and out, on purpose, with purpose.
When I start to talk the tone and inflection are harder, tougher, more direct. A contrived attention getter with style**.
My coming up like that had the desired effect. The individual I was speaking with focused in on me and what I was conveying. I reminded the person we had had the conversation before regarding invalidating feelings. I said again what I had said previously in our workings that no matter what anyone else may think of your feelings, they are real and they are important.
We followed the invalidating your own feelings path. How by doing it to yourself it is worse than when someone else invalidates your feelings.
So what goes on when you take from your own feeling self? You’re clearly giving yourself the worst of it. Whether you articulate it or not you know it. No matter what you outwardly display, you know it.
Should you find yourself stuck in the place of rationalizing and justifying to ease your emotional burden, talk to someone.
I’ll finish this up with what I started with and you can do it, STOP IT.
G.R. Hambley ©
Certified Professional Coach
* The Rules Of Life Annotated
** A Slice Of Life Of A Life Coach