Sometimes when I ask people in therapy how they are, they tell me what they’re not feeling.
“I’m not feeling sad.”
“I am not angry.”
“I didn’t feel embarrassed when he said that.”
“That didn’t bother me.”
When we find ourselves talking or thinking like this, it is worth asking yourself whether the opposite is actually closer to the case.
“I’m feeling sad.”
“I felt embarrassed.”
“That bothered me.”
The tendency in our culture to deny feelings runs deep. When we feel sad or angry, we feel ashamed of having these feelings known, sometimes even by ourselves. We have been taught that it isn’t safe to let ourselves express the simple truth of what we feel. So, especially when you find yourself denying a particular feeling, ask yourself, why am I denying that particular feeling? Am I actually feeling what I am denying feeling?
You may be surprised how often this is the case.
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