“I have a very simple system I use in counseling for getting to the real emotion underlying a situation. When someone is confused and using “I feel” as the prelude to a thought, (rather than relating an actual feeling) I simply ask, “And how does that make you feel?” So, if someone says, “It makes me feel like he doesn’t care about me,” I say, “And how does that make you feel?” They might answer, “It makes me feel like he lives in his own world.” “And how does that make you feel?”
Eventually, we will “drill down”, as they say in computer lingo, to the core emotion. “It makes me feel angry,” for instance. For some reason, most of us think there might be quite a few emotions, but in reality there are very few, and most, it seems, are variations of anger and sadness. We can use this technique on ourselves, and keep asking the question, “And how does that make me feel?” to get to the core of what we are really feeling as well as refocusing on ourselves.
The reason that it is important for us to know the exact feeling(s) we are experiencing is because our feelings are where our truth resides. When we want to connect with others we need to speak our truth. To do this we will need to know exactly the emotion(s) we are feeling or have felt, because emotion is the place where our truth joins that of others.”
John Earle, in “Waking Up”
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