Sharing Emotions – Emotional Pro

April 18th, 2006

It’s come up more than once in the past week, so it’s time to revisit this topic again!
Many years ago, as part of my healing as a “Recovering Angry Person,” I realized that whenever I feel angry (and especially the hurt that is always underneath), I must deal with it, upfront. If I don’t, it will create terrible havoc in my life. I learned to share it as the hurt I was feeling, rather than dump the anger that was on top, as I had done in previous years. Yet, the people in relationship with me were asked to help me with the hurt I experienced in certain situations, so that I could resolve it, learn, change and grow. I wasn’t sure if it was “just me” that needed to deal with that anger/hurt the minute I became aware of it, or if it was also important to others.
This past week, my conclusion is that it is also important to others! What has come to my attention is a “scene” from the “human movie” that has the same ingredients, yet occurred in three different relationships. Here is the scene. 1) Partner #1 does or says something which hurts or angers Partner #2. 2) Partner #2, either by deciding not to deal with it or by not realizing the emotions have been stimulated, says nothing to Partner #2. 3) At some later date, totally unrelated to the original hurt/anger, Partner #2 becomes immensely upset with Partner #1, in some cases to the point of abuse, such as declaring Partner #1 mentally ill, blaming Partner #1 for being disrespectful, turning up the television (in the bedroom) full blast in the middle of the night while simultaneously nabbing the remote and hiding it, blaming Partner #1 because “you started it” but without being able to identify what “it” is, etc. 4) Manipulative behavior reins, wherein Partner #2 wants “something” from Partner #1, but does not know what it is and cannot ask for it directly, even when requested, and in the meantime “baits” the other person so as to involve them in an argument. 5) If the Partners have the skills, they work this scenario out themselves, knowledgeably seeking the point of original upset, which is hidden; if the Partners do not have the skills, they seek professional help due to the intensity of the upset in the relationship.
In other words, the principles I tout in my therapy sessions, writing, seminars and speeches are correct. For example, When you hold emotions inside, they tend to grow, “Stuffing” anger eventually creates an explosion. I’ve been thinking about how much misery there is in marriages, between parents and children, and in our world (between countries?), merely because people choose to “stuff” anger and hurt, rather than taking the risk to be vulnerable in sharing, especially the hurt. The scope is enormous.
Three times this week, as you go through your life, pick one thing you feel angry (hurt) about, and share the hurt with the other person involved. Be careful of your intent: do this merely to get the angry energy up and out of you, not to get any change or behavior from the other person involved. If you can’t share directly with that person, write your anger/hurt down (and don’t send it, hide it away for three days and then destroy it). You can also depict your feelings with color and line in some sort of simple art work. If you write on the computer, don’t keep this statement on your hard drive!
See what happens. Write me about what happens for you. Peace.

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