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Feelings and Needs

Here's a question that clients often pose: "What good does it do me to talk about my feelings?" 

Our feelings act as our guidance system.  They protect us from harm when someone is hurting us.  They bring others closer when we need support.  Ideally, we should use our feelings to guide us through our interactions with our loved ones.The most common mistake I see in communication is that clients seem out of touch with what they are feeling in the moment.  So they may inadvertently push the other person away when they really want to bring the other person closer.  Our feelings can actually impede communication unless we can feel them in the moment and own them in relationship.

Feelings are our body's sensations.  They are ephemeral and designed to only last for the moment.  But the minute that we deny our feelings or don't give them a voice, they get more powerful and insistent.  Ironically, if you don't talk about your feelings, the more emotion will cloud your decision-making process.  You certainly won't be able to listen and be present with the other person.  Your fear or anger will consume you, and you will build a case against the other person, trying to prove your point.  If you feel the need to "be right" in relationship, chances are good that the feelings are owning you ... and you are not owning your feelings.