Rage Inducing “Help”

I’ve been home since Jan. 3 and am finally starting to get a handle on the RAGE I felt when I got home after being “helped” – because what happened was not help cleaning up, it was taking away my agency and making decisions for me without asking me what my intentions were. And doing it in such a way that it could not be easily un-done. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, make sure you’re going the right way if you get to a one way door.

Don’t go through a one-way door unless you’re sure you never want to go back that way.

On the plus side hearing that my spouse understood it was wrong and stopped it from being worse than it was helped our relationship and to rebuild a bit of trust there.

I Feel

I was wondering this morning why “I feel ___ when ___, I need ___.” statements are so hard to use.

My first thought was that being honest means being vulnerable – which can be very hard for many of us. I’m very open about the facts of my life, but I realize I still struggle with sharing my feelings.

Side note, I recently read something about the difference between feelings and emotions.

Emotions, Feelings and…. Proteins? Oh my!

I found this great explanation of various theories of emotion:

List of Emotions: 271 Emotion Words (+ PDF) – The Berkeley Well-Being Institute (berkeleywellbeing.com)j

They don’t distinguish between emotions and feelings however.

This article does a great job of explaining the differences with references:

How to Measure Emotions and Feelings (And the Difference Between Them) (imotions.com)

The TLDR; is that emotions are reactions stemming from the amygdala in response to some input. Feelings are how we interpret those emotions or assign meaning to them in the prefrontal cortex.

Emotional responses last about 30-60 seconds in the body (TEDx source Mandy Saligari), feelings can cause the emotional response to get re-triggered.

According to the Gottman research it takes about 20 minutes for your system to recover completely from flooding. (add links)

Emotions we can learn to tolerate, feelings we can learn to change because they are based on our schemas/thoughts/programming/stories we tell ourselves about both the emotion and the stimulus that triggered it.

There is no such thing as a “bad” emotion. Or even negative ones. There are emotions that are unpleasant, uncomfortable, challenging, painful, hard or difficult for sure – and they all serve a purpose. Until you find and act on that, you’ll keep suffering from the emotion. It’s your body’s way of communicating with you. Learn to listen to yourself. Discover your needs. Then share them with others. They have no way of knowing otherwise.

Go watch Pixar’s movie Inside Out if you need help understanding this.