Men have emotions. Women need only adjust how they listen. Men express plenty of feelings; they just do it differently than women and there’s nothing wrong with that. You know how Eskimos supposedly have 4 dozen words for snow? It’s the same thing for women and feelings. They have over 4 dozen ways to describe happy, angry, sad… When a woman says, “men need to be more sensitive and in touch with their emotions,” I hear, “men need to be more like women.” Bad idea. If women want to be with men who can talk about their feelings and daily minutia just like their best girlfriend, then why don’t they just get together with their girlfriend? Men are more solution-focused while women are process-focused. There have been numerous studies (of questionable methodology) asserting that women use more words than men per day. Recent research finds such assertions are unfounded. Men and women actually use about the same number of words a day. It’s not a matter of women being more verbal; generally speaking, we’re equally verbal. Here’s the difference: women use words to process their feelings, often wallowing in emotions without reaching resolution. Men state their feelings and use words to achieve resolution. As a collective, women have told men that not talking about feelings as much as they do makes them inadequate. Dr Tara J. Palmatier, PsyD http://shrink4men.wordpress.com/2009/01/14/men-have-emotions-women-dont-listen/
Love is misunderstood
to be an emotion; actually,
it is a state of awareness,
a way of being in the world,
a way of seeing oneself and others.
David R. Hawkins
One of the Ten Commandments of masculinity is “Thou shall not feel”.This kind of mind-heart disconnect begins when boys are in the early years of elementary school. You’ll see kindergarten and first-grade boys bringing stuffed animals from home to comfort them amid their fear of the social demands of school. They’ll even hold hands and put their arms around other boys and girls to show affection and express joy. By second grade, male indoctrination begins. Boys are sissies if they show fear, pain or heaven forbid the most taboo expression of all: crying. For girls, that shift never really happens. Girls have the license to continue a full range of emotional expressions that is, except for one; anger. Girls get angry, of course, but it is taboo for them to express it. It is not feminine to get or express anger. This is a commandment that has caused women a world of grief into their adult lives. Ironically, anger is one of the few acceptable emotions sanctioned for boys and men to publicly express. Adapted from the book “Code Switching: How to Talk so Men will Listen” by Audrey Nelson, Ph.D. http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/he-speaks-she-speaks/201102/the-expressive-trap
what little things
“Big boys don’t cry.” “No pain no gain. Tough it out.” “Only sissies get hurt feelings.” “It’s a sign of weakness to let people know you’re hurting.” Men are cautioned to not discuss their feelings, to avoid feelings altogether and to not discuss love, sorrow or pain. Men will often make a joke out of a difficult situation rather than face it directly. Men are taught to be checked out toward the emotions of others, and keep their true feelings inside. All this is not to say that men are incapable of intimacy, dependency or vulnerability. They are quite able but our culture does not support it. One of the main reasons for drug and alcohol use is for medicating pain and that would include emotional pain. Men, who feel bottled up, sad, angry and depressed will often become workaholics, drink or do drugs to avoid feelings. For men to understand how to be intimate they must first learn more about who they are, what they want and what is truly important to them. Feelings tell us what we want and what we need so without them we are like a ship without a rudder. So many men lead lives of quiet desperation, never letting anyone in or themselves out. For men to take a look at who they really are and allow their essence to be known are actually far stronger than the burly silent types who live their lives in utter isolation. Taken from an on-line article by Bill Cloke http://goodmenproject.com/featured-content/the-good-life-why-men-have-trouble-with-intimacy/
will never die.
They are buried alive
and will come forth later
in uglier ways.
There are many theories on why people have trouble showing affection, and also cultural studies on how different groups show affection. Some theories suggest that such gestures of affection are often determined by our degree of nurturance as children.. In families or cultures where affection is common, people will more commonly show affection. Others also suggest a gender difference, especially in many Western cultures, between showing affection to boys and girls. Girls may receive more affection than boys, especially when they are emotionally distressed. Boys, alternately, may be told when they seek affection, such as when they are injured, to toughen up. Even though we think we’ve shed these gender differences, evidence to the contrary is available in a variety of studies; we are still harder on boys. This can matter a lot when boys and girls grow up, because girls will expect a higher degree of affection than boys, who have been nurtured to give less. Women will claim their husbands have trouble showing affection, and men may actually complain that their wives show too much. There are other reasons why people may have difficulty showing affection. People who have experienced sexual or physical abuse may find it very difficult to receive or give affection, even very simple things like a caress or hug. For these folks, touching itself has become a violation of self, and they don’t want to receive touching, or give it and possibly be considered as abusers too. More simply, some children are just less acclimatized to affection than others. Parents can love their children but have trouble showing affection to each other or to children. http://www.wisegeek.org/why-do-some-people-have-trouble-showing-affection.htm
Do not be afraid of showing your affection.
Be warm and tender, thoughtful and affectionate.
Men are more helped by sympathy, than by service;
love is more than money, and a kind word
will give more pleasure than a present.
The essence of an I message is “I have a problem”… There are four parts to an I message:
* When … Describe the person’s behavior you are reacting to in an objective, non-blameful, and non-judgmental manner.
* The effects are … Describe the concrete or tangible effects of that behavior. (This is the most important part for the other person to understand – your reaction.)
* I feel … Say how you feel. (This is the most important part to prevent a buildup of feelings.)
* I’d prefer … Tell the person what you want or what you prefer they do. You can omit this part if it is obvious.
The order in which you express these parts is usually not important. Here are some examples: ” When you take company time for your personal affairs and then don’t have time to finish the urgent work I give you, I get furious. I want you to finish the company’s work before you work on your personal affairs.” “I lose my concentration when you come in to ask a question, and I don’t like it. Please don’t interrupt me when I am working unless it is urgent.” “It is very hard for me to keep our place neat and clean when you leave your clothes and other stuff lying around. It creates a lot more work for me and it takes a lot longer, and I get resentful about it. I’d prefer that you put your clothes away and put your trash in the basket.” “I resent it when your flirting with the women keeps you from having time for your work, because it means more work for me.” by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings.htm
Numbing the pain
for a while will
make it worse
when you finally feel it.
If you have mixed feelings, say so, and express each feeling and explain what each feeling is about. For example: “I have mixed feelings about what you just did. I am glad and thankful that you helped me, but I didn’t like the comment about being stupid. It was disrespectful and unnecessary and I found it irritating”.
* Express feelings productively.
* Respectfully confront someone when you are bothered by his or her behavior.
* Express difficult feelings without attacking the self-esteem of the person.
* Clarify for you and the other person precisely what you feel.
* Prevent feelings from building up and festering into a bigger problem.
* Communicate difficult feelings in a manner that minimizes the other person’s need to become defensive, and increases the likelihood that the person will listen.
When you first start using these techniques they will be cumbersome and awkward to apply, and not very useful if you only know them as techniques. However, if you practice these techniques and turn them into skills, it will be easy for you to express difficult feelings in a manner that is productive and respectful. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings
You cannot make someone love you.
You can only make yourself
someone who can be loved.
Feelings and thoughts are different, but also are one and the same. They are like the head and tail of a coin. We react to events with both thoughts and feelings. Feelings are emotions, and sensations, and they are different from thoughts, beliefs, interpretations, and convictions. When difficult feelings are expressed, the sharp edges are dulled, and it is easier to release or let go of the bad feeling. If we only express our beliefs about the event and not the feelings, the bad feelings linger and are often harder to release. Whenever someone says, “I feel that…” the person is about to express a belief, not a feeling. Try to be specific rather than general about how you feel. Consistently using only one or two words to say how you are feeling, such as bad or upset, is too vague and general. What kind of bad or upset? (irritated, mad, anxious, afraid, sad, hurt, lonely, etc.). Specify the degree of the feelings, and you will reduce the chances of being misunderstood. For example, some people may think when you say, “I am angry” means you are extremely angry when you actually mean a “little irritated”. When expressing anger or irritation, first describe the specific behavior you don’t like, then your feelings. This helps to prevent the other person from becoming immediately defensive or intimidated when he first hears “I am angry with you”, and he could miss the message. by Larry Nadig,Ph.D. http://www.drnadig.com/feelings.htm
But smiles and tears
are so alike with me,
they are neither of them
confined to any particular feelings:
I often cry when I am happy,
and smile when I am sad
DENIAL = a defense mechanism in which the existence of unpleasant internal or external realities is kept out of conscious awareness; refusal to acknowledge painful realities, thoughts, or feelings; an unconscious defense mechanism in which emotional conflict and anxiety are avoided by refusal to acknowledge those thoughts, feelings, desires, impulses, or facts that are consciously intolerable. Denial is one of the most difficult human conditions to deal with. The more old pain and feelings we have “stuffed”, the more difficult denial is to break through. It is important to look truthfully at our past and our parents to realize that everyone did the best they knew how. That way, we don’t get stuck in blaming. It is also important to develop skills in conflict resolution so that we can work through the conflicts that emerge from telling the truth and breaking the “happy family” illusion. With good tools and skills, these conflicts can become doorways to creating real intimacy in a family.
From the book “Breaking Free of the Codependency Trap” by Weinhold and Weinhold
That’s pretty much how we get through
our own lives. Watching television.
Smoking crap. Self-medicating.
Redirecting our attention.
by Chuck Palahniuk
No one makes you feel; instead, people’s actions trigger the cascade of internal reactions resulting in emotions that trigger your accustomed behavioral response. When you accept this truth, you accept responsibility for yourself: for your emotional state and your behavior. What is so amazing about this fact is that the same is true for falling in love. When you are ‘in love,’ the emotional state that occurs when you are together or when you think of your mate is what feels so good. YOU are responsible for this emotional state; not your partner! So whether you experience anger, jealousy, love, sadness, joy or happiness, the emotion comes from within. It’s all about you, honey. What this means is that YOU are in control. YOU are in the driver’s seat. What’s the key to success? Stop blaming other people or circumstances for your emotional state and start taking charge.
Whenever you experience some emotion,
Breathe to regain control.
Soak it in, then follow these three steps:
- Identify the emotion. What are you feeling?
- Behind the emotion is a need. What do you need in this moment? What will be of greatest value to you right now?
- Take action to meet your need.
Julie Donley, RN http://nurturingyoursuccessblog.com/your-emotions-are-your-responsibility/
Our thoughts dictate how we feel;
so it is important to recognize
that we are as we think we are
“You made me feel…” “I feel angry when you do…” Is it possible that I have that much power over you to cause your body to react to what I do or say? What you feel is about you. When you are with someone, you may think they make you feel a certain way. When you say that others make you feel a certain way, you give away your power to some outside force. You blame another for what you feel and how you think. The reality is that no one can make you feel anything. YOU are responsible for your emotions – and for what you DO with those emotions. Your thoughts (about an event, what someone does, etc.) trigger a neurological response that sends chemicals through your brain which then causes an emotional response. And it is this emotional response that we act upon. These are often called “emotional buttons”. Often our emotional responses are so intense and have been repeated so often that they have become ‘habits’ which means that every time that trigger occurs – someone raises their voice, uses a certain tone, behaves in a particular way – this neurological reaction occurs automatically and without your conscious awareness. And your behavioral response occurs automatically too, which means you may behave in ways you’re not proud of but feel as though you cannot control it. The emotional response occurs, triggering the behavioral response, and you play out this dynamic that becomes a ‘way of being’. You think this is just who you are. But it’s not; it’s how you behave. Julie Donley, RN http://nurturingyoursuccessblog.com/your-emotions-are-your-responsibility/
No one makes you feel anything.
It is how you react and respond
that determines your emotions.