Author Archives: Katherine Gordy Levine

HOW TO PROPERLY NAME FEELINGS – SESSION SEVEN

A rose by any other name” may smell just as sweet, but feelings need to be named properly so you can act wisely.

Feelings fool us.

Improperly named feelings fool us all at least some of the time.

Many feelings mask other less acceptable feelings.  Anger almost always is used to hide shame, hurt, or fear.   Here’s a challenge. Think carefully about the last time you got rip-roaring mad.  What did you feel right before the anger visited?

If you cannot find an igniting feeling, think more deeply.  Think mostly about if what happened right before anger visited that made you a doubting Thomasina or a challenged Charlie, can you name that thing.

Uncertainty about your worth as a person creates pain and that pain can become anger.  It can also become shame and then shame can become anger, self-hatred, or despair about your worth.

Reality check about shame:  One group of therapists believe parents are the main source of shame.   This has created a problem for everyday  parents and their kids, but big bucks for many therapists.   The problem?

Actually, there are two problems prompted by this group. The first is confusing good enough although hurtful parenting with abusive parenting. Parents have two major responsibilities. Keeping a child safe and teaching the child what is needed to get along in the real world.  Doing so cannot be done without a bit of parental behavior that inflicts pain.

Here’s a common example.  Even the most nurturing parent, one who is always calm, cool and collected, will throw a hissy fit if a toddler is running toward the street.  Most will swat the child’s behind if they catch the child before a car punishes the child.  The parent’s fear has turned to anger.

This thinking has also lead to seeing punishment as abuse. Punishment is a useful behavior shaping tool; only abuse punishments are abusive.

Here’s another example. One you will get easily.  It is a common complaint of many.  You worked very hard to get good grades. You got three A’s and one B.  Your loving parents shrugged off the A’s and asked why the B. You are hurt by the unfairness of your parent’s asking about the B and not praising the A. Criticism that seems unfair almost always creates resentment.

The second problem is also connected with the first problem.  That problem? Over-sensitivity to useful pain particularly useful shame.  Shame was designed by nature to keep people from doing the unthinkable.

This view of shame is put forth by Jerome Kagan, Harvard human development researcher.  It will make sense to any of you with a younger sibling.  He says shame starts visiting us when we are about three years old. Also at that time, younger siblings get big enough to start messing in your stuff and making you  a bit pissed off.  Shame keeps you from killing the interfering brat, and keeps you from the sin of Cain who did kill his brother Abel.

The only reason to feel shamed is if you are doing the unforgivable. What is unforgivable – hurting or killing another being, depriving another of what they need to live.

Enough to think about. Here are the directions for naming a feeling.

Naming a feeling

WHAT’S NEXT

Next session moves on to the Second skill – measuring feelings and will be devoted to teaching you how to create a personal feeling thermometer. Why do that, so you can spot when a bossy feeling is trying to take over and get you to do things you will regret.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They can also be used to improve your critical thinking is the heart of emotional intelligence.

You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.

Grand Slam: The World Series starts tonight! In your own life, what would be the equivalent of a walk-off home run? (For the baseball-averse, that’s a last-minute, back-against-the-wall play that guarantees a dramatic victory.)

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post.  Any feeling that I can keep from bossing me is a home run. Naming the feeling adds to my chance of rounding the bases.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

All the handouts for this course are being posted at the store so you can download them for free. You will find lots of other  offerings including inspirational quotes or more EFTI exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

Cartoon IMAGE BY ponderingprinciples  all others by EFTI.

MORE FEELING CLUES – SESSION SIX

Hope you are hanging in with this lengthy introduction to feeling clues. As noted previously, the earlier you notice a feeling has come calling the better.

Anger banging to get into your heart and head.

If you wait until anger gets door pounding mad, you are in danger of being bossed and doing something you regret. This is the last of the feeling clues posts.

FEELING FEELING CLUES:  Often one feeling starts another feeling.  Pain can start anger so can fear.  Fear is often fear of a future pain.  Uncertainty, a form of fear, can create anger, despair, or depression; blame uncertainty  on someone or something else and anger grows; blame it on yourself and depression visits; cannot explain blame or explain  and despair comes calling.

TIME RELATED FEELING CLUES:   Some feelings only exist at certain times.  Getting off to work or school often finds negative feelings gathering.   So think about the feeling in question and when it is mostly like to take over.

SITUATIONAL FEELING CLUES:  What situations create opportunities for a feeling to gain the upper hand? Social events might make shyness take over. Competative sporting events might give way to aggression. a

ACTIONS: Do you yell, want to break things, or smash your hand against the wall or worse assault someone when angry?   Do you makes fists, start to shake, call names?  Which of these or other actions do you take when the feeling starts to visit.

FUTURE OUTCOME HOPES:  What do you want to be the end result after the feeling comes visiting?  Do you fantasize revenge? Do you see yourself as a super hero, right wrongs?  Do you see your self staying strong and keeping the feeling from bossing you.? Of course, the last option is the best.

However,  here’s something to think more deeply about, thoughts are not actions.  Some religions make thoughts and actions equivalent in order to build a bigger  wall around problematic actions. Nevertheless, they are not the same. That said, thoughts both serve as a feeling clue and also urge action.

What to do? See thoughts urging unacceptable behaviors.  See those as  sign to take care, step away. Feelings want action, but the experts say not acting without thinking is best. Very few situations require immediate action. Much more about that later in the course. For now, hone your ability to recognize when a feeling is first visiting you, so you can say walk away.

Here’s a handout to help.  Use it to organize your feeling clues regarding the feeling you most want to control.

101 feeling clue summary ho

You will complete future exercises easier and more effectively if you take pen to paper on this one.  Remember all the course exercises are available as a free down load at the EFTIstore although it may take a day or two after the post to see them there. Sorry about that. Doing what I can.

How to use feeling clues preventively. As soon as you notice a negative feeling is knocking at your heart or brain, start any of one the 12 Daily  Emotional Fitness Exercises. They all sooth and that helps keep negative feelings in their place. You will learn more about these in time, but can get a jump start on them by going to EFT’s Easy Exercises.

Next up.  How to decode all the feeling clues so you properly name what is happening.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

I often use these prompts to spark my posts.  They can also be used to improve your critical thinking which is the heart of emotional intelligence.

You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.

Circuitous Paths   A stranger knocks on your door, asking for directions from your home to the closest gas station (or café, or library. Your pick!). Instead of the fastest and shortest route, give him/her the one involving the most fun detours.

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post.  Feelings often take circuitous paths in their efforts to gain entry. Often the best way to subvert such a feeling is find something to laugh about; other useful control efforts involve being kind or looking for the lesson to be learned.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

 PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

IMAGE BY 150 Folk Songs 

COURSE ANNOUNCMENT

Take a break.  I am.  Course will start again on Monday, October 21. Apologies.  How does this make you feel?

List of feelings

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: not the daily Prompt

An over loaded life got me. overload

Will try to have my feet back on the ground by Monday. Not a promise, but a commitment I will do my best to keep. Meanwhile enjoy your weekend.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

 PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.

IMAGE BY GOOGLE

PEOPLE AS FEELING CLUES -SESSION FIVE

The more we understand about feeling clues, the more we can spot when a feeling first visits. That is when it is easiest to stay in control.

List of feelings

This session is about people as feeling clues.  Who joins with a mad, bad, or sad feeling to urge  you to do what the feeling wants?

"Mother is only critical to make me more perfect."

IMAGE BY: http://www.cartoonstock.com

Go back to the last session and think again about your self-talk voices.  Which ones belong  to a particular person either alive now or from your past.

Then, review your description of the incident you are using to work through the various exercises.  Do it in your mind if you must, but hopefully, you wrote your description down. Either way, was someone actually there and  only a voice in  your head.  After you figure that out, figure out what each person’s role was.

Here it helps a bit to think the way the Transactional Analysis Pros think.  How is that?  They see each person as being made up of five “ego states,”  Two parents, one adult (the computer voice of reason) and two children.

Tranactional analysis Parent, Adult, Child

As you can image each of these characters speaks with a different voice and urges a different action; each is also a feeling clue.

Hopefully, you took pencil in hand and used last session’s handout to figure out what how you talked to yourself when dealing with the behavior in question. If you didn’t, think about doing so now.  The nice thing about taking a course like this is you can go back and revisit a session time and time again.

Didn’t take pencil to paper, still don’t want that is really okay and it might be enough to give you the power you want over any and all feelings bothering  you.

The task now is to realize which of the voices in your head are a critical parent, a nurturing parent, the voice of reason, your adapted child, the one who goes along to get along, or you  free child that does what s/he wants without thought to the consequences.

Here’s is something more to think about. All five of these voices have merit. We will talk about that later, but for now just learn to think of them as feeling clues you need to know and recognize.

Next up. A few more feeling clues and a handout to help organise them.  Also now is a good time to point out that course sessions will be posted Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday.

As always thank you for all you do including liking, commenting, or sharing.

Katherine

LINKS OF INTEREST

POST INSPIRATION: DAILY PROMPT

These prompts can be used to improve your critical thinking which is the heart of emotional intelligence.  You can think about them as they are stated or use them to spark other thoughts which is what I usually do. Most can be related to Emotional Fitness. How? Well here is the prompt that connects to this post. I’ll answer it and tell you how I relate it to Emotional Fitness.

Sweeping Motions  What’s messier right now — your bedroom or you computer’s desktop (or your favorite device’s home screen)? Tell us how and why it got to that state.

My desk. Why? Any number of reasons.  It is where I collect all I want to share;  after 76 and a half years of living the accumulation is huge.  Then I am a bit ADHD and one expert says those with that label are always organizing, but never quite organized. That’s me.  The Jewish High Holidays have meant ten days when I don’t turn on my computer, so more stuff waits.  Finally, I have family and friends and they are a priority as is laughing and playing.

How this relates to emotional fitness and today’s post. If I was not aware of feeeling clues, particularly my self-talk, I could beat up on myself for being messy. I could make perfectionism a goal, but that is a goal that is not only mostly un-necessary but wastes precious time. One of the professional gurus who form a part of my self-talk gave me this motto “Good enough is good enough.”

Think about that.

FREE STUFF FROM EFTI

Go to the EFTI store and browse its offerings for inspirational quotes or exercises. Go there and subscribe to be notified of new additions.

 PRACTICE KINDNESS

Please rate this material. Doing so helps me ratings.  This is what your stars will mean to me. No stars – Not helpful. One star – Reinforced my knowledge. Two  Stars –  New  information.   Three stars – New useful information; Four stars- Very good.   Five stars – Excellent.

Thank you and stay strong.