Friday, December 19, 2008

Are Your Feelings Getting You Into Trouble?

When my youngest son was four years old he decided he wanted to stay home alone while I picked up his brother and sister from school. HE WAS ANGRY, and said "I am not going". I said he was not old enough to stay alone and needed to come with me.

He ran behind the couch and I could see this was going to become a large battle. I said to him “I understand you are angry and you do not want to come. You can feel as angry as you want, but you still need to come with me". Then I took his hand and led him to car. For the first few minutes of the ride he sat with a scowl on his face,and his arms crossed. At one point he kicked the dash board. I said, "no kicking, you can feel angry but you can not kick".

A song came on we liked and before long his arms were uncrossed, and he was through his anger.

The feelings you have are valid, it is when you act out this feeling in a destructive way that trouble comes. You have choices how to act on the feeling. Feelings provide fuel to your actions. When your actions are propelled by anger, you often act impulsively without thinking things through, or out of revenge to hurt others back. Try this: feel the feeling, and then slow down before you act. You can choose what action to take, rather then act on impulse.

Feelings of fear often paralyze action. In this case confront you fears, by first talking about them and finding what you are afraid of. Break the action into smaller steps. Just take the first step. Gain confidence and courage with each step you make.

Think about putting the feeling into words. If you tend to act your feelings out, this is probably causing problems in your relationships.

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