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Communicating Your Feelings in Relationships

John Gray, an author, states that your ability to feel love is in proportion to your ability to tell the complete truth about your feelings. In Family Systems work this includes the possibility that your early family experience taught you that certain emotions were allowed, while others were not tolerated. Communicating your feelings in relationships is directly related to your early family experiences.

For example, perhaps in your family, it was okay to show your “happiness,” but not your sadness or vice versa. This would make it difficult to express the range of emotions any place on the spectrum related to these two poles: happiness or sadness. This could have shown up in a family where you were told over and over again to smile or to put up with situations that were painful.

Not expressing sadness could have also been a way to take care of a parent who was depressed or ill. In some cases expressing any emotion or feeling could have felt dangerous. These earlier emotional state experiences would limit your ability to communicate your feelings and needs in your current relationships. This would diminish your ability to experience greater intimacy, choice, or your ability to live your values in action.

In order to work with communicating your feelings, you must first be able to give yourself permission to get in touch with what you are feeling, and how it is affecting you.

When you find yourself feeling critical, judgmental, afraid, or angry, this points to an unmet need in the present that could have been triggered by material from the past. The way you attend to these feelings in the present can give you a window of understanding into the reason you feel separated from the truth within yourself today. Unresolved negative earlier experiences create repetitive negative communication patterns in your relationships today.

This could show up in patterns related to communicating your feelings in the following ways.

  • Suppression of highly charged feelings that lead you to withdraw into yourself with an inner sense of fear, guilt, or disconnect from what your body is telling you
  • Discharge of highly charged feelings through anger, tears or gossip. This could lead to talking negatively about the other person to others, and/or blaming the person who upset you for what you are experiencing without ever resolving what is going on inside of you.

Communicating your feelings in a coherent way in the present would include sharing feelings about what is going on inside you at a deeper level. Acknowledgment of your need that is not being met would allow you to resolve the emotionally charged and painful feelings from the past. By doing so, your system creates space for all of your feelings including those not allowed in your family’s rules so they can inform and energize your life. By doing so you then have access to the full spectrum of your emotions for feedback, and a deeper connection to love for yourself and others.

Being able to communicate your feelings is beneficial for your relationships in that it gives you the ability to give and receive feedback in a nourishing way. This includes expressing your need and communication of your feelings related to the behavior of a person instead of the person themselves. It allows you to change how you perceive the situation, and also builds a foundation for respectful interaction in your relationships. Instead of attacking the essence of another person, it becomes possible to work with new possibilities for changes in how you interact. This makes it easier to work with your needs and the boundaries that are important for you to start, sustain or complete communications that match your inner values.

Kimberly Rex, MS

Resonance Repatterning® works with underlying material related to communicating your feelings to create greater safety, trust, love, and understanding in your relationships today. You can experience a tangible and sustainable change to benefit communicating your feelings in your relationships. Schedule a session with Kimberly here.

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