Monday, May 14, 2012

The Reality of Peoples Feelings

This is a concept I have been aware of lately and have learned a lot of about. It does no good to tell other people how they feel. That is as true for children as it is for adults (though we may get away with it, with children). It is unkind and hurtful, in fact, because it  makes the person feel small or diminished. I know how this feels,  and I have also been guilty of doing it I am doesn't feel good and now that I am aware of it, I will certainly try hard not to push in that way. It's really a form of bulldozing, that is sort of meant to come across as encouraging, but can be judgemental and damaging to relationships.

For example...let's say your child is scared of the dark. Do you say "You are not scared. There is absolutely nothing for you to be scared of. You have slept in this room a thousand times, and there is no reason to be scared!" (as if they will not be scared now because you told them they shouldn't be! We're trying to help or encourage, but it's really not doing either; the child could perceive that they are being judged for being scared, like it's a wrong way to be).  Maybe you could say "You're feeling scared? Let's figure out together what we can do so you can fall asleep." Then look under the bed, turn on the hall light, sing a song, say a prayer...etc.

This isn't a big example (like I said, our kids will forgive us our lacks), but it's just so true, that to honor people, especially if we profess to love them,  we want to acknowledge their feelings, which means not judging them or putting a label on them, but listening and trying to understand them. Show empathy. If you care. A lack of acknowledging a person's feelings is a sign of not really caring, which is just sad - a relationship killer for sure.

On a lighter note, you probably know the song 'Volcano' by Damien Rice. Phillip Phillips did a cover of this on AI (American Idol for those of you who are not geeks) that I have listened to over and over. I seriously love this song. He's my favorite of the 3 finalists, though they are all talented. I like them all, it's just that as far as the kind of music I would buy - it's Phillip Phillips. Joshua Ledet would be my next choice, if anyone out there cares. I can't think of anyone I know that watches, except my hairdresser, and she doesn't read my blog:)

1 comment:

Lyndi said...

I just thought I would let you know that my parents are HUGE AI watchers. As I write this they are watching the finale. My dad more so than my mom I would say, so next time you go to church you can strike a conversation with him about it! He also LOVES dancing with the stars...