Discerning The Loving Heart Written by Margaret Paul, Ph.D,
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Title: Discerning The Loving Heart Author: Margaret Paul, Ph.D. E-mail: mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright: © 2003 by Margaret Paul Web Address: http://www.innerbonding.com Word Count: 663 Category: Relationships
DISCERNING THE LOVING HEART By Margaret Paul, Ph.D.
How often have you had experience of connecting with someone – a friend or a potential partner – who turns out to be an uncaring person? At first you think this is a really good person, and then down line you discover that person is self-centered, narcissistic, angry and uncaring. You wonder how you could be so wrong, and what can you do differently next time?
I have discovered in my 35 years of counseling that people seem to decide very early in their lives whether or not they want to care about and have compassion for others’ feelings. As a result, people have different levels of willingness to feel others’ feelings. Some of us deeply feel others’ pain and joy, while other people don’t. Some people can recall caring about others’ pain and joy from a very young age, while other people remember being concerned mostly with their own feelings and needs.
The people who have chosen deeper level of compassion are often ones that become caretakers, while less compassionate people become takers. Caretakers are people who have learned to take responsibility for others’ feelings and well-being, while takers are people who expect others to take responsibility for their feelings and well-being and often blame others when they don’t take on this responsibility.
If you are a compassionate person who easily feels others’ feelings, you might find yourself drawn to people who are in pain. Your compassionate heart naturally wants to help those people who are in pain, not only out of caring, but also because their pain is painful to you. The problem is that this person might not care about your feelings as much as you care about his or hers.
Emotional Expression: An EQ CompetencyWritten by Susan Dunn, MA, Personal and Professional Development Coach
Expressing emotions accurately is an EQ competency. Experiencing them and expressing them when appropriate is a matter of mental and physical health. In fact there’s a phrase in psychology called “acting out,” which means if you don’t say it, you’re going to do it. You’ll act it out.
Are you acting out your emotions and sabotaging yourself instead of experiencing and dealing with them appropriately in a mindful way?
I have a friend who calls this, “acting in grip of a strange compulsion.” Well, we needn’t be so dramatic about it, but did you ever find yourself acting strangely, knowing it’s not like you even as you’re doing it? Usually you’re doing something that doesn’t help your own cause, that you wouldn’t ordinarily do, and that you “know better than to do.” You surprise even yourself!
An example of this would be forgetting to pick up your wife’s laundry. Ordinarily you’re an organized and efficient person and this is part of your weekly routine. It’s not like you to forget to do it. Often if you think back, it can be traced to an emotion you didn’t acknowledge, express, or deal with appropriately. For instance you may have had a fight with your wife and failed to resolve it. The resentment lingers and if you aren’t mindful, you’ll forget to pick up her laundry as a way of getting back at her and expressing your anger.
Another example would be being criticized unfairly by your boss, failing to deal with your anger about it, and then failing to get a report in on time. Suddenly you can’t find energy to do work. The creativity to do research leaves you, your fingers just won’t write report, and every little thing distracts you from task. Failing to get report in on time sabotages you, which adds insult to injury. It’s kind of thing you might do when you aren’t mindful.
In each case healthy way of handling emotions is different, but they must be dealt with or else they will find their own way of being expressed.
In intimate relationships, you’ll find you might as well go ahead and say it, because not saying it will damage relationship more. Resentment will build up, old wounds will fester, and soon you will have made a mountain out of a mole hill. It’s much easier to deal with things right away, using your emotional intelligence – your communication and interpersonal skills.