Skilled thoughtful communication is the foundation for satisfying relationships. We teach effective, assertive communication skills along with conflict resolution and negotiation to individuals, couples and families.
MANAGING YOUR OWN EMOTIONS
Managing one’s feelings requires both identifying and taking responsibility for them. Emotional self-regualtion requires communication of feelings without blame or projection. It gives us the option to make choices and allows us to get our needs met by others.
Often our negative feelings and communications are indications of our unmet emotional needs. Unmet needs lead to behaviors that substitute for fulfillment. Like substituting “Twinkies” for meat and potatoes, we substitute the sugar rush for the real sustenance of authentic emotional needs being met.
When we have unmet emotional needs, we often seek physical substitutes. For example, if we need emotional intimacy, acceptance, approval, safety, security, or respect, we may seek sex, alcohol or drugs. You might find yourself spending a lot of time in chat rooms on the internet, yet not feel fulfilled. You may begin to realize your real, natural need is for actual human connection. You may have tried to fill it with a substitute, filling up time, but not filling your real need. Others try to meet their unmet emotional needs through buying things, controlling others, seeking status from their titles and positions in organizations or from memberships in groups, etc.
Dr. Paul Standal finds it helpful to remember something he once heard:
You can never get enough of a substitute.
Communication of our real feelings, both positive or negative, reveals our unmet emotional needs and allows us to satify these needs. By withholding communiction, we give away our power to have our emotional needs met. Communicating our true feelings benefits us by raising our self-esteem, establishing healthy boundaries and reinforcing our inner moral and ethical compass.
Healthy communication shows respect for others; they feel understood, more secure, relaxed, accepted and accepting. As we do this, we also become more accepting, tolerant, patient and understanding. We are able to make better personal decisions, and connect with others in an authentic, healthy manner.
Improved communication of feelings requires that Dr. Standal work on several areas of personal growth and change with his clients. Among these areas are:
• Self-awareness. Knowing how you feel in “real time.”
• Emotional literacy. Being able to label emotions precisely. Being able to talk about feelings with others.
• Empathy and compassion. The ability to feel and understand the emotions of others. Knowing how you and others feel and what to do about it.
• Balance. Being able to make decisions using a healthy balance of emotion and reason.
• Responsibility. Taking primary responsibility for your own emotions and happiness. Not saying that others “made” you feel the way you feel.
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