Feelings and emotions are two different things.

Sometimes a person expresses their emotion very easily but has trouble articulating what her underlying feelings are.

This isn’t surprising seeing as how feelings are sometimes very different from, and more complicated than, the emotion.

For example, someone that has an angry outburst may be feeling hurt and rejected because you didn’t take the time to notice the effort they put into a project.

Emotions are like the static on a radio and can be off putting. If you want to help someone take the time to dial in to your frequency – to what your actual feelings are – try telling a story.

Step back from your emotion and tell the underlying story of what you are feeling.

This also works when it is the other person that is showing emotion.

A lecture or yelling at them to be quiet won’t work. But even if they are in a frenzied state, a story will capture their attention and help them calm down enough to tune into their own feelings

A story from your past about when you were in a similar situation, especially if you use humor and plenty of self-deprecation, will often do the trick.

So the next time you, or someone you are with, are really worked up with emotion about something, ask yourself what the underlying story is and try to tell it.

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Filed under: Stories/Storytelling

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