Have you ever been flooded with emotions in a conversation? It can cause you to loose focus and become very ineffective at communicating clearly.
The best thing is to just slow down and allow the emotions. Process it right then and there.
Allowing and accepting our emotions without judgment and without shame is critical to successful and ongoing communication. So often, we get upset that we are upset. We get ashamed that we are angry.
When I have processed the emotions then and only then does my reasoning comes back on line and I can find solutions to whatever needs discussing.
My husband expresses concern about kids taking the easy path and not attending church with him but staying home with me.
I get flooded with emotions (anger in this case) because I am thinking, “He thinks I am lazy. He thinks I am taking the easy path. He thinks my way is wrong.”
This is what happens when I do not process my anger:
I reply back from my anger and say, “I think you are lazy to not question this church. You are too scared to take an honest look.”
You can imaging what may happen next. Maybe you know from personal experience. It is not pretty.
The result is that things get worse not better.
This is what happens when I take the time to process my anger:
I excuse myself and journal what I am feeling:
My head is fuzzy. My hands are hot. My stomach in tight.
I may remind myself that there is no shame in feeling anger. It is a human emotions and I am human. There is no problem in feeling anger. I am choosing to process it and feel and and not act out in anger.
Maybe I take a walk alone or pet the dog.
Then I am ready to come back and listen to my husbands concerns with an open mind.
The result here is that I show up as as the spouse I want to be.
Sometimes I will simply say, “I am full of emotions (maybe name it, if I can) and can’t talk about this in a helpful way anymore. Can we come back to this after I have processed this?”
Then I go and process it. Sometimes I will do this with my husband right there. I may tell him what I am feeling. I will describe out loud the sensations in my body. I may say: “My chest is tingling and I my throat is tight and my face is flushed.” This helps me to stay present with my emotions and allow them without judgment and without shame.
We are not taught how to deal with our emotions. You may need a life coach to help you in your mixed faith marriage. Dealing with our emotions is one of the many things I teach my clients to help them really turn around their marriage. It may sound soft, but emotional work is some of the most profound work available. It is transformational.
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