When a Feeling Isn’t Really a Feeling

by | Oct 10, 2023 | Feelings

I remember a time, earlier in my life, when I could label my feelings in my head, but I couldn’t really feel them in my body.  

I could talk about my feelings, I could talk from my feelings, but I really didn’t have the skills I needed to both feel my feelings and also regulate and soothe those feelings.  
Not only that, I’d wait for the feelings in my body to show up with a strength that couldn’t be ignored before I actually attended to them, and by then, they were hard to wrangle.  
I know I’m not alone.  

Most of us were raised in domination cultures, which teach us to suppress our feelings and our needs in the service of garnering approval from other people – often authority figures.

At school, at work, and even sometimes at home with those we love best, we can get the message that what we’re feeling and needing takes a backseat to how well we comply, behave in a particular way or toe a particular party line.
I learned how to “behave,” but not how to be fully connected to myself, or how to trust my inner knowings.  

As I embarked on my own healing journey, I developed a kinder, gentler observing self. I got in touch with my feelings again, and became much more deeply connected to my needs. I reclaimed pieces of myself that I had put away and lost.  And as I began feeling into my needs again, I was able to start living from my whole self – not just from my mind and my fears.  
One of the best parts about developing a feelings and needs literacy is that we can track the data that is emerging within us before our feelings get intense and unmanageable  – before we become hijacked beyond our ability to choose our next steps.  
In this week’s podcast, we dive into the subject of faux feelings – the words we use as if they are feelings, when they aren’t really feelings.  

Words like … attacked, left out, abandoned, disrespected … these aren’t “true” feelings.

Faux feeling words can trip us up because they masquerade around as if they are feelings, but actually point to judgments and interpretations about things happening outside of us.

Interested in learning more?  Listen to the entire podcast.

Want to jump to the good parts?  Here are the show notes:

[1:11] What are faux feelings and needs, and what are their differences from actual feelings and needs?
[20:22] How do you receive someone when you sense faux feelings and then add real feelings in communication?
[27:54] How do we recognize and respond to harmful situations?
[30:31] What would a healthy culture or family system look like?
[36:03] How do you let go of resentment?
[37:11] How do you recognize if you are developing narcissistic traits?
[52:32] Outro

Looking for more blog posts on developing a feelings literacy?  Check this one out:

How to Feel Your Feelings

Have something you’d like to share about faux feelings?  I’d love to know.  Leave a comment below!


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