Some people ask me what I talk about in relationship seminars. Eventhough what I talk about usually depends on the questions I ask and the answers given by the participants , we sometimes have dialogues such as:
John made me feel very bad.
You think that John made you feel bad. But there is no ‘bad feeling’. So what is it that you really feel?
He made me angry.
John can’t make you angry. Can you say what you feel using the pronoun ‘I’, without putting the blame on another person?
I got angry with John.
You can’t be angry about everything John did. Which of his behaviors did you get angry about?
I got angry because he wasn’t listening me.
How do you know that John wasn’t listening you? You interpret the situation that way. Can you leave aside your subjective perspective and express it more objectively?
I got angry because John didn’t look me in the eye while I was talking.
It might be that he actually looked you in the eye but you didn’t see. How would you express it using ‘I’?
I got angry because I didn’t see that John looked me in the eye while I was talking.
In this case, what was your unmet need that made you angry?
I was angry because my need to be listened and respected was not met.
You can see how we moved away from the first point you expressed it ‘John made me feel bad.’ If you are ready to face yourself, you may continue with questions such as: ‘Do I listen myself? Do I respect myself?
Like attracts like. If you see that John doesn’t listen or respect you, you don’t listen or respect him either but you are not aware of it.
If you express your feelings clearly, you will begin to get closer with yourself. If you avoid interpreting the situations, you will see them more clearly. If you focus on your unmet needs instead of blaming when you have negative feelings, it will be easier to work out the problem. If you choose to satisfy your needs by using your own inner resources instead of expecting it from others persistently, you will have a balanced life.