EXPRESSING YOUR FEELINGS, THE KEY TO INTIMATE RELATIONSHIPS
By Roger T. Crenshaw, M.D.
The purpose of this workbook is to develop a practical, workable method to reduce anger, minimize relationship stress, and increase pleasurable experiences within the relationship.
Two people are often more different than alike. These differences do not usually need to cause arguments and friction, but can be one of the most valuable aspects of a relationship. If these differences are dealt with productively, they will enhance a relationship significantly more often than they will stress it.
There are eight chapters, each of which is designed to help you work toward improving your interpersonal communication.
Below is a brief description of each chapter.
- Exercising Self-Responsibility: Here you'll be learning what
mean by self-responsibility. This is a central concept, which includes everything in your life.
- Exploring the Scope of Feelings: In this chapter, you'll become aware of the vast number and variety of feelings you may experience in any given situation, but that you may not have recognized previously.
- Identifying the Sequence of Feelings: In this chapter you'll learn how to identify as primary or secondary the feelings you explored in the previous chapter. You'll learn why expressing primary feelings tends to be more constructive.
- Dealing with anger: Here you'll learn about how feelings vary in intensity. You'll learn a strategy for dealing more constructively with anger.
- Using "I" Language: This is a critically important chapter in which you will learn a "language" that will help you say things in a more accurate and constructive way.
- Identifying Defensiveness: Here you'll be learning how to recognize when you are behaving defensively.
- Identifying Vulnerability: In this chapter, you'll learn to recognize when you or your partner are being vulnerable.
- Effective Personal Expression: In this final chapter, you'll be putting together the skills you have learned in the previous chapter. You will be able to distinguish between effective and ineffective expression. This will help you become more aware of your own communication habits and improve your ability to communicate effectively.
EXCERPTS FROM EXPRESSING YOUR FEELINGS
Have you ever had a conversation like this:
(Q) Where would you like to go to dinner tonight? It doesn't make any difference to me. (A) I don't care, you pick. (Q) No, no, that's O.K., I'd like to do what you want to do. (A) Let's do something fun.
Now the trouble begins and you can substitute dinner with movie, vacation, money, kids and everything else that couples talk about. Here was an interchange of 4 sentences and no one got any information. Indecisive and unselfish. The fastest way to end your healthy relationship.
YOU are in your relationship for YOU. HELLO Your partner is in it for THEM. Time to get your priorities straight and tell the other person what you want, when you want it and still have that "loving feeling". The concept of self responsibility and selfless selfishness will be taught to you in 20 days at your own pace. It is very often not what you say, but how you say it. Learn to get what you want, and not feel guilty.
Communicate your intentions and feelings without the concept
- Your wants and goals.
- The long- and short-term results of your actions.
- The possible effects of your actions on those you care about.
of blame. Find out how to prevent the backlash of: " I was only trying to help (do what you wanted, etc.)"
Do you know anybody that has trouble expressing their feelings? I am not talking about anger. I am talking about the lighter feelings of hope, aspiration, desire, warmth, and love. Most of us can express anger (very often inappropriately). Anger is a very powerful emotion and like jealousy, it is totally wasted. It causes fear and feelings of loss and despair. Now, find a good way to avoid anger (boy, does it take energy) and still get your point over of disappointment, hurt or whatever caused the anger in the first place.
- Feelings are facts. They are not good or bad. Even if we don't like a feeling, it is giving us important information about our environment. We don't usually ignore these warnings about our physical environment, why do we when it comes to relationships??
- You are not responsible for your feelings. Hard to fathom, eh? Well, lots of things play into having feelings. Let me help you sort it out.
- No one can be blamed for the way you feel about something. Darn. Am I going to have to get rid of BLAME? Well, yes you are.
- How we act on our feelings become the measure of our selves and our ultimate maturity.
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Contact: Roger T. Crenshaw, M.D.
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