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Cute article about feeling emotions

Discussion in 'General Discussion Subforum' started by veronica73, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

  2. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    ...and actually I think the word I was going for was "sweet" not cute, because the article is kind of heavy in a way. I grew up watching Mr. Rogers and he was a rare example of respectful communication in my world where verbal abuse and bullying weren't uncommon.

    The article also has a really good link to a feelings vocabulary that I'm going to print out later.
  3. ForestsGF

    ForestsGF New Member

    "'...Emotions must be dealt with first. Parents and teachers need to respond in a sympathetic/empathetic way. But, they should avoid scripted or counseling type responses that will likely be seen as superficial or gimmicky... There are some obvious types of responses to avoid: Why are you so upset about that? It's not that important; have you tried this other way of handling the situation?...'"

    Oh, I hated those types of responses when I was little and upset about something! It made me feel like I wasn't understood, or I was just plain handling things wrong. And, of course, when you're upset it's very hard for you to make yourself feel differently, especially when you're, like, seven. Looking back to when I was growing it does seem as though Americans are raised to believe there are correct feelings and wrong feelings, and you should feel the correct feelings. This is really stifling, at the very least, and more likely harmful, IMO.

    "As an adult, Fred Rogers still remembered the hurt of being told to pretend that the bullying he faced as a shy, overweight eight year old did not bother him. Amy Hollingsworth recounts in her book The Simple Faith of Mister Rogers that he 'wanted someone to tell him it was okay to feel that way, it was okay to feel bad about what happened, and even to feel sad...'"

    I've noticed that oftentimes when people hear that one is adopted the usual response is, "Oh, you're very lucky!" or "You should be thankful!" without any inquiry or thought as to how the adopted person's adoption experience really is. After all, that person, in order to become part of an adoptive family (that he or she most likely loves very, very much) had to lose their entire family before gaining a second one. But, if an adopted person, or adopted child, expresses any negative emotions about losing that first family those feelings are traditionally squelched. There's a lot of pressure, both explicit and implicit, that the adoptee would be disloyal to their adoptive family if he or she feels sad or angry about losing their first family, or if he or she wants to perform a birth search, or if he or she voices any criticism of adoptionpractices. I've seen adult adoptee activists be labelled as (unjustifiably) angry or ungrateful, many times by those who were not adopted and have always known who their blood relatives are. So, imagine how an adopted child feels once he or she gets the vibe that feeling bad about being adopted is, well, bad? He or she learns to keep quiet, or worse, dampen those emotions when the better thing would be for the child ti simply feel sad, grieve, and be told, "It's ok to feel that way. There's nothing wrong with you."
  4. Forest

    Forest Beloved Grand Eagle

    It's wonderful how there is so much universality and wisdom in this approach that we can connect it to such a wide variety of experiences. Thanks for sharing that perspective. I know that you know an awful lot about the experiences of adopted people and I think we can all learn about ourselves by how we relate to them.

    I absolutely love Mr. Rogers' phrase, "Anything mentionable is manageable." One might add, "anything unmentionable is painful (emotionally, energetically, and physically)."

    I also loved the sentence, "Appropriate responses are those that are aimed at encouraging expression of emotion, which is what we need when we are emotional." It's like a one sentence instruction manual on how to be a good listener!
    Endless luke likes this.
  5. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Being someone who is a problem solver by nature, it's hard for me to just listen to what's going on with someone else or myself and not think about how I can help or what can be done. I'm just very action-oriented. I'm trying to get better about just listening and validating.

    Wow, those comments about adoption are horrible. The idea that there is some correct way you "should" feel is terrible.
  6. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    I can't even imagine what it must be like for an adoptee to have to be part of a society comprised mostly of individuals whose very identity is based on knowing exactly who their ancestors are. We feel sorrier for someone who grows up knowing only one birth parent. Much of this is tied up in the egos of the adoptive parents - going back to unresolved issues about why they adopted to begin with, and much of that is based upon societal and familial expectations. Ugh.

    But... you gotta LOVE Mr. Rogers!
  7. ForestsGF

    ForestsGF New Member

    I went and read that article "Mister Rogers's Emotional Neighborhood," and this caught my eye:

    "...I came to realize a deep, simple and essential truth: One changes the world one relationship at a time. And -- as Mister Rogers so often said -- 'There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.'"

    It made me think of PPDers tendency to perfectionism. In my religion, Unitarian Universalism, there is a huge emphasis on social justice. I think our faith as a whole goes a bit crazy with trying to save the world all.the.time. If you don't give money to Greenpeace or compost or sign the petition or go to the protest rally or buy a Prius or any number of good doobie lefty politically correct things then you aren't doing enough! Well, this is UU's version of perfectionism, so it may be your version of perfectionism as well. If so, then just keep the above thought in mind - you change the world one relationship at a time. Grand gestures are great, but you don't need to make them all the time. Random acts of kindness can be good enough :)
    veronica73 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  8. ForestsGF

    ForestsGF New Member

    I know, aren't they? But I think there are a lot of ways we "should" feel about many things, not just adoption. For example, wanting children. People who don't want to have children get a lot of static when they say that - they must be cold-hearted or they'll change their minds later on. Likewise, going along with the family theme, mothers are expected to automatically love their children and be happy when they have them, yet motherhood doesn't work that way for everybody (especially, I suppose, the men ;)). So many new mothers don't know that it's within normal behavior to feel overwhelmed or numb or terrified when they have a child, and as a result they may not seek help and just suffer in silence.

    I could probably spend all night coming up with examples of where people are "supposed" to feel one way but really feel the other, or have very mixed emotions, and they aren't really allowed by society to voice those feelings. It adds a lot of stress, which could lead to anger, which could lead to... PPD!
  9. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    I almost mentioned the women without children issue in responding to you. I have never had much interest in children and no regrets about not having them. The comments I get--often from people I have *just* met--are shocking to me. People will say things like: Do you hate children? Were you abused as a child? Who will take care of you when you're old? Maybe you don't want to have children because you don't love yourself?

    And then there's the "guilting": Some horrible people have kids, you're a good person, you should have kids (as if that will stop messed up people from having kids).

    I actually didn't make the connection between getting nagged about the kids issue and TMS/PPD until you said this, but it probably is a factor for me. At some level I'm picking up that there's something severely wrong with me. Over the years I've just learned to not talk about it, deflect the topic in conversation, or try to make light of it. But it's hard because people are really mean. I've even had doctors who gave me grief about it.

    This is when I say: I could live on an island with just my dogs :)
  10. Max

    Max Peer Supporter

    Veronica your last post is a big step in the right direction for you, one of those aha moments.You seem to have made a sound connection with an issue which may have been sub consciously troubling you for some time.Could this be one of your triggers? Possibly something to address via some journalling.Good luck and keep moving forward. :)
    veronica73 and JanAtheCPA like this.
  11. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    Veronica, I knew I didn't want kids when I was 20. Admittedly, my ex and I did have foster kids for a while in our 40s - teenagers, not little kids. I really don't even care for babies, much less small children. I was in great demand as a babysitter when I was a teen, so what happened? I'll tell you: my mother had four kids, I think she felt guilty about that because she believes the world is terribly overpopulated, and her attitude clearly rubbed off on all of us, because none of us has kids! At age 90, she does not find this upsetting at all (of course, she has four kids looking after her, LOL!)

    I only had one person ever tell me "but you SHOULD have kids" to which my response was the same as yours. That, and the many many many examples this world has produced of incredible people coming out of what seem like horrible circumstances.

    I could go on, but if someone is really being obnoxious about it, just tell them it's the ultimate environmental act.

    And, on a more personal note for you - what Max said. You're making progress!

    veronica73 likes this.
  12. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I am really enjoying this thread. Interestingly I used to change the channel when Mister Rogers was on. I remember feeling upset and irritated. I never got past him putting on his slippers. Perhaps I just couldn't relate to him. There was no one in my life, male or female, who was that gentle and caring.
  13. JanAtheCPA

    JanAtheCPA Beloved Grand Eagle

    YB, damn that's sad :^(
    I wonder how I would have reacted to Mr. Rogers? (He was way past my time - my TV mentors were Shari Lewis, Romper Room and the Mouseketeers). I had caring parents, but not emotional ones - we were raised to be very pragmatic and to stuff our emotions, and our family dynamic was all about entertainment and education. Which ain't bad, in the great scheme of things, but I believe that I am, as a result, a bit of a cynic, and Mr. Rogers might have had his work cut out for him with a young cynic.
  14. sewmuch

    sewmuch Member

    This has been a great thread with a lot of points. I think the US culture, Western in general, is one of fixing things, improving, going forward, standardizing, progress - and having happy/perfect, risk and accident free lives!!! While there could be a whole book about the merits and demerits of this, the fact is that exploring emotions, particularly those that are sad, hurtful, disturbing, is seen as something that needs to be corrected and have an immediate resolution. And further in this age of instant everything and digital distraction, emotions get pushed aside or buried as the next attention getter comes along. (Anybody see Lucy and the Chocolate Factory? That vision makes me laugh every time.) Maybe that is one reason we see more instances of people exploding into bizarre and violent acts - letting those things out and to be heard.

    My mother almost never let me feel sad or disappointment for more than a moment. Still does not. It was always don't wallow, move forward. While this has helped me to accomplish a lot, and I used to have tough armor, I feel a lot differently now in both senses of that phrase.

    I don't have children; my life is very full and I lucked out with a wonderful, caring, interesting partner and best friend. After 20 years, I don't get asked any more if we are going to have children or why not (how do you politely answer that? - I used to say it just did not happen...) but when strangers ask if I have children and I say no, they don't know quite what to say and fall all over themselves. Veronica, I am sorry you had such negative responses. But as in the book The Four Agreements (great book), don't take things personally. The people are just reflecting their own set of experiences.
    JanAtheCPA, Enrique and veronica73 like this.
  15. yb44

    yb44 Beloved Grand Eagle

    I was having lunch with a friend today and she brought up the topic of having children. She's mid 30's and concerned about time ticking away but just isn't in the right place to have kids right now. All of her mates are producing and people are starting to lecture her. I just said that it is not these other people who have to raise your children. In the end it would all be down to you and your partner. I told her to do what she wanted to do. I know she will.

    Oh, Jan. I am not that far behind you in age. I remember Romper Room and Shari lewis. I had a hand-me-down Lampchop puppet!

    As for the obsession with going forward and making improvements, I have witnessed this in the organizations I have worked for and have remarked how progress is often circular. Things are changed again and again until finally we end up back where we started.
  16. quert

    quert Guest

    You're talking about this list, right?
    At first, I didn't think that the list applied to me. I thought that I already knew how to express my emotions. But recently, I've been thinking about mindfulness. The idea of trying to become "fully mindful" is a bit overwhelming to me, so I've set myself an easier goal of just trying to become more aware of my emotions. I'll just observe what emotion I'm feeling and name it.

    ... but then I realized that I don't necessarily have the right words to capture exactly what I'm feeling and realized that that list is just the ticket. So I think I'm going to print it out as well and keep it handy, in my quest for greater emotional awareness (and, hence, greater emotional release and a richer life). Thanks for pointing it out!
  17. veronica73

    veronica73 Well known member

    Yes, that's it :)
  18. Pandamonium

    Pandamonium Well known member

    That's a great list, I have saved it for future identification of what it is I'm actually feeling!!!
  19. AmandaMoo

    AmandaMoo New Member

    I would just like to add that if anyone regrets not having kids I have 2 teenagers for rent lol

    They would be enough to put anyone off!

    My 42 year old brother never had children and he got all the usual comments. In the end he just used to say "it's my life and I choose what I do with it" which is very true. No-one elses business

    veronica73 likes this.

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