How do you ever express your feelings without feeling guilt?

posted 2 years ago in Emotional
Post # 2
7654 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m 100% honest with my BFF even if she doesn’t like what I have to say. We are still friends after 26 years (my whole life), and I think it has made us closer and stronger. If you can’t let go of bad feelings, then you need to talk to your friend. Even after an apology and explanation, if you can’t let it go, then you need to work on you and your self esteem and how you deal with conflict.

Post # 3
1910 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015 - Ruby Princess

I suggest writing about it first, like, in a journal. Things become much more clear that way. Also, discuss with someone you trust who can give you a somewhat un-biased opinion. Sometimes I think I’m right to be upset, and a friend will give me a different take. For example, “what about your part in this? Have you thought about why blah blah blah?”

I have the same aversion to conflict as you do. It is difficult sometimes. I go with honesty, and also earnestly trying to understand the other person’s perspective.  Then I come to them with something like, when this happened, I felt this way.  Try not to come at them in a way that will make them defensive.  

Also helps to remember that feelings are not facts.

Post # 4
25 posts
  • Wedding: September 2016

1. Before you say anything, take the time to ask yourself why you feel upset. Not just the surface reason, but the real reason. For example if a friend hurts you with something they have said, then the surface reason why it hurts is they “shouldnt have said it because they are a friend”. But the real reason why it bothers you is because they are pointing out something that you personally are not ok with. In that situation dig for the real reason why the words bother you. Use this same practice with actions. The more you know about yourself the better you can avoid getting hurt, meaning the more you are accepting of yourself the less others can say to hurt you. Another example is if a friend is ignoring you, on the surface you might feel hurt because, again, “they are supposed to be your friend” but in reality you are not feeding yourself properly with your own attention, filling the void you believe only they can fill. We allow ourselves to get hurt when we have expectations and they arent met (dissapointment). Understand yourself first.

2. Once youve isolated the true problem causing you pain – fix it (trust me it will be found within). Treat yourself, love yourself, accept yourself. This will put you in a place where you can talk to your friend without guilt and without shame – with true acceptance of how you feel.

3. Forgive them and move on (with or without them). After all you were hurt by your own expectations. Now THAT is putting other people first. But I will say if you stay friends, do not forget it. You may need to remember it for events later. It is called survival. For example if you touch the stove and you get burned, youll want to remember it can happen again (unless you wear an oven mitt as i am metaphorically talking about above!)

4. If after these steps you feel like you need to tell them your expectations, then tell them straight up how you feel about how friendships work. If they agree then tadaa you have strengthened your friendship. If they disagree MOVE ON!!!!

BASICALLY THE ONLY WAY TO PUT LOVED ONES FIRST IS TO PUT YOURSELF FIRST. Otherwise you are not genuine with anyone and are therefore you are the one who is a bad friend (dishonest).

Post # 5
5083 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: January 2050

One of the best things I ever learned was this simple formula for expressing yourself. I was always very shy, a people pleaser, afraid to say “no”, terrified of conflict. I learned this at age 22 and wish I’d discovered it much sooner. The first few times I tried it were hard, but it gets easier and easier. I wish everyone would learn and use this technique! Here’s what you say:

     When you  (give the specific behavior)           

     I feel  (name YOUR emotion)                         

     because (optional – say why you feel that way) .

     <Pause here and listen to any feedback they offer. Just listen, don’t respond.>

     I’d like you to consider (tell them the behavior you’d prefer)

     because  (optional – say why you’d prefer that)  .

     What do you think of that?

     <Pause here and listen.>

  • Example:  When you make jokes about my weight I feel embarassed because it brings attention to something I’m already self-conscious about. <pause — maybe friend says “I’m so sorry, I didn’t even realize I did that” or “I don’t joke about your weight!” or “you know I’m just joking”. Or maybe they say nothing. Regardless, LISTEN, but don’t respond. Continue on with: >  I’d like you to consider not mentioning my weight when we’re around other people. What do you think about that?
  • Example 2: When you spent our lunch date texting other frieds, I felt unimportant. <pause> I’d like you to consider putting your phone away for an hour when we’re together, because that way we can focus on each other. What do you think about that?

You can’t control someone else’s behavior, but you can control your response to it. Sometimes it’s a perfectly legitimate response to ask them to change their behavior. If they do, sweet. If they don’t, your choice is then learn to live with it, or excuse them from your life. 

Post # 6
498 posts
Helper bee

Daisy_Mae:  That’s really good advice. Another one I use is “I’m not sure if you realize that (you’re doing this).  For example, “I’m not sure if you realize that you often make remarks about my weight when we’re with a group of friends”.  

I’m a total pleaser too, but this phrase has helped me broach the subject with friends and SO when necessary.  

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