You’re feelings mean quite a lot, but maybe not what you think. 

Your feelings tend to reflect your thoughts, assumptions, evaluations and beliefs rather than the here and now.

By the time you’re a full-ass adult, life has probably fucked your emotional barometer up, down and sideways. This means your emotions might not actually be reacting to what is in front of you. 

Just because someone hurts your feelings doesn’t mean that person is wrong — and it doesn’t mean that you’re right. Nine times out of ten, it’s not about right and wrong. It’s about vulnerability.

Yes, people can be and are assholes. But hurt feelings often indicate a vulnerability we might not even be aware of. Take the opportunity to talk to it and examine why exactly a comment, a look, a gesture (or lack of) stings. Most of the time, you’re repeating a reaction to something that hurt you in the past, something you probably haven’t resolved yet, or a shitty belief you have about yourself. 

People can’t make you feel a certain way. They can influence the way you feel, but the amount they can influence you is up to you. Your feelings are your responsibility, no one else’s. Someone can say that exact same shit to you and someone else, and you can both feel completely different ways about it.

Limiting the reach of outside influence on your emotions requires having an honest and realistic assessment of yourself — both the fucking awesome aspects of yourself and the not so fucking awesome aspects of yourself. You’re a goddamn adult, after all. You should have a reasonable grasp of your strengths and weaknesses. 

Examine positive and negative emotions with equal scrutiny. Validation from others might feel really, really good. Almost too good. Thrilling even. Almost like it’s a measure of self-worth. Fuck that. Who gives a damn if you can’t validate yourself? Validation, praise or even pride from others is just the sweet, sweet extra on top of knowing your value. So don’t be a little bitch to other people’s approval.  

According to some very smart scientists, there are five strategies for emotional regulation: Reappraisal, rumination, distraction, suppression and acceptance.

Avoidance is exactly what it fucking sounds like — consciously focusing your attention elsewhere.

Rumination is analyzing an unpleasant situation or sensation to death.

Reappraisal assigns a different meaning to something.

Suppression is ya know, stuffing it far, far down.

Acceptance is self-explanatory. It is what it is what it is. Ce le vie and all that shit. 

If you, too, grew up in a broken home and need help figuring out which is healthy, we’re here for you. Reprisal and acceptance are healthy or adaptive, as the scientists call them. We love avoidance, rumination, and suppression, and they have their place. But that place is few and far between, mmmkay?

Your feelings are a barometer of your internal experience. And sometimes, that shit is right on the money. But sometimes it’s not. How the fuck are you supposed to know? And how the fuck are you supposed to "accept" and "reappraise" your emotions? Start by talking to yourself. Learn which feelings of yours you can generally trust to tell you about here and now and which feelings might be a little fucking confused and need some chatting up.

Questions to ask to figure out if your feelings are fucked, or right on point:

Woah, what the fuck just happened?
Why is this bothering me so much? 
Do I need to pay closer attention to this thing in front of me?
Am I in danger? 
Is this the first time I’ve felt this way in this situation?
Is this about me? Or them?
Is this really bothering me, or is it something else?
Is this about the way I perceive myself?
When was the last time I felt this way?
Is this the objective truth?
What do I want from this situation? Is that what I actually need?
What can I learn from this?

Be honest with yourself when you answer this shit, and you will get your closer to the biggest prize of them all: inner-fucking-peace, baby.

Share this post