hopequest blog

How to Successfully Talk about your Feelings

Today I wanted to share a really helpful tip for communication. This is straight out of our client curriculum- but it is truly a great life skill for everyone to use.  Being clear about how you feel and why (both in good and bad situations) is vital to healthy relationships.
To help others better understand you; follow this format when communicating your feelings.

•I feel____________________________(feeling word)

“I” statements have the capacity to communicate what is going on with you and therefore trigger care and concern [for you] within your relational partner’s heart. “You” statements have the capacity to trigger defensive posturing with your relational partner.
Some things to avoid when conversing about your feelings:
– Saying “I feel like,” or “I feel that.” These statements express a thought or belief, not a feeling.- Saying “I don’t know” as a feeling word. Do not say “It doesn’t matter,” or “I don’t care.”

– Instead of “I am proud of you,” say “I feel proud about_______ because______.”  Specifics are more important than you may think!

– Using minimizers like “I feel a little angry” or “I felt kind of hurt.” Try to accurately label the feeling – if you have to use a less intense feeling word, do so.

– Do not talk at, preach to, or teach one another. This causes others to close off and not hear a word you say.

-Do not talk for others. Communicate your feelings and only yours. Keep the focus on yourself and how you feel.

If you stick to your feelings and truly express them, you will see how powerful this tool can be.  Remember feelings are necessary for relationships.