While I was in Enneagram school, I learned that I am I “think and do” type and I suppress my feelings. That was hard for me to digest because I thought that I was a “feeler and doer” more than a thinker. So I bought another Enneagram book to understand this challenge.
Fast forward I now understand it and acknowledge it to be true. When we get our feelings hurt, or feel pain from an experience with friends, family, or coworkers some of us tend to say hurtful things because we are hurt. Saying our thoughts from our pain does not heal our feelings. The only thing to heal our feelings is compassion.
When we respond to a hurtful experience with “that didn’t feel good” or “that hurt my feelings” it brings a different response to the table. We are more than likely going to get an apology with compassion and understanding. If we act on our hurt feelings with a hurtful thought that we speak such as “kiss my ass” then we are not saying how we feel, we are reacting by retaliating.
It is a conscious thought that we might need to take a breath before responding. The unconscious is responding to our trauma and our old programming. When we respond unconsciously we might fight by facing the threat aggressively, flight (flee) by running away, freeze by not being able to respond against the threat, or fawn which is immediately acting to please to avoid a conflict.
I know it’s hard because most of us have not been programmed to say how we feel, especially men. I don’t know if I’ve ever heard a man say “that hurt my feelings”. It’s perceived as a sign for the weak but it’s a characteristic for the strong, that we can speak on how we feel and how other’s actions affect us.
Let’s make a conscious effort to not fight, flee, freeze, or fawn when we feel pain from others. Let’s dismiss saying how we feel as a sign for the weak and encourage others to speak on their feelings when we hurt them.