Expressing Your Emotional Needs in Healthy Ways
A lot of people — and especially a lot of men — are oblivious to their own emotional urges and what motivates them to behave in certain ways, particularly in emotionally charged situations such as dating. People who are unaware of their feelings will often feel out-of-control or helpless in these emotional situations. And those who face chronic failure in their dating lives usually do so because they are entirely out of touch with their emotional realities. As I mentioned above, the brain functions in such a way that we make decisions based on emotions first and then consciously . Healthy Relationships rationalize these decisions second to look for evidence to support them. So if you feel like people are generally untrustworthy and you feel like you find evidence for this in all of your interactions and everywhere you look, then chances are you have some deeper anger issues as well as fear of intimacy. Meanwhile your brain is consciously looking for and finding reasons to justify this anger in the real world. This isn’t to say there aren’t untrustworthy people in the world. There are. But most people are generally trustworthy and well intentioned. If you’re constantly looking for evidence of untrustworthiness in people, then you’re never going to find the trustworthy people. If you look for evidence of trustworthiness, then you’ll successfully avoid the untrustworthy. People talk about “limiting beliefs” in self-help all the time. Limiting beliefs such as the one mentioned above — or even simple ones such as the idea that you can’t call someone the day after you meet them — are extremely hard to notice in ourselves. And even when we do notice them, it’s hard to talk ourselves out of them and un-rationalize what we’ve spent a lifetime rationalizing and reinforcing. Attacking the underlying emotion itself can often be a more efficient means to changing these behaviors. Instead of obsessing and struggling in arguments against yourself for weeks or months over something you don’t truly believe or feel in your gut, attacking .Healthy Relationships the underlying emotion head on will cause the behaviors to resolve themselves naturally. For instance, in the example above of thinking people can’t be trusted, if you remove the underlying anger and trust issues, then you’ll naturally stop rationalizing reasons to distrust everyone and stop finding evidence to support it. Your beliefs will change and your behavior will follow. When you’re unsure or even afraid to call or text someone the day after meeting them, if you remove the anxiety to connect, then you’ll feel free to contact them whenever and however you feel is appropriate. Again, it’s worth mentioning that there will still be untrustworthy people in the world. And there will still be people who don’t want you to call the next day. But the point is that these beliefs will no longer hinder your behavior and actions. You’ll be free to pursue your desires without qualms or hang-ups.