Sunday, August 22, 2021

Helping our patients to differentiate feelings from emotions

When we work with “feelings”, many of our patients are not aware of nuance between a “feeling” vs an “emotion”. It’s hard to get consensus with emotional literacy but here is my take on it.

I think the key difference is that a “feeling” is like data. It’s “pure information” for gathering data. It’s to perceive. It’s a “receptive” or input function.

Being emotional or emotive is when the emotion is creating an “urge” for us to act on those “feelings”. It’s for action. It’s an “expressive” or output function. There is a degree of impulsivity to it.

So feelings help us to understand. Emotions help us to act.

When we “zoom in” to feelings, we become more emotive.

When we “zoom out” or “hold space” for emotions, the urge to act lessens and the feelings become more like information. This is hard for many of us.

“Feelings” are like “thoughts/data” in the logical world.

“Emotions and being emotive” are like “thinking to take action with the data” in the logical world.

When we don’t have good emotional literacy, we may misunderstand and act in unhelpful ways when it comes to feelings and emotions.

Can you relate to the above?

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