You are not your emotions!

31 May

People often don’t distinguish between how they feel and how they think.  It’s a really important distinction particularly in relationships when feelings can come up unexpectedly and harshly.  For example, say your incredibly faithful boyfriend says they saw a sexy, attractive girl in a bikini at the swimming pool.  He is not a cheater and has no intention of acting on it.  He is just sharing an observation with you.  You have years of experience and a pair of beautiful children with this guy and know with 100% certainty he isn’t going to stray (without permission).  Despite this knowledge you still get upset.  Pissed in fact.

First off emotions don’t follow logic.  You can feel emotions 100% contrary to your actual intellectual beliefs about a situation.  You can feel secure intellectually and threatened emotionally.  In these moments you need to know that though you feel pissed your relationship isn’t in trouble.  You are not in trouble.  Everything is fine.  You are not your emotions.  Your partner also hopefully understand this point.  Hopefully if you slip and say something snarky he can more easily forgive you knowing that you do absolutely trust him but in the moment your emotions got the better of you.  You are not your emotions.

So where do these negative emotional responses that don’t jive with our greater theories of life come from?  I think emotional responses are part of societal norms.  We are programmed to react a certain way in certain situations by examples from adults, movies and sitcoms from an early age.  That’s part of why being Polyamorous is so difficult for many people.  It requires working through emotional responses like, “I feel threatened and scared when my boyfriend sleeps with a new girlfriend.” and replacing them with, “I don’t think my boyfriend sleeping with a new girlfriend detracts from our relationship and I feel safe and secure in the life we share together.”  Yeah it’s not easy.  The benefits of a life filled with lots of love is a really fantastic payoff if you can get there though.



3 Responses to “You are not your emotions!”

  1. pollyamore June 1, 2013 at 2:13 am #

    I love this! Thankyou for summing it up – it’s so easy to assume that the way you’re feeling changes who you are and how you think about things. Almost an assumption of, well if I feel like *this* about *that*, then maybe *that* is actually wrong, otherwise I wouldn’t feel like *this*.
    Bit of a circular argument, but we’re oh so good and making them happen in our heads 🙂


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