Feelings are not Facts

e832b60820f1083ecd0b470de7444e90fe76e6d211b0184997f5c2_640_emotions

e832b60820f1083ecd0b470de7444e90fe76e6d211b0184997f5c2_640_emotions

Vicki was telling her husband, Tom that he was “just perfect.”  Tom, being the rational person that he was, offered her four good reasons why he wasn’t.  He was right of course. Yet, being right did not make Vicki feel understood.  They ate dinner in silence.

Tom isn’t rational at all, he takes everything literally.  It is his self-appointed responsibility to straighten people out, to point out to them that their words don’t mean what they say.

When you take things personally, you feel offended and disrespected. Your reaction is either to defend yourself or submit passively. Either way you take someone’s criticism and view it as a literal, personal and serious threat. You want to correct the perpetrators and prove them wrong. You want to maintain your innocence and try with all of your might to defend your beliefs, which only serves to heighten the conflict. In turn, you make something big out of some behavior that is so little.

You cannot take someone’s opinion personally, because the truth is that all humans are dealing with their own feelings, beliefs and opinions. No one’s judgment is superior, it’s only an opinion. It is not about right or wrong, it’s just an opinion.

Deeper down, Tom does not deserve his wife’s complements or even her respect.  His counter-productive pseudo logical behavior sees to it that he doesn’t get any happiness that he does not deserve.  He works at it.  He is very successful.  His good intentions to make people “understand” are counter-productive – they make everything worse.

He wants to correct his wife and prove her wrong. In turn, Tom makes something big out of some behavior that is so little. He wants to maintain his innocent and try with all of his might to defend his beliefs, which only serves to heighten the conflict.

He cannot take his wife’s opinion personally, because the truth is that all humans are dealing with their own feelings, beliefs and opinions. No one’s judgment is superior, it’s only an opinion. No one can make a judgment about the objective declaration about the nature of life. It is not about right or wrong, it’s just an opinion.

Click to visit original source at PsychCentral

Leave a Reply

Shared by: Aaron Karmin, LCPC, Contributing Blogger

Tags: ,