Don't know how you feel? What difference does it make?
Feelings are the typical motive for why people take action, whether they understand the feeling behind their actions or not.
When misunderstood feelings run the show, what we hear most is, "It's his fault, he made me do it."
No understanding of emotions = little responsibility for actions.
After many years of research and discussions with adults who grew up in homes where feelings were not recognized, I noted that one critical skill is missing for most of them, myself included, although I have spent years learning what I missed out on.
As adults, they may look successful, with good jobs, families, and problem-solving abilities. However, those that grew up in chaotic, violent or addictive homes frequently lack the ability to identify their own emotions. Feeling was too painful and those around them were unwilling to listen or discuss honest feelings. Many of these adults have not mastered using emotions in healthy ways for personal growth and relationship building. They know something is wrong, but cannot name it.
This lack of emotional literacy makes sense given the role-modeling and distorted emotional dynamics of their family systems. Feeling when everything feels bad isn't welcome; it becomes ignored. And a family that cannot express their emotions clearly cannot teach their children something they do not understand themselves.
Just labeling an emotion, putting it into words, brings it into the "thinking" part of the brain where one can then create options for action. It's a great way to start.
#emotionalecosystem #emotionalliteracy #resilience #atriskyouth #anxiety #depression #abuse #neglect