When Things Go Awry, We Can Feel Strong Emotions
For instance, when we carefully reserve long-term lodging to provide us with basic necessities—like safe indoor air, power, and non-violent neighbors—we can feel shocked if we experience the very opposite, while traveling.
If we feel unsafe in reporting such a travel snafu—and if there is no other lodging available—the shock of the situation can initially feel overwhelming, depressing, and even a bit scary.
But If I Report a Travel Snafu While Expressing Strong Emotions, I Might Freak Others Out
If upset appears on my face, anxious tones appear in my voice, or negative sweeping conclusions are proclaimed...I might scare others or freak them out. And that might not get any of us anywhere.
And If I Report a Travel Snafu While Expressing Strong Emotions, I Might Freak Myself Out...More
If I need to report a travel snafu (especially multiple times), and if I do so while expressing strong emotions, upset might appear on my face, anxious tones might appear in my voice, or negative sweeping conclusions might be proclaimed, which might upset me more.
I Didn’t Realize This Until I Was Once Asked to Share Troubling Facts, without Expressing Strong Emotion
There was a time when I had multiple difficult situations to report on. I was instructed to share the facts, without expressing the strong emotions involved.
At first, I didn’t understand this concept. Emotion is wonderful and to be expressed if it’s part of the story, right? How else can I accurately share the entire truth?
But as I began to share just the facts, an amazing thing occurred.
Sharing Just the Facts, without Expressing Strong Emotions, Brought Immense Rewards
All of a sudden, there was plenty of space...for the difficult facts to be heard, empathized with, and respectfully handled...by others.
All of a sudden, there was plenty of space...for others to proclaim their own (very valid) strong emotional reactions to the snafu (which can be the most validating experience of all).
And I felt, unexpectedly, calmer.
The More I Communicate Mindfully—About Anything—the More I Want These Immense Rewards
The more I simply share the facts (of whatever is happening within and around me), without expressing strong emotions, the calmer I feel.
I still acknowledge and share my (very valid) strong emotions with an "I" Statement (“I’m feeling anxious…in my belly…after hearing X…”), but my body is not acting out that anxiety (through facial expressions, tone, or sweeping proclamations).
This allows plenty of space...for others to hear, empathize, and respectfully help.
And the calm it brings is something I never want to lose.