I have never favored the question, “How does that make you feel?” I probably heard it for the initially time in my graduate training in social work-related. I don’t remember being asked around feelings or emotions during my flourishing up years. It was just not “a thing” ago then. (I more often remember hearing, “Stop that crying or I’ll provide you something to cry about!” Also not especially valuable response, however I digress and also leave it for another short article.)

In my training as a social work therapist, professors promoted the “make you feel” phrase as a typical response to clients’ troubles. The thinking behind the question is to assist the perboy sharing obstacles to have a feeling that you are listening and also that you understand also them. That have to be excellent, right? Not so much….

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It wasn’t until years later as soon as I obtained additional training on exactly how language influences us, that I understood why it bothered me. When we use the expression “make you feel,” it plants a seed of powerlessness. It suggests that various other world have the power to cause us to feel somepoint. Somepoint deep inside me reverberated with that reasoning and rebelled versus it.

While an additional person’s actions might invite a details response, those actions never compel a particular reactivity. A person’s actions carry out not and also cannot make you feel something.

Here are some actual life examples:

Harry’s father passed away last week in a tragic auto crash. Harry is seventeenager years old and also has lived in are afraid of his father’s anger. Any small misconduct on Harry’s part can trigger a beating via whatever object was at hand–a wire hanger, a garden hose, or fists. We assume that Harry’s father’s death “makes” Harry sad. But while a frequently “sad-producing” event occurred, it did not “cause” Harry to feel sad.

When a job-related associate obtained a dozen red roses from “a secret admirer,” she was so distraught that she left the office in tears. Why? A previous boyfrifinish alternately sent out her a threating message or frightening gesture, such as a dead pet on her driveway, via a lovely gift like cocoa or jewelry. Coworkers who did not recognize the case assumed Anne would certainly feel upbeat through the florist’s shipment. However before, they shortly learned that receiving roses does not “make” someone happy.

So what is a far better means to affix emotionally with a perkid, to support them in difficulty? Ssuggest change a couple of words and also ask, “How perform you feel around that?” Or, “What does that suppose to you?” This seemingly small readjust helps the perboy connect their very own reasoning and feeling units and puts them in charge of their mood instead of an occasion or perchild.

The next action is for you to respond to the emovement that the person mutual. If it is sadness, then say something favor, “I’m so sorry to hear that” or “That sounds heartbreaking.” The important point is to interact that you are “with” that perchild for that moment in his or her experience.

Using empathy in a great way strengthens our connections to our sposupplies, children, friends, and colleagues. By staying clear of the “make you feel” phrase we also empower the civilization we care about to suffer whatever they really feel rather of what others think they “should” feel which can be crazy-making and also harmful.

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Good empathy provides a greater feeling of mastery over our reactions. And as a wonderful bonus, we endure a more powerful link to the perkid that shows this level of knowledge and acceptance of our emotional life.

How carry out you feel around that?


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