Emotional Awareness: Is Emotional Awareness An Important Part Of Taking Responsibility For How We Feel In A Relationship?
It is often said that while relationships have the power to lift one up, they also have the power to bring them down. So one can experience just about every emotion on one side of the spectrum at one moment and then experience just about every emotion on the other side of the spectrum at another, and with the same person.
And while it is human nature to seek pleasure and to avoid pain, it doesn’t mean that one will leave a relationship that causes them to feel bad. The other person could be someone who is bringing them down and making their life a misery and yet, one doesn’t leave them.
This is not the same as if one was in a relationship that had the odd moment of conflict or unease; as this is normal and not necessarily a sign that one is with the wrong person. When two people get together, they each have their own reality and their own needs, and so it is to be expected that there are going to be moments where conflict arises.
However, this conflict can be dealt with in a way that is functional and not in a way that leads to abuse or drama. Each person can be respected and honoured for who they are and this can allow the emotional connection they have to stay in intact or to grow.
Another approach would be for one to avoid conflict and to just ignore anything that is creating tension. In the short-term this might allow one to avoid pain, but the long-term consequences could be severe and outweigh the short-term gain.
But all the time one is avoiding what is taking place, they might not be thinking about what could take place in the future. As their primary focus could be on doing everything they can to avoid having to face the reality of how they feel.
When one feels good in a relationship and everything is going to plan, it is going to be relatively straight forward. This could be a sign that the relationship is in its early stages or it could be because there is an absence of conflict.
During these moments, blame is not going to arise and one is going to feel connected to the other person. Here, one will have no reason to contain what is taking place within them and this will mean that they’re able to express how they feel.
If on the other hand, one doesn’t feel good in a relationship, it is not going to be as straight forward. And this could mean that the honey moon period is over or that the other person is not a match.
Here, one might not feel connected to the other person and they could start to blame them for how they feel. During these moments, there will be a greater need for one to contain how they feel and for them to express themselves in the right way.
The Natural Response
When one is with another person and they feel a certain way, it might be normal for them see the other person as being the cause of how they feel. And if they feel appreciated, love and valued for instance, then it is going to lead to a certain outcome.
If, on the other, one doesn’t feel appreciated and they feel ignored for instance, it could lead to another outcome. Through feeling this way, one could end up blaming the other person for how they feel.
Even though one can believe that the other person is causing them to feel as they do, it doesn’t mean this is actually true. Instead, the other person might simply be triggering what is already inside them.
And even if the other person is playing a part in how they feel, it is going to be important for them to own their feelings. This means that one doesn’t blame the other person for how they feel and lose all emotional control; it means they contain their emotional experience.
This means that one doesn’t react to how they feel and neither do they deny how they feel; they use their feelings as information. For when one blames the other person for how they feel, they could to end up being defensive and this could push them away and create resentment, amongst other things.
When one contains how they feel and owns their emotional experience, it allows them to take responsibility. They’re aware of where they begin and end and where other people begin and end. What this shows is how important boundaries are, when one doesn’t have them, one is not going to be able to own their emotional experience.
Through having boundaries and containing how they feel one will be able to be aware of what is taking place with them. And as a result of being emotionally aware, it will give them the chance to own their experience.
When this doesn’t happen, their feelings are always going to be seen as being caused by someone else. So not only will one not be taking responsibility for how they feel, but they could also push the other person away and it will be harder for them to experience intimacy.
If one has very little, if any, emotional control, this could be a sign that they have an emotional build up. As this build up is dealt with, they will begin experience more emotional control and their emotional awareness will also increase. Their relationships are also going to improve. These emotions can be released with the assistance of a therapist or a header.
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Oliver JR Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 26 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.