I hope you are feeling better about yourself. It may help you to think about a simple fact. When we feel slighted, rejected, disappointed, left-out, ignored, or insulted, we tend to blame someone else for “hurting our feelings.” In reality, it is we who allow ourselves to feel injured. Think about it. You have complete control over your own feelings ... no one tells you how to feel. No is inside your brain ... just you. No one else processes the circumstances to which you react. It is all you, my dear! You are in the driver’s seat. You are in control.
So, when your partner told you that your new hair style was in need of combing or brushing, you say that you reacted by locking yourself in the bathroom. You felt “hurt” and cried. OK, then what did you do next? Did you look at yourself in the mirror? What did you see? Was your new hair style quite different from your previous style? How long did you remain in the bathroom? When your partner knocked on the door and apologized, what did you do? What happened next?
I’m not trying to make light of your feelings which you label as “feelings of being rejected.” What I want to emphasize is that you are in charge of your own feelings.
The next time you feel sad or rejected, and you have the urge to escape, stop yourself. Instead of running away, try these five basic steps, dear friend, and let me know how you get along.
1) Face the person and look directly into the person’s eyes.
2) Thank the person for the comment or the action.
3) Ask for clarification.
4) Express how you feel. Start with “I feel ...” (e.g., “I feel that my hair is my responsibility.”)
5) State your plan. Start with “My plan is ...” (e.g., “My plan is to continue trying various hair styles.”)
Dr. Joan’s Harmony Key: Your feelings belong to you; take possession.