Eliminate Your Big But
Updated: Jun 3, 2021
There she sat, tears streaming down her face. Shocked, hurt, insulted, rejected, embarrassed, humiliated. How could Karl say that to her? He totally was rude and insensitive. Simone could feel her cheeks burning, palms sweaty, body vibrating. She had no clue what to say. He completely caught her off guard.
Simone knew Karl was just joking around. She knew he is generally a nice guy and a bit of a joker. But it hurt. He knew talking about her father was a sensitive topic for her.
Was she making too much out of it? Was it all in her head? Was she reading too much into it, and turning it into a bigger deal than it needed to be?
Maybe she should just drop it. Ignore it. Let it go.
But she couldn’t. It hurt too darn much.
Simone is not a specific person. She is however the average person out there. This is a common situation that I hear OFTEN in counselling sessions. Hey, this person could well be me or you, because, let’s face it, we’ve all been in this situation.
A situation where your feelings are hurt, but you know the other person didn’t mean to hurt you on purpose. They think they’re being funny but it still stings and feelings insulting.
If you usually give the other person the benefit of the doubt, and you just let it go, by saying, “It's ok”, without validating your own feelings, you are basically saying, their feelings are more important than yours.
Now, I’m not saying their feelings don’t count. And, I’m not saying that your feelings are more or less important than theirs. What I am saying is, BOTH of your feelings count. TWO OF YOU count.
When you say, “I’m so embarrassed and angry, I can’t believe he did that to me. He knows my dad is a sensitive topic for me ~ BUT ~ he really didn’t do it on purpose. Karl truly is a decent guy.” You might as well say, my feelings don’t matter. Because anything that comes before the BUT is negated and invalidated. You’re giving Karl all of the benefit of the doubt, with no concern for you and your feelings.
The same way, that if you say, “He really didn’t mean it, he was just joking around ~ BUT ~ I feel humiliated and rejected.” You’re now basically ignoring the fact that Karl might have NO CLUE what just happened and how you feel. You’re disqualifying the fact that he is a good human being. And, if you don’t say something, he might even do it again.
I’d like to suggest you eliminate the BIG BUT and start ROCKIN’ the AND.
What does it mean to “rock the AND”?
This is where you hold both people’s feelings as equal and valid. It goes like this.
“I feel hurt, angry and sad, I can’t believe he spoke to me like that AND I know he didn’t mean it. He probably doesn’t even realize how much it hurts.”
AND, it can look like this. Hahah, I just did it there. Did you see that? AND.
“Karl is a great guy. He thinks he’s being funny. AND I am upset. I’m in shock and can’t believe it.
Using the AND validates both sides, both people. AND allows you to understand all sides, perspectives, feelings, and opinions. It can help you to manage cognitive dissonance.
Cognitive Dissonance creates messy feelings and thoughts when 2 thoughts, 2 feelings, or a thought and feeling are at odds with each other. When a thought and feeling appear to be oppositional, this can create confusion and overwhelm.
However, you can actually hold both at the same time and accept both as true and real. Honouring your feelings AND understanding Karl’s perspective simultaneously.
You use it like this. “I feel angry and embarrassed. I feel hurt and rejected. AND I know, in my brain, logically and rationally that was not his intention.”
When you use the AND to sort out your mixed thoughts and feelings, this can help you to find middle ground or resolve.
Many clients have told me, it’s helped them to honour all of what they feel and think. I’m curious to know how this works for you.
Drop a comment and let me know how you do with Rockin’ the And.
If you need a hand to really put this into practice or to resolve any other mixed emotions or difference of opinions, reach out and book a counselling or spiritual life coaching session today.
PS: If you want to dive deeper into why you feel the way you do and manage big emotions more easily, you can download your FREE Self-Compassion Workbook here.