Part 2 – This article
Last Sunday I had the pleasure of conducting a workshop for HYMT on the subject of going beyond judgements. To me this means moving out of the head and into the heart, away from certain kinds of thinking and into feeling. Both Elly and I were intrigued by the great difficulty that the participants of the workshop had in identifying feelings. This is a subject that I have also found very difficult and it took me a number of years (!) to find a pathway out of my head and into my heart. It is my hope that through this sharing of some insights that I have had on this topic, you will be able to find a pathway into the heart more easily than I was able to.
It has now been almost two years ago that I was in a very negative state of mind, full of frustration and depression. I was in this state when Wolfgang called me to come talk to him in Germany. In another article I will write more about this specific meeting with him, because the conversation we had was one of the highlights in my training so far. What is important for this article is that he often asked me how I was feeling, to go into my heart and to stop talking from my head because he had no interest in listening to that. Almost every time that I thought I was expressing my feelings, he was letting me know that I was stuck in my head. I was so confused and frustrated by my inability to understand what this heart-business was that I ended up just staring at him, not knowing what to say. I realised that I was clueless on this subject.
To come back to that workshop I mentioned, I asked the participants to answer the following question:
You have just done the dishes and somebody in your household tells you: “For God’s sake, you really don’t know how to do the dishes!” What do you suspect that that person is feeling?
Here are some examples of the answers I got:
- That person feels that his way of doing dishes is different from mine.
- That person feels that I didn’t do a good job.
- That person feels that I am not paying attention to some small details, and that I could have paid attention to those details.
- That person feels that I am not helping her.
I began to see in the participants signs of the same dumbstruckness that had come over me in my conversation with Wolfgang when I said of each and every answer that it is not a feeling. It can be seen from the expression that we use, whether we are talking from the head or from the heart.
Marshall Rosenberg actually gives a simple rule of thumb, which works extremely well in certain languages (like English and Dutch, but not necessarily in Mandarin Chinese), that you can use to determine this: whenever somebody says “I feel that …”, everything after that is either rational analysis, judgement, speculation or something else coming from that person’s head. What the person is probably meaning to say is something along the lines of “I think that …”, “I believe that …” or “I suspect or guess that …”
Feelings are expressed with simple words. Here are a few of many examples:
- Happiness; I feel happy.
- Joyfulness; I feel joyful.
- Satisfaction; I feel satisfied.
- Confidence; I feel confident.
- Confusion; I feel confused.
- Anger; I feel angry.
- Frustration; I feel frustrated.
- Sadness; I feel sad.
- Insecurity; I feel insecure.
- Discomfort; I feel uncomfortable
- Fear; I feel afraid
The above list does not mean that something like “I feel watched” or “I feel judged” is an expression of a feeling. When you analyse the words watched and judged, you will find that it describes some action of somebody else. It is another way of saying “I feel that somebody is watching or judging me”.
I would suggest to use the explanations aboven in the following way. When you want to know your feeling about something, see whether what you are saying to yourself (or others) from the heart by checking it against the examples of feeling-expressions and the examples of thought-expressions above. If that is a thought-expression, try to formulate a feeling-expression. If you cannot name a feeling or emotion, simply try to see what word fits best. Is it sadness, happiness, joy, fear, etc. You will feel it when you come across the right one.
Part 2 – 本文
事實上，Marshall Rosenberg提供了一個很簡單的原則。這個原則在某些語言裡很有用，如英文和荷蘭文，但不見得對中文有用。你可以用這個原則來判斷：當一個人說：「我感覺…」在「我感覺」之後出現的話，常是理性的分析、論斷、猜測或某些來自大腦理性的敍述。這個人可能真正要語的是：「我想…」、「我相信…」、「我猜…」 。