Are The Words You’re Using Shutting Him Down?

Are you aware that there are words or phrases that sound like feelings, but aren’t – words like betrayed, abandoned, pressured, dumped on?

by Jeffrey Levine

I call these words, Near-Feelings. They sound like feelings and they feel like feelings when we say them, but they’re always about blame.

We’ve all said them – I feel betrayed. I feel like you’re pressuring me.

But what these really are, are accusations… about something you claim has happened to you.

It’s a version of saying – “You did this to me…”

Think about it.

You may say, “I feel abandoned” – but what you’re really saying is, “You abandoned me.”

And what’s the response to that? “No I didn’t. I didn’t abandon you.” “Yes you did.” “No I didn’t.”

It’s an accusation that leads him to need to defend himself.

Whereas real, actual feelings can’t lead to that kind of back and forth. You can’t argue with a feeling.

If you say, “I feel angry.” “If you say, I feel sad,” there is not a defensive response to that.

No one can say “I didn’t…whatever”… or “No you don’t.”

Your feelings are your feelings and you’re entitled to have them and express them.

But Near Feelings are always wrapped up in an accusation, in blame.

In my book, How To Talk To A Man, I explain how to move away from these types of words that can be misconstrued and cause problems, and move toward language that will bring you and your guy closer. And will help you solve challenges in a way that leave you both feeling better afterwards, instead of resentful. 

That’s not to say that betrayal and abandonment don’t happen… they do. And when they do, real difficult and challenging feelings come up – feelings like anger, despair, sorrow and fear. 

If you’re trying to clean up your communication so you’re not putting your guy on the defensive, you want to learn how to recognize Near Feelings when they show up – and look underneath at what the actual feelings are – and then express those.

Jeffrey Levine is a corporate coach and trained mediator (and Rori Raye’s husband) who works with both men and women to improve their communication, deepen their connection and remove the blocks that keep them from feeling and expressing love. He is the author of “How To Talk To A Man,” which contains invaluable advice, tools and solutions to help you avoid common relationship pitfalls, and clean things up when they go south. “Every moment presents a new choice for you: a decision about what you want – and what you believe you deserve.”

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