Negative or inappropriate reactions are the result of living on the surface level of our emotional world. We are either disconnected from our current emotions out of fear of what we may find, or we are unaware that Unconscious Influences – past emotional upsets or hurts are running our lives and causing us to feel bad or react badly.
This post is a companion to my article
Having no true connection to the honesty of our feelings and the depth of our emotions, we react from unconscious emotional states that have no bearing upon others or current situations – rather than respond to what is really happening.
Connecting the dots between what we are feeling and how we are reacting can help us overcome negative, inappropriate, and ineffective attitudes and behaviors.
Worksheet: Connecting the Dots to My Inner – and Outer Reactions and their Root Cause
?Always take a few moments to center yourself, ask your Higher Self, God, Spirit – of any diety you adhere to join you in understanding – and overcoming what is causing you difficulties.
Write out your thoughts – and what comes to you regarding what you are trying to understand and/or heal about yourself and your communications with others.
Here are a few examples. You may see yourself here; if not, you’ll get the idea. We are looking at the real causes of our upsets or issues with others – so that we can get to the root causes and gain more understandin- enabling us to shift to healthier ways of dealing with our feelings and reactions with others.
Example # 1: I Get Hurt Feelings: He/she forgot. I feel he/she doesn’t love, value, or appreciate me. I don’t feel loved, valued, or appreciated.
Connecting the Dots: (You may see yourself in some – or all of these)
- I feel hurt when others don’t show me love, appreciation, or meet my expectations (Were your expectations voiced, or heard by the other?)
- I need love, appreciation, and validation from people (I feel frustrated and unloved when I don’t get validated for my efforts or the love I give)
- Others haven’t always loved, valued, or appreciated me. ( the 1st Ah-ha moment that connects back to past feelings of being unloved or appreciated)
The big Ah-ha moment: I recognize now that I am projecting the lack of love and validation that I felt in the past into present circumstances and am putting unfair expectations on those around me.
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Example # 2: I am impatient and fly off the handle easily: I’m always busy and have lots to do. I don’t have time for anything that delays my plans. I am impatient with people who are calm. It’s not my fault – I just get caught up in things.
Connecting the Dots: (You may see yourself in some – or all of these)
- Being busy makes me feel useful. (Look at why you need to feel useful)
- I feel I must do everything and for everyone. (Is no one capable, or are you too picky – and if yes, Why are you too picky?)
- I am impatient because what I am doing is vital to me feeling good and being perceived as useful -and important. (1st Ah-ha moment – I need to feel validated by others and perceived as useful.)
- What others are saying or doing doesn’t help me, so I am impatient with them. (I am very self-involved. Why could this be?)
This post is an excerpt from my book, Why We Are the Way We Are:
- I can’t say no. I don’t like to say no – as it makes me seem not nice. I want people to like me. (2nd ah-ha moment. You need others to validate you. You don’t feel loved unless you do xyz)
- I feel I must prove myself. (Did you have to prove yourself to your parents, teacher, or others when younger?)
- People say I am a busy body and that I have unhealthy boundaries. (How many people say that. Could there be some truth to it?)
- I need to prove to others I am of value – that I am important. ( This is usually a fallacy. We are all of value. God/the Universe loves us all – unconditionally -no matter what. You are trying to prove it to yourself – because you don’t feel valuable – loved. Try just BEING
- I wouldn’t feel useful/valued by just BEING
(Big Ah-ha moment). I wasn’t valued growing up … OR … I wasn’t made to feel important … OR … I was told I was lazy … OR … I was criticized … OR … those around me were impatient with me. I project these onto others to feel good about myself.
Example #3: I’m always screaming at my family: No one listens to me. No one helps me. There is never enough time for all there is to do. No one realizes all that I do. When I ask for help, they won’t help or don’t do it right. It has to be done—and done right.
Connecting the Dots:
- Nobody ever listens to me. To what I need from them. I like to be listened to. ( I do everything so why can’t they all co-operate)
- I like organization and structure (This makes me feel safe and secure)
- I need to control my environment — to be in charge of everything. (This makes me feel secure and empowered in my life)
- I did not feel safe growing up. and my environment did not have structure. (1st Ah-ha moment)
(Big Ah-ha moment) I recognize now that I am projecting past emotional fears and hurts and lack of control I experienced in my life onto others and situations, which is not fair to them and causing unnecessary conflict in my life.
Examples: Connecting the Dots to Other Possible Reactions
- I get angry when someone cuts me off in traffic; I take this as a personal affront; I had an angry and critical parent growing up. I recognize now that the one cutting me off may just be having a bad day – it is not personal.
- When someone lets me down I feel hurt; this makes me feel unimportant to them; I have been let down often by others and it made me feel unimportant and unloved; I recognize now that things often come up and people can’t always keep their promises.
- I feel taken for granted when my boss yells at me because I work hard; It makes me feel undervalued; I realized that my boss works hard and may just be stressed or overwhelmed and his yelling at me is just a tension release.
Companion post: Understanding the Unconscious Influences that Run Our Lives
Both posts are excerpts and based on my books, Why We Are the Way We Are and Your Journey to Peace, Bridging the Gap Between Religion, Spirituality, Psychology, and Science..” About my Books
Copyright ©Rosemary McCarthy from 2018, 2019, updated again September 23, 2021.
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