To improve our self-management, we need to recognize our feelings that are on a deeper level.
These are feelings that we have difficulty naming at first.
Being able to name them gives us more insight into what is really going on inside us.
Then we can choose behaviors that appropriately match our feelings.
There are many words we use for feelings that don't actually tell us much about our feelings.
You might say, "I feel misunderstood.
" Now how does that actually feel? You are possibly stumped.
That is because you did not name an actual feeling.
What you did is make a statement about someone else.
That person misunderstood you.
That is your judgment, not your feeling.
Similarly, other words appear to describe a feeling of yours but in reality they are your judgments about other people: judged, respected, accepted, rejected, betrayed, neglected, overworked, threatened, etc.
Can you discover what your real feeling is in each case? For example, if you say, "I feel misunderstood," what is your real feeling? Is it sad, annoyed, or what? Let's guess feelings for the above words: Judgment Feeling judged angry respected happy, delighted, accepted glad to belong rejected sad or mad betrayed furious neglected sad or mad overworked annoyed threatened afraid, angry.
Next time you say to yourself, "I feel misunderstood, etc.
, pause and see if you can name your real feeling.
This builds your self-awareness which is crucial to good self-management.
I recommend you do this exercise frequently until it almost is a habit.
You will then be more in touch with your actual feelings.
You may need to do some reflecting too.
If you are not sure if you are really sad or angry, pause to puzzle it through.
This clarification could help you manage your behavior and choose how to express yourself to the other person.
For example, if you express anger, they may get defensive.
But if their behavior actually provokes you to be more sad than mad, you can express your sadness.
They are more likely to hear that.