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Old 04-27-2012, 03:22 AM
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drtalon drtalon is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Raleigh, NC
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About 10 years ago, I had a kind of epiphany that led to a lot of changes in my outlook and personality. I went from quite high-strung and work-focused, to mostly laid-back and relationships-focused--people focused, really.

One of the big problems I had to work out was my temper and my feelings in general. I really had no control over my anger and very little over most of my feelings. It took a lot of time and introspection for me to figure myself out--for me to learn that what I thought were the causes of my emotions were really just the things that triggered my emotions and that the causes were more complicated.

I had to figure out that I wasn't responsible for my emotions because I couldn't control them. Instead, I was responsible for how I reacted to or acted upon them. It's ok to have emotions; it's not ok to be a screaming lunatic. I know it sounds simple, but it really is a step to sincerely understand you are not responsible for your feelings, only your actions.

In order to control my reactions, I would do my best to excuse myself from others, go find a place to be alone, and allow myself to experience the emotions. Not try to turn them off (which is a skill I'm very good at), but really experience them. I never had a problem with blaming myself for feeling one way or another, as some people do. My issue was always more about trying to understand the disproportionate response my emotions would sometime have to situations.

Turns out, once I stopped asking "Why?" and shutting myself down when no answer was forthcoming, once I just let my emotions run their course, that was enough for me to learn how to handle my emotions better. So, I don't have a magic bullet, or anything. I don't know that what worked for me would work for anyone else. But, I've been to a workshop or two where my experience was common.

Now, I just let myself experience my emotions.

I get the sense from what you've written, that you think you should be able to control your feelings. The best I could ever do was shut mine off, but I'm a much happier person (and happier to be around) now that I know how to let them run their course instead.

I go to conferences and workshops and I hear how a lot of poly people sometimes have emotional reactions they don't understand, or they intellectually disagree with. Our monogamous society has rigged us with all kinds of emotional landmines around "Happily ever after" and similar myths. It's absolutely normal for our emotions to blow up sometimes when were on the poly path.

I think it's ok to temporarily feel lousy as long as you think there's no reason for you to feel lousy. I think it's possible to feel lousy for longer than you want because you're not really giving yourself permission to feel lousy. Other cases, I have to refer to professionals.

Good luck with things and I hope you'll keep us posted.

Last edited by drtalon; 04-27-2012 at 03:28 AM. Reason: clarify responsibilty section
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