Friday, December 5, 2014

My 100th post! There are #feelings and then there are #FEELINGS #knowthyself

As an INFJ (sometimes I'm an INTJ--depends upon the quiz), I make a good deal of my decisions based on my feelings. But I've come to realize that there is a difference between a feeling and a FEELING.

Let me clarify:

A feeling is an emotion. A reactive response to some sort of external stimuli. Someone did or said something and you felt <insert emotion here>. Emotions can be wild and unpredictable and are best tempered with intellect and observation. Instead of letting your "feelings" or emotions rule you, try to look at the situation from a distance in order to limit reactivity and to keep emotions in check.

These feelings are different than FEELINGS. A FEELING is a "instinctive or intuitive feeling as distinguished from reasoning or knowledge." It's an instinct or gut-feeling. Nothing really happened. Nothing was really said or done. But you just have a FEELING about a person or situation. Usually there is no logic or evidence to support your FEELING (not at the time anyway). But it is a FEELING nonetheless.

My problem comes in where I confuse feelings with FEELINGS. For me, feelings cannot be trusted. They are reactive, prideful, and usually deeply connected to my ego. They are usually wrong. And not "wrong" in a judgmental sense. I am willing to honor and accept my emotions. I just think jumping at their every whim is a bad idea. Being reactive is a bad idea.

FEELINGS however are almost the opposite. I am usually hesitant to trust my FEELINGS even though they are almost always right. They are by far more reliable than my emotions/lower case 'feelings', and yet I question them and scrutinize them far more than I do my emotions.

Why is that?

I don't have a clear answer . But I certainly hope that with time and enough self-awareness, I will change this. I hope eventually my feelings/emotions will receive the majority of my scrutiny and my FEELINGS will be set free to steer me in the right direction--as they've always done.

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