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It's Good to Use Feeling Words, Because Then You Can See That No One Cares


I was talking with a volunteer who said those exact words: "It is good to use feeling words, because then you can see that no one cares."

I felt immediately struck by the simple truth, or we might say the sad truth, of those words. I felt sad that because of her past abuse and neglect she had come to look at things this way, but I understood. Then we talked about this some more. We talked about how, when you are young, you might need to be dramatic to get your needs met. Then people might tell you to stop being so dramatic. For example, you might politely ask for a glass of water and be ignored. You might then ask again and again untl you shout, "I am dying of thirst!" But what if you were to have said, "I feel ignored"?.

In a caring environment, this might be enough to get someone's attention. But in an emotionally neglectful or emotionally abusive environment, it is likely that you would be invalidated in one way or another for stating your honest feelings. Or, of course, you might just be ignored again when you said you felt ingnored the first time.

Then, as the volunteer said, you can quickly see that no one cares. This helps you, or at least it could, because, it helps you see that it is not you who has the problem. After all, you stated your feelings, and thus your needs, in the least threatening or demanding way. This realization or awareness could help you in one of two ways. First, if you have the option of leaving this enviroment, whether it is a work, home, educatioonal setting, then it might help you save time in making your decision about when is the "right" time to leave, or at least start looking for other options. (See the frog story).

Second, if you don't have the option to get away from non-caring people, perhaps it will help you to realize they don't care, and therefore can't be counted on or expected to help you meet your needs. This realization could possibly help you feel less powerless and victimized, while instead feeling more responsible for making sure your needs are met in some other ways. Needing something from people who don't care how you feel is definitely not a good situation to be in, so the more you can detach yourself from such people. If you can not leave physically then it might help to at least detach psychologocailly in terms of your emotional needs.

For example, since one of your emotional needs is probably to feel cared about, and the people around you obviously don't, then you might be motivated to start looking for others who do care about you, and or to begin to care more for yourself. This brings to mind the importance of self-love. If no one else loves you at some point in your life, this self-love or self-caring could keep you going till you find someone who does love you or care how you feel.

S. Hein
Podgorica, Montenegro
Jan 30, 2010

Dedicated to DK


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