Feelings are not negotiable.



I was looking through the stuff that’s stuck to my fridge, getting rid of old school notes and making room for the new when I came to this.  I remember exactly why I chose to cut and paste these words from the internet, what prompted the googling and what conversations this document framed. Sometimes when the bickering gets a bit much in a family you need a fridge list to refer to!

Looking at it again now and re-reading each point I notice that I’ve had people try to negotiate me out of my feelings in the last couple of weeks too,  it’s actually quite common, especially when you tend to be a questioner rather than a quiet follower.  A common tack (and the one I experienced recently) is for the other  party to try to insinuate that it is your fault that you didn’t understand, or that you don’t know something as ‘all of the information was available to you’.  Empathy, patience and a listening ear would have been a more emotionally mature response.

Anyway, here’s what’s been on my fridge and here is where I got this from.   and here is another interesting site that has the same list. 

Let us not be the person that shames others into silence.

shame art


We should not Order people to feel differently:

   Be happy.
   Cheer up
    Lighten up.
        Get over it.
       Grow up
      Get a life
         Don’t cry.
  Don’t worry.
    Don’t be sad.
    Stop whining
    Stop laughing..
  Don’t get angry
              Deal with it.
 Give it a rest.
   Forget about it.
  Stop complaining.
     Don’t be so dramatic. Don’t be so sensitive. 
Stop being so emotional.Stop feeling sorry for yourself

Stop taking everything so personally

People should not Order you to “look” differently

Don’t look so sad.
  Don’t look so smug.  Don’t look so down.
 Don’t look like that.
 Don’t make that face.
  Don’t look so serious.
Don’t look so proud of yourself. Don’t look so pleased with yourself.

We should take care not to Deny Your Perception, Defending

You’ve got it all wrong.
  But of course I respect you.
 But I do listen to you.
 That is ridiculous (nonsense, totally absurd, etc.)
 I was only kidding.
 That’s not the way things are.
 That’s not how things are.
  I honestly don’t judge you as much as you think.
 It’s not going to happen





5 thoughts on “Feelings are not negotiable.

  1. Mostly, yes. But the last section jarred with me. I have a friend who perceives me to be competitive. As in, “Be top of the class if you must, but don’t trample on me to get there.” (Context: We’re both learning Welsh and she thought I’d just signed up to the same class as her). I am not competitive and would hate to trample on anyone to get anywhere, so this perception of me is hurtful.

    In this situation, I want to deny her perception and defend myself. I won’t, not out loud, because I think it will make things worse, but I don’t respect her perception as an equally valid version of reality, either. I’m trying to understand how she arrived at that point of view (clue: She refers to herself as “Mrs Anxiety”) but I don’t know where I go from there.

    • RealizeBeautyEd

      Yes I feel that some of these points are easier to agree with on paper than in real life, especially when faced with a situation like yours. When I’ve experienced similar I tend to try and focus on why what they are saying or perceiving is hurting my feelings rather than focusing on ‘putting them right’. However, my own personal line would be if they are trying to spread this perception and influence others into not liking me or seeing me negatively. The moment that happens I feel they have lost the right to their unchallenged perception although even then I have found it helpful to leave the ranting and raving at home and address the situation with as much good grace and humour as I can muster. Failing that I just pretend they don’t exist which pretty much goes against all of the above and is quite childish but there you go. The best of luck with your welsh class and with this situation.

      • When I find something easier to agree with on paper than in real life, I tend to think that the paper version has missed something important about real life. Focusing on why it hurts is good advice – thanks. In this case she’s not influencing other people, it’s just about the relationship between her and me. I don’t want to ignore her, I want to be friends. That’s why it hurts: I don’t want her to think badly of me because that damages our friendship. I suppose I’ll just have to accept her perception of me, because there’s nothing I can do about it, and carry on not competing with her. I did tell her that if I’d accidentally signed up to the same class as her I would have left it, but I don’t know whether that had any impact.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s