Episode 139 7 Common Emotional Mistakes (1)

7 Common Emotional Mistakes

In this episode, I’m highlighting the most common emotional mistakes I’ve seen my clients make. We experience our lives through our emotions, and these mistakes keep us from fully experiencing our lives.

  1. Thinking our emotions are a problem we need to solve.
  2. Thinking we are our emotions.
  3. Trying to change our emotions by thinking our way out of them.
  4. Thinking you can avoid your emotions by numbing out.
  5. Pretending you aren’t having an emotion.
  6. Not being aware that “good” emotions can be just as difficult to feel as “difficult” emotions.
  7. Indulging in non-productive emotions.

If you want some help working on the emotional mistakes outlined in this episode, set up a free 30-minute consultation. We will focus on helping you overcome the emotional mistakes you are needing help with. CLICK HERE TO SET UP YOUR FREE APPOINTMENT

The Difficult Conversation Guide

In this guide, I’ll help you know what to do before, during, and after the conversation. You’ll also learn some amazing, and easy to learn emotional management skills that you can use long after this conversation is over.

Click here to download:

Have a difficult conversation with your husband

Have a difficult conversation with your adult child

Full Transcript


If you’re struggling in your family relationships, and nothing you do makes it any better. Maybe even gets worse. You’re in the right place. My name is Tina Gosney, your host, as well as your family relationship coach, and positive relationship strategist. When you make peace with what’s happening inside of yourself, you’ll begin to find the peace you’re looking for in your relationships. This is the coaching your family relationships, podcast, let’s get started.


Welcome to the podcast today. I’m Tina Gosney, I’m your life coach, as you navigate this episode, I really wanted to do this episode with talking about emotions, because this is something that trips all my clients up, we all get stuck sometimes in emotions don’t know what to do make lots of mistakes. And this is something that I coach on quite often. And so this has been an episode that I’ve been looking forward to sharing with you.


Before I do that, though, I want to remind you that I have a free difficult conversation guide for you. And this is for you, especially if you are putting off a difficult conversation because your emotions tend to take over maybe sadness or anger or frustration comes in, and you get emotional and the conversation just falls apart doesn’t ever turn out the way that you’re hoping that it would. This is your guide, I’m going to walk you through what to do before, during and after the conversation help you plan that out, give you some really good strategic moves, and things to think about. But I think the most helpful part of this guide is the emotional management tools.


Because it really is how to have a difficult conversation without your emotions taking over. So there are some really great emotional management tools in this guide. And they’re not super hard to learn how to do to implement in your life, they’re not going to take a ton of time for you to to learn before you can put them into practice. In fact, they’re most of most of them are just things that you can do and incorporate into your life every single day that are going to take a ton of time in your busy day. So go download that guide, there is a link in the show notes. And you’ll be glad that you downloaded that while it was available.


Now on to this episode about common emotional mistakes that I’ve seen my clients make.


A few years ago, I was coaching a woman who we were talking about a couple of relationships really it was about her husband, but it was also about her teenage daughter, her high school daughter. And one day we were talking about emotions, the the topic of our coaching session that day was about emotions and how to process them. And she said to me, Well, I’m really good at processing my emotions. So as the session went along, we discovered that she was making a lot of the mistakes that I’m going to outline today, that was really eye opening for her. She had thought for years that she was really effective in processing her emotions. And once she learned the mistakes that she was making, she turned a lot of things around. And it helped to turn those relationships around in a different way for her.


So these mistakes that I’m going to go through today are very common. These are the ones that I coach people on the most. So let’s get into it.


The first one is that emotions are a problem that we need to solve. Now, this might sound a little silly, but we get surprised, or we think that something has gone wrong. When we’re having emotions. Intellectually, we know that we’re supposed to have emotions. But then in reality, when they show up, and we’re feeling terrible, we think something has gone wrong, this is a problem, and I need to solve it. Now, that will be especially present for you. If you grew up in a home where showing emotions was not okay. Maybe your emotions were shut down very quickly. Or maybe you were ashamed for having emotions. That is totally normal for you to think, Oh, this is a problem, and I need to solve it. I should not be feeling this way.


Let’s just take anxiety, for example. It’s normal to have anxiety. Hiding behind what we typically call anxiety is usually fear, fear of something that’s going to happen in the future. And it’s very normal to be afraid of things in our life. It would actually not be normal to not be afraid. Fear is a very common human emotion. It does not feel good, though. And when we think that we’re supposed to be really confident in all the things that we do, we might see fear and anxiety as a problem that we need to solve.


Now, I am not actually talking about something that would be a clinical anxiety, which happens when anxiety shows up, and it takes over your ability to live a normal functioning life. Now, if that is happening to you, please set up an appointment with a medical professional who can help you with that. But just having normal anxiety, everyday fear, we just need to normalize that, that’s just having an emotion.


There are some emotions that we really want to have, like happiness and joy and excitement and love. And there’s ones that we really don’t want to have, like loneliness, sadness, guilt, shame. And but when we think our emotions are a problem that have to be solved, now, all of a sudden, we’re supposed to do something about it, something has gone wrong, I shouldn’t be feeling this way. Well, nothing has gone wrong when you’re feeling an emotion. If it feels overwhelming, it’s possible that you just need to learn some emotional management skills. Or if you already have some emotional management skills that you’ve been using, but they’re not really effective for you right? Now, it might be time to step it up and learn some new skills. So that’s number one, thinking that our emotions are a problem.


Number two, thinking that you are your emotions, being very identified with your emotions. Have you ever said something like, I’m so sad, I’m really angry, Oh, I’m so anxious. Or when you say I am, and then fill in the blank with an emotion, you are identifying with that emotion.


You are not your emotions, your body is experiencing an emotional vibration, because of what your brain is thinking. Your emotions are not you, they do not define you, they just visit you periodically. And then they leave.


When you let your emotions to find you. It takes away your agency, because you don’t see how you can do or be any different because it just is you. It was very common to make ourselves a victim of our own emotions. When we over identify with them.


Here’s number three, trying to fix your emotional state with your brain. So our emotions happen in our body, and our thoughts happen in our brain.


Our brains are not capable of effectively handling the emotions that we’re having in our bodies, we need to let our bodies handle our emotions. When we try to think or reason our way out of an emotion, we are actually perpetuating that emotion and making it last longer, we cause it to stick around probably a lot longer than it needs to. And we can experience some suffering because of that.


When we let our bodies handle the emotion, it’s possible to process that emotion in 60 to 90 seconds. Isn’t that crazy? Only 60 to 90 seconds. Now the process to do this is simple. But it’s not easy. And when I say simple, I mean it’s not complicated. When I say it’s not easy. I mean, it’s a skill that takes repetition over time to get good at.


This is a skill I work on almost weekly with my clients. If you want to learn how to do this, how to leave your body or leave your emotions in your body and not take them up to your brain so that you can learn how to process them in 60 to 90 seconds, then I want to let you know that I have a free 30 minute introductory call. You can set up that call and solely work on learning how to process your emotions. That is totally available to you. There’s a link in the show notes where you can set that up.


If you don’t want to work on the emotional piece. We can always work on something else. But I do want to let you know that we could just use that 30 minute call to teach you how to begin processing your emotions.


Here’s number four. We think we can avoid having emotions by numbing them.


Okay, so when you were a kid, and you had a hard day at school, what happened when you came home and told your parent that you had a hard day at school? Did your mom give you something to eat? Did she give maybe give you some ice cream? So you could feel better? Did your dad take you shopping so you could buy a new toy or a new game and distract you. While this is super common in our parents meant well, they were just trying to help their kid feel better because parents don’t like to see their kids suffer.


So why not just eat some ice cream or go buy something fun and new and just not think about the hard day? Well, if this is how we learned how to deal with emotions, we learned how to buffer to take care of them, we didn’t actually learn how to process them.


Think of what a buffer is. If we had a buffer on, let’s just say you have a hardwood floor and you have a wooden chair that sits on that hardwood floor, maybe it’s a, a dining chair, and you don’t want the dining chair to scratch your wood floor, you would put those little sticky felt pads on the bottom of each of the legs of the chair. And that creates a buffer between the chair and the floor. Putting something between your body and the emotion that you’re feeling is a buffer. This commonly looks like over eating lots of different kinds of indulgent food, over exercising, over social media media eating, binge watching, over shopping, staying really busy working really hard trying to control others. And let’s just throw in alcohol, drugs, porn and gambling.


When we buffer the furniture, it’s the same as buffering that emotion in our body. So we don’t feel it as intensely, those things come between us and our emotion, so that we don’t feel it as intensely. Now, some buffers are more harmful to us than others are. Some buffers even have a more negative effect on our lives, after we do them, than if we didn’t do them at all. So we increase the negativity in our life. And the buffers don’t actually take away the emotion. They just mask it temporarily.


So number five, pretending that you aren’t feeling something.


Have you ever been going through a hard time and someone asks you, Hey, how’s it going, and you’re like, I’m fine, everything’s great. Everything is wonderful. Well, there are times that you don’t want to share what you’re going through, and how you’re feeling with others. And there is nothing wrong with that. But when we are refusing to acknowledge to ourselves, that something is wrong, and that we’re feeling something, that’s when this mistake comes in.


Refusing to experience what is happening, is really refusing to look at reality. And we can fight reality, but we’re going to lose just 100% of the time. And so many people will do this because reality is very hard to face, we become like an ostrich with his head in the sand. The situation is still there, even though we’re deciding not to look at it.


Number six, not being aware that really good emotions that you think you want, can be as difficult to feel as hard emotions that you don’t want.


Okay, let me explain what I mean by that. Most people will want to live their life emotionally small, it’s safer to stay in the middle, where you don’t have big shifts in the highs or the lows. So we don’t experience a lot of joy and excitement. But we also don’t experience a lot of grief and pain. Well, we are emotional beings and staying in the middle is easier, but it also is limiting to our experience on the earth as a human being. Think of your emotional capacity like a balloon. When you put air into the balloon, the whole thing expands.


When you purposefully push your emotional experience a little either way, either to the positive side or to the uncomfortable side, you are putting a little more air into your emotional balloon. So if you’re allowing a little more happiness and joy into your life, your capacity to handle loneliness and grief will increase. If you are letting yourself experience a little more loneliness and grief. You’re increasing your capacity to feel more happiness and joy.


Right now you probably don’t even know how big your emotional balloon is capable of being. And you won’t know until you begin to purposefully put some air into it and push it past your current capabilities. This This requires you allowing yourself to feel some things you previously wouldn’t want to shut out.


Number seven feeding non-productive emotions.


I’m just going to give you an example of shame. These are thoughts that feed shame. Man, there’s something wrong with me. Why do I keep doing that? Why do I keep making the same stupid mistakes? Why did I say that? Why can I just keep my mouth shut?


What’s wrong with me that I keep doing the same thing and making the same mistakes over and over again? Nobody else does this.


That’s those are shameful thoughts. Those are actually not even productive thoughts. Did you notice that everything that I said was a question?


Well, those were not actually questions. They were just judgments of myself. Here are some more other common emotions that are not productive, doubt, overwhelm, worry, helplessness. Those emotions are not helpful. But we really commonly feed them with our thoughts about ourselves and our lives, and the situations that we find ourselves in our lives. Those thoughts feed these unhelpful emotions, and we get caught in them. It’s like driving our car in a roundabout. On the inside lane, we just keep going around and around and around, without ever moving to the right to take the exit lane.


Helpful emotions will be ones that we can ask ourselves good questions, not judgmental questions about, they help you move through that roundabout and get into the right hand lane. And they don’t keep taking you around and recreating the same thing over and over again. Then you can access new thoughts, new emotions, and new experiences, but unhelpful emotions will keep you stuck, repeating the same thoughts and experiences over and over and over again.


Okay, so here’s some things that you can practice. Just slow down, give yourself some grace. You’re a human who makes mistakes, you are not a robot who does things perfectly, stop expecting yourself to be perfect, and to react perfectly to you to life into your emotions. And what does that even mean? What does perfect even mean? Nobody even has a firm definition on that.


The second thing I want you to do is to be curious, so you have a relationship with your emotions. What is the quality of that relationship?


The more you learn about your emotions, the more you learn about yourself, the more you will feel you can handle no matter what emotion you’re experiencing.


Maybe one question you could ask yourself is, what would it be like to let myself have a full human emotional experience?


Well, that means you’ll have a lot of different emotions, and some of them are going to feel really great, and some of them are going to feel really bad. Either way, that emotion is a vibration inside your body. It doesn’t have any meaning, until your brain gives it meaning. There are some really great things available to you. When you open yourself up to the full human experience. There are also some unknowns about doing that. And anytime we face an unknown, our brain wants to reject it, we’re afraid that our brain is very afraid of the unknown. So if you’re not sure you’re ready to open yourself up, start exploring in your mind, what it might be like to open yourself up emotionally.


Here’s some takeaways for you today. Your emotions are your teachers, not your enemy, your brain is easily influenced, you could probably convince yourself of anything that you really want to believe your emotions are not happening in your brain, they are happening in your body, your body doesn’t lie to you, because it doesn’t know how to, and your brain lies to you all the time. It makes up a lot of stories, and then convinces you that they’re true. You can learn a lot about what your brain is doing by paying attention to your emotions, and learning from them.


You’re a human being who is supposed to feel great sometimes. And suppose to feel bad at other times. Most of the time, it’s probably going to be somewhere in between. That is the full human experience. Sometimes there’s pain, and sometimes there’s happiness, it’s part of being human. And having joy is allowing yourself to have a full human emotional experience of whatever is happening in your life.


That’s what I have for you today. So don’t forget to go download the difficult conversation guide. And if you’re wanting help with these emotional mistakes that I outlined today, you can set up a free 30 minute call with me where I’ll give you some specific help in what you are struggling with. Thank you for being here with me today and have a great week.


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