My Emotional Experience Webinar
Few things affect our marriages as dramatically as our emotions. But how well do you understand your emotions? Have you considered the impact your past experiences can have on your emotional understanding? In this Marriage Webinar, Kaleb Beyer discusses how we can better understand our Emotional World.
Give us a few seconds.
So, Kaleb, yeah, Lead us in this discussion. I’m looking forward to this. I, Kaleb gave me a little bit of a taste here a little bit last week and chatted briefly about it. So I’m excited for what’s in store and I think, there’s gonna be a lot of value here. So, emotional experience.
All right, well, good evening to each of you. It’s a privilege to be with you and we appreciate you sharing the evening this Monday evening with you. So, tonight our topic is my emotional experience and, when it comes to our emotions, I think each of us would soon say that they are, they’re complex.
And, I think even as your prayer mentioned that we are fearfully and wonderfully made. And so, as we walk through this evening and the topic of emotions, one of the things that we, I think acknowledge upfront is the complexity of them. And also the reality that, I would just put out there initially, even as we’re walking through this presentation, we often are using our brain and the sense of cognitively thinking about concepts and trying to understand.
And, that is good. I would also say, I think we come, as we think about the presentation and even having a presentation on emotion, we’re having an experience, an emotional experience right now, just because of it. So we can’t escape emotions, emotions are kind of like this delicate intersection.
Of reality. What’s real. You know, you take this picture here, these, they both have this similar experience in terms of physical rock mountain stream but their emotions are this, it’s kind of like this intersection between that reality and their thoughts. Yeah.
It’s kind of in that filter, right? And you experience it in your body and which obviously is messaging. And I think when we, and I think too, Matt, when we think of the word emotion there’s experiences that come with that, right. And it’d be interesting. And just to walk through what comes to mind when you think about emotions, right.
So we’re gonna unpack this together this evening. It’s over here. Click that, try that. There we go. All right. So the first thing I wanna start with is just the reality that we, that God expresses emotion throughout both the Old Testament and the New Testament as we see perfectly culminated in Jesus Christ when he walked on this earth.
And so I just start with this verse and there’s a number of verses we could have gone to, but if you think about our God rejoicing over us and in this case, speaking to the children of Israel, and this was before the exile that he was communicating to them, that he was rejoicing over them with singing.
It was an expression. You think about singing is often a spontaneous, joyous occasion, wells up from emotion, yes. Wells up from emotion. And so we see throughout a God that is, that has and experiences emotion that expresses emotion, both positive in this sense, but also negative as we see his anger or wrath was kindled as we see Christ weeping.
And so, this is something that God experiences and expresses that in like manner created in his image, we also experience.
Okay. So we’re gonna talk about two main points here this evening, and then hope to leave you with a take home exercise. So the first is, there’s an aspect of emotions that are universal, meaning that for each of us, there’s a universal experience that God created and designed emotions to send and communicate certain messages to us.
And so we’re gonna talk about what that is and what that looks like. Then we’re gonna talk about there’s also like universal smile. Yes. Smile means happy or there’s a universal, I mean, you go anywhere in the world and a smile seems to say the same thing. Correct. So there’s a universal skill set.
Yes. Even the expression. So with the primary emotions that we’ll talk about all with the exception of shame, our facial expression, it connects. So, sadness, we know there’s a facial expression. There’s a reflection of those. There’s a reflection of that universal and it’s universal. Sometimes there’s cultural aspects of the way that that’s expressed in public, but privately it’s shown to be universal. Sure, and then we’ll talk a little bit about uniqueness and, the reality is that for each of us, we have a unique relationship with emotions, maybe specific emotions based on our experiences.
And we’ll talk a little bit how that shapes our emotional experience as well. And then again, leave you with the take home exercise. We’re just, navigating our screen here. Oh, there we go. That’s helpful. So I start with this quote here from Ravi, says God has given us our emotions for a reason. Emotions are supposed to be indicators of reality, not fabricators or framers of reality. So, let’s think about an example.
We started out talking about how emotions are complex and, if you think about, I just recently took my truck in to be serviced. And, the dashboard, indicator, lights communicate, okay, something’s going on. But in this particular instance, my check engine light would be on for a day and then it would be off and it would be on for a day.
And so I wasn’t sure. And finally it stayed on. So in that case, the indicator light says, you know, it communicates, it’s an indicator of reality, but sometimes that it’s a false indicator. It’s a false indicator. Yep. And so it’s information, really. Alright. So, when we think about emotions, they don’t just come out of nowhere.
They are tied to what we would call to a sequence. So, there’s a trigger or an event that happens. Then we experience the emotion or have the emotional experience. And then, we respond. All of our emotions are designed to have some sort of response to them. Now, sometimes we don’t respond in healthy ways.
Certainly, but for example, sadness, one of the responses is mourning or seeking support. Okay. It’s a healthy way to move into relationship, with that emotional experience. So that’s a response and so it can happen. So the event could be a specific incident. My spouse was angry with me and my emotional experience was I was worried and I withdrew or I went silent, but it also could be a trigger just of a memory.
So I can think about a fond memory of a getaway experience with my wife and that in this moment I can have an emotional experience. And my response is one of feeling warmth and connection. So it doesn’t necessarily have to be in the context of an interaction, okay. But what we wanna say is that emotional experience isn’t isolated, but it’s interesting, oftentimes I think Matt, you speak into this, but when we, as couples talk through conflict that happens, we spend a lot of time oftentimes on the event. Yes. Yeah. And maybe even the response, but what we’re also communicating is that it is just as important to spend time around this emotional experience and unpacking it cuz there’s a lot of information and meaning that comes out of that.
Yeah. And I’ve had a little bit of the advantage of seeing your notes to this presentation and that’s a key, that’s a big key here that we spend our efforts with the event and the response and we’ve ignored the emotional experience. That’s very much a player here between these, right? Right. So what Kaleb wants to do here tonight is elevate this emotional experience, which is very much a part of our interactions. Maybe you could say it’s a part of every interaction at some level whether we recognize it or not. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So,if you think about this emotional experience is a key player in our relationships, right, events are big and the way we respond to one another is big. Yeah. But there’s another big influence. Yeah. And that is our emotional response. And we want to elevate that tonight and we wanna name it and learn how to work with it. Right? Yeah. We begin to unpack it and because much of this happens below the waterline, so to speak, right in ourselves, experiences that we bring, past experiences we talk about. And so, it’s helpful to begin to unpack that. So, okay. So let’s just start with the basics there, some that say there’s anywhere from five to eight primary emotions that we have. Okay. So here we have six, as you go around and again, each of these primary emotions or core emotions that we have are designed to communicate a message that leads to ultimately a response, a responsive of connection but we don’t often use it in that way.
And I think you can see each of these from the last slide, there’s an event. Joy might be the emotion and then that would have a response. Yes. There’s an event anger. Is my emotional experience. And then there’s the response. Yes. Right? Yes. And a lot of that’s by design, right. That our emotions would give rise to a response or be a motivator to response.
Yeah. Right. Absolutely. One of the things that I think God has given us emotions for is motivation, motivate us to do something or act upon something. And so, certainly that is one of the reasons that he’s given us emotions. So, as it says there, feeling is just an expression of awareness. You think about it.
Emotion itself is an expression of awareness in our body. We experience it this early it’s not a cognitive, just a cognitive concept. Certainly we’re talking about, okay. When I experience anger, I notice this happens in my body. You know, there’s a rush of emotion and my muscles are tense.
Okay. So I’m talking about that in a cognitive manner, but it’s very much a visceral body experience. So oftentimes when individuals say I’m stressed, well, where do you notice you’re stress? How do you know you’re stressed? Something is communicating to you that you’re stressed. Something’s communicating to you that you’re angry.
Right? Okay. Are you suggesting then that this would be emotional awareness 101 is just knowing your body well enough. Yes, yes. Yeah. What it’s communicating. Yeah. Yes. And, and we’ll jump into each of these, primarily what they’re communicating, but, emotional. Yes. 101 Emotional intelligence 101 is, what is this emotion experiencing?
What is the emotion I’m experiencing and what is it communicating? Yeah. To me, right. Yep. Which then leads to recognizing that in my spouse. Right, right. Knowing your spouse well enough that you can read those outward visual cues. Correct. That says she’s sad or she’s yes. Angry. Yeah. Yep.
So for each of these primary emotions, with the exception of shame, they have a universal, at least this is what is suggested. And, I think there’s validity to it. They have the same facial expression. Okay, so you and I, when we experience joy, our facial expression and the most expressive part of our face is the mouth area.
Okay. And so, when we’re communicating with individuals, that’s where you’ll see it, but also within the eye. So, let’s walk through some examples here, but you said shame is not that way. No, which I think is interesting. Yeah. It’s the one of that list that doesn’t have a universal facial or, right.
Disgust does. Okay. But not shame. So disgust is similar to shame. That’s not right. It wouldn’t be the same. No, because disgust is yeah. When I had disgust with my spouse. Right. Or towards somebody else, oftentimes I guess I could have disgust with myself for sure. But, okay, fascinating.
So, let’s take this first one as an example. So I’m interested to know, as you see, this is just a rendition of an individual and their facial expression. So if you would, those of you that are able to, type in, what emotion do you see on this, individuals? So you want ’em to go ahead and chat in?
I’d like, yeah. I’d like you to go ahead and chat. We’ll be able to see that. What emotion is this individual communicating?
Joy joy. Happy. Happy. Yep. Yeah. Happiness. Joy. Yep. Go anywhere in the world. They would’ve taken that’s right. The same things that’s exactly right. Yeah. Wherever you go. And, you know, and so you see obviously the, again, around the mouth area, it’s elevated, you can also see in the eyebrows and again, universally, although it’s interesting because even my sister-in-law spent some time in Turjekistan and so while happiness of an expression would be this, they, particularly the females, they do not make eye contact with the males. And so for that reason in public, what might someone. They, she might be happy, but she would not come across that. Exactly. Yeah. Right. But in private, it would how you would, yeah, so here’s just, the actual, what happiness is.
So, the emotion, an overall sense of exhilaration, based on a specific accomplishment or favorable environmental circumstance in a moment, a feeling of lightness. So again, the body, the visceral feeling of lightness power, energy is felt a surge of adrenaline seems to enhance our sense of self and our connectedness with others.
So if you think about it, when we share happiness, we are connecting or joy. We are connecting as couples, as families, as church bodies when we rejoice and seeing when you think about worship. Yeah. It’s really, really part of this. Yeah. And, it’s a nonverbal connection. Yes. Right? Yep. Yep. It can be certainly we can express that, but,yeah.
Okay. How about this one? We’re gonna do a couple more here. What, do you see when you think of the primary emotions? What emotion do you see on this individual’s face, go ahead and chat that in. Yes. Yeah, absolutely. So fear, scared. Yeah. And isn’t that interesting. We can pick that up, Matt. Just like this.
Yeah. And again, look it around her mouth. You’ll notice that she well, that makes me fearful and scared. We had somebody chat in, she overdrew her checking account, and, that’s certainly reason for fear. Yes. So again, universal, so, felt in the upper chest and breathing passages.
It’s a sense that somehow our life and survival are being threatened it’s a sense of dread. Okay. And it goes throughout the body. It’s interesting that with fear, our heart rate increases, but our hands actually go cold, okay, and anger is different. Anger is our heartbeat increases in our feeling, our hands actually go warm. Yep. And that’s a universal experience. It’s almost a, kind of a, as I say, fight and flight, kind of a flight recoil with fear. Anger, maybe a little bit more poised and ready, right? Yeah. To engage. Yep. Yeah. Okay. One more. So, again, I’d like you to chat in, what do you see?
What a primary emotion do you see on this individual space? Yes. Yeah.
Angry. Lot of anger. All, yes. Yeah. A lot of anger. Yep. So you can see it right across the lip. Notice how it’s different from fear because lips are pursed and tight and you can see the furrowed brow, again, yes. Tense. Yeah. Yeah. It’s a universal expression and it’s interesting, Matt, that we can’t, we can try to fake it.
So go back to happiness. I can try to fake happiness, but my smile is not symmetrical. It is only symmetrical when it’s out of a place of happiness. True joy. Yeah. Right. True. Genuine happiness. That’s right. Yeah. Again, universal experience. So anger, a feeling of power in the gut is followed by a surge of muscle tension in the lower middle and upper back and shoulders followed by a rush of adrenaline and blood throughout the body.
Ready, you know, actually I can speak to this. I taught high school, public high school mathematics for a number of years and I learned when I was getting angry, one of the indicators is I felt tenseness behind my eyes as odd as that sounds I could, but I could tell that it was a bit of a threshold for me.
Like, when I felt that pressure, I knew that I needed to work this out. Yes. Within myself. Yeah. And that’s the check engine light. Yeah. I think for all of us, we need to know what that indicator is, right, in our bodies. Yeah. Where is the threshold? Right. Sometimes we go, we run right past it. Yeah.
Which that happens, but that’s a really good example of just that awareness, that body awareness. Right. So, okay. There was just a verse here again. I think the Psalms is just a wonderful place where we can connect, walk through emotions of various kinds and understand that it connect, even in this passage here, the psalmist connects to, okay, what was the emotion where they felt it in their body and what their response tendency would be.
Okay. So as we read this together, look at this, Psalm 32:3-4, it says when I kept silent. So in some sense, I’m reading that as the trigger. That’s the event. When I tried to keep silent, my bones waxed old through my roaring. And if you look at that word roaring, it’s like this moaning and groaning that it’s out of grief.
And we all know what that experience is like all the day long for day and night thy hand was heavy upon me. Okay. That’s the thought that came with it. And my moisture is turned into the drought of summer. And so you could, can you, that is filled with emotion. Yeah. I mean, would the Psalms be a good place for one who doesn’t connect with emotions well, yeah, doesn’t recognize or maybe feels like they are dry to emotion? Yes. Would that be a place to walk? Absolutely. Yeah. Yep. Reading through there. And there’s a lot of metaphors they use like rock or refuge or, and all of those can be really helpful ways of connecting, even if I don’t say,when I think of a refuge, a place of security.
Okay. I can use metaphors to describe my experience and not necessarily connect to oh, fear or so even using metaphors, which is often used in the Psalms. Yeah. Which is helpful. Okay, so let’s move into then the uniqueness of our emotional experiences. So, that was all universal. That was all universal.
So everything that we talked about there makes sense just as kind of that’s our, your basic data, yeah, input, right that we all have. And now, we’re gonna talk to the uniqueness of the person, right? Is that right? Yes. Because, I think, Matt, based on our unique experiences, sometimes it’s not as easy as just saying, oh, I feel sad.
Okay. And that’s really what we’re gonna get at, because there’s, when we think about that emotional experience, remember back to the slide that said, we have an event or a trigger, then we have this emotional experience and then there’s a response. Okay. This emotional experience includes the universal piece as well as uniqueness. Okay. And this is what we’re gonna talk about. Yeah. Here, so this picture shows glasses. Okay. And I want you to think about the uniqueness of our emotional experiences as a set of glasses that we have on which is, you think about glasses, that’s our perception, right?
That’s our vision. Yeah. My wife, when we were first married, she didn’t have glasses. Okay, and she would ask about signs what they said and I’m thinking, wow, I wonder, honey, if you should go get your eyes checked. And she did. And she got glasses. And I remember our first, I think it was, we were going to church on Sunday morning and she was looking at the trees.
She’s like, those trees have leaves on them. She was able to see all the individual leaves to see all the individual leaves. If for her, it was, it had been just this blob. Yeah. And again, those leaves were always there. Yeah. Okay. But her experience was one of just seeing this whole tree.
And I think it’s like that in our emotions, emotional experience as well. So, again, our uniqueness, which we’re gonna talk about here, and the universality of our emotions come together to form our emotional experience. And now, so let’s, I wanna just, so we’ve already talked about the universality, that’s that bottom one we’ve already, we spent some time on and we’ve already seen emotional experience in those in the three, you have an event, you have an emotional experience, and then you have a response. So you’re really unpacking that emotional experience, which you’ve said we often skip over.
Yes, we don’t see. Yes. And so tonight, Kaleb is elevating that emotional experience and he’s now he’s broken that emotional experience into two parts, universality, which we’ve already talked about in the uniqueness. Yes. Yep. They include both of those. So what’s uniqueness. Yep. So uniqueness is made up of a couple components here.
Okay. The first component is our family of origin. Okay. So, when we grew up in our family, what was our emotional experience like? How did our parents navigate emotions? How did we experience and navigate through emotions? Yeah. So that certainly is a component that shapes our unique experience.
Okay. So let me give you a few examples. Okay. If I grew up in a family where let’s say there was an abusive, angry father. What the meaning of anger takes on something. Yeah. Right there. Yeah. Okay. And, because it’s always was abused. Yes. Yeah. It was never, or rarely, expressed in a healthy way.
Yeah. Okay. And so when it comes to that experience of anger, when I see that my spouse, there’s already these experiences back here that are shaping my interaction yeah. With my spouse now. There could also be situations and experiences with my family growing up. Maybe there was a difficult or traumatic event that happened.
Okay. So let’s say there’s a family of a number of siblings and one of them got hurt severely. and that took really the energy and some stress for the parents. Okay. And so one of the siblings learned that if I don’t express my emotion, right that I, that if I express it, it becomes a burden to them.
Right. They’re already stressed. Now, right, as we’re talking about this, these are not overt messages. Okay. The parents don’t say don’t share your sadness right now. Yeah. But the response can be one of when they’re caring for this individual, who’s been injured severely, they’re spending time in the hospital ,they’re caring for this individual. And again, this let’s say he’s an eight year old boy. Yeah. Okay. Not an adult. Yeah. We’re thinking through an adult, so, right. So think of an eight year old boy in your life. Yeah. Okay. That doesn’t have the cognitive ability we do, walk up to the parents and start to express something and they might see sadness or tears.
Right. But if they don’t express it, then there’s a connection or maybe they choose to perform. Right. As a way to ease. Yeah. So let me, but the bottom line is that we have an individual, we have a young child who grows up stuffing emotions or thinking differently about emotions.
Correct. Sadness is bad or sadness is not helpful. Right. When I was sad as a child, it was not helpful. No, it didn’t lead to soothing or comfort. Right. And so, consequently, think of it this way. So, currently I have a teenage daughter, who’s going through math class and every once in a while, she’ll ask, you know, to help her on assignments.
And I do my best, but I have to rethink and actually go back a little bit, but she has gotten to the point of algebra and even complex equations, but she started with building blocks back here. Yeah. You know, Matt. Yeah. The arithmetic, the arithmetic. Yeah. And so there’s been subtraction and addition and division, all these things that have led up to algebra.
Okay. So in our family of origin, you can think of addition and subtraction as like that little child, their parent coming in and saying, you know, noticing, accepting the emotion of sadness, soothing that with them. That’s a building block to say, this is what’s going on in me. Right. I have no idea what’s going on or anger.
Right. Right. And so those are building blocks, if you will, to experiences as adults. Yeah. And, as we’ve already said, emotions are complex. And so it’s easy to see that they are building from these very small, fundamental, emotional moments that we have as children. Yes. Yes. And, I think it’s helpful here.
There’s a couple things that I would say is, Matt, this is not in any way trying to portray parents in a bad light. I’m a parent. Yeah. And I know at times I’m gonna mess up okay. I’m gonna fail. And one of the things, however, is remembering that as children, we are incredible at perceiving emotion.
So when shifts of emotion happen in the family or in our parents, they know it. But they’re terrible interpreters. They’re terrible at making sense of it and why? Yes. So, a child is good at saying what is, but not why is exactly, so it’s and that, discrepancy has a long term effect.
Yes, yes. And so it could be, you know, just the way I’ve experienced it. And so I guess I wanna communicate, this is about us taking responsibility for experiences. It’s not about, so we’re not the whole point is not to place blame. And so this is what happened, but it’s more or less provide explanation understanding to provide explanation on this is why perhaps I don’t have the right interpretation for these emotions and the good news is we can learn the interpretations, correct. Even as an old correct. An old dog absolutely can learn new tricks. You can learn addition, subtraction, learn new tricks, Kaleb says. Excellent. And then real quickly past experiences.
So specifically past experiences with any of the emotions. So with anger, with sadness grief. So we know that, for example, if I’ve had loss, multiple loss, intense loss in the past, my present experience of that will be shaped and formed by my past experiences. Sure. Okay. And so that’s uniqueness, which again, everybody’s different.
So does that give a person, a trail to go down? If they wanna learn about themselves, that’s like, okay, if I’m having a hard with my sadness then where have I dealt with sadness in the past? Is that the trail that would lead me to this, right, correct. Anger. If I’m not understanding my anger, dealing with my anger might part of my own personal growth be going backwards and looking at the anger trail that’s led me here.
Yes. Is that true? Absolutely. Okay. That’s helpful cuz you can think of it like a memory in a sense, as I experience anger in the present, it carries with it other times that I’ve experienced yeah. Anger, right? Yeah. And even journaling about what do I experience, what comes to mind when I think of sadness or anger or, you know, and even journaling thinking about that.
There’s a lot of meaning in that, which is what we’re talking about, the unique emotional experience. Good. So, now moving into the marriage relationship. Okay. And as we think about the marriage relationship, one of the things that I think is helpful to remember for us as couples is that sometimes our conflict or disagreements or disconnection in our marriage relationship is fueled by an emotional mismatch.
Okay. So it isn’t about the finances. Isn’t about, it’s just the event, the topic. That’s right. It’s about, that’s the topic at hand. That’s right. So let’s say finance, let’s say finances. And a couple has the conversation about finances. What can happen is let’s say you have a husband that tends to dismiss emotion.
Okay. Okay. Which means underneath that there may be a belief that, you know what emotions really are irrelevant. They’re not that helpful. And just kind of get ’em outta the way. Right. Dismissive. And you have a wife that maybe spins right in emotion. Yeah. Maybe gets caught in emotion, so you can already see the storm that’s gonna happen, whatever the topic is.
Yeah. And so it leads to fueling unhealthy conflict. Right. Okay. And so one of the things I think is helpful is for us as couples to have conversations about those emotional mismatches about a different conversation. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Then finances, that’s good. We need to have that, but there’s also another conversation that we need to be having.
And that is about the emotional experience that we are both having. Correct. And I think, and even that dismissive spouse is having an emotional experience. Correct. That’s true, right? Yeah. It’s not that they’re without emotional experience. It’s that, that is their emotional experience. That is they dismiss, dismissing the emotion itself.
Right, right. Yes. And so part of bringing this spinning spouse and dismissive spouse together is to lift the conversation away necessarily maybe from the event of finances and onto their emotional interaction. Yes. Yep. What was happening? Okay. Yeah.
Okay. Um, here’s a quote. So, this comes from Shaunti Feldhahn. She is a Christian researcher and author. She’s written a number of books, perhaps some of you have, heard of her. She wrote, men, when your wife is sharing an emotional problem. What she is feeling about the problem is actually more important to her than the problem.
Okay. So what she’s communicating, which I don’t think is necessarily always gender, like this. Correct. But certainly gender difference, a spouse right. In, a marriage is pretty likely, yes. In fact, my wife sent this quote to me, Matt, it was after a conversation that I missed this.
Okay. So to be clear, we know who the real teacher is. That’s right. And so what she was communicating to me is it wasn’t about the problem. Yeah. It’s about how she felt about it. And for her, feeling validated about how she felt about it, the problem itself. She really didn’t care that much about.
But just to know, she, her emotional experience made sense. Even when I don’t agree with her, it’s like, yes, you know, you’re frustrated about that or you’re sad or whatever that is. Let me give an example too, because this occurred to me actually after teaching such as this. And so even Rebecca might, you know, be doing laundry for example, and just be like, already, more laundry just never quits, you know?
And, immediately I’m trying to dispatch kids to, to fix the problems. Oh sure. And all kinds of things on how to get this. And, while all that might be helpful and she doesn’t turn that away, she was angry about the situation and just connecting with that anger, is what I could do in that moment also.
Yeah. To say this is intense. Yeah, you’re right. Is the, you’ve been doing it. This, never ending laundry. Yeah. And that’s frustrating might be a benign example, but it’s an example to your point that it’s about the feeling, rather than solving this thing. Right, right. Okay. Yep. And I, one of the things I think here too, is to remember the uniqueness part of why I think it’s helpful to bring in the uniqueness, in this situation is, if I tend to be dismissive and you’re asking me to connect with my sadness, right.
I’m not going there. Right. Yeah. Because I’ve learned either I feel guilty about that. Yeah. Right. For bringing up or connecting with my sadness or I just don’t go there or I might go to the, make the connection and say, well, you’re wrong for being angry about that. Right. And not blame. Yeah.
Right. Blaming the other person. You shouldn’t be angry about this. I mean, after all, this is life, right? You shouldn’t be sad about this after all this is life. Right, right, right. Get on, move. And we miss the connection and the real support that we each need. Right. Is that true? Right. True.
There’s a saying that goes, this is for parents, but I think it applies even in marriage relationship is as parents, we need to validate the emotion and correct the behavior. Okay. So if you think about, and even in our marriage relationship, what does it look like to validate, affirm the emotion, but then okay.
But the behavior I wanna, you know, talk about or shifting or changing. Yeah. And I’ve heard it also said it and just knowing that level how large should this be? I know a lot of times we have this conversation with our kids. It’s okay to be angry. Is this small bucket angry or should this be big bucket angry?
Yes. You know, and we kind of work that level out. Yes. Right? Yes. Which I think is another, is just another conversation on this emotional experience. Yep. Those are the types of things we talk about. Yep. Yep. Okay. So, here’s what we’d like you to think through is spending time on the how. So a couple things here, we’ve been talking about our emotional experience tonight.
Okay. We started with the what? Okay. Sadness, fear, shame. Okay. Negative emotion. That’s the what? So that’s the, what I’m feeling. All right. But it’s also helpful to move into how is it? What’s it like for me to experience sadness? Okay. When I experience sadness, what’s that like for me? And what’s it like for me, when my spouse experiences sadness. Now I’m no longer talking about the what, the sadness, but how I feel about my feelings.
That sounds kind of strange. Now we’re getting really deep, but so almost nine o’clock , but I think that conversation is really helpful. Okay. Because it moves us out of the spinning of the emotion and how we connect or how I feel about my feelings, the emotional mismatch that we talked about.
Right. I start to dive into how I relate to my emotions, not just what I’m feeling, because if I learned that it’s not okay to experience anger, I have guilt. When I experience anger, then I struggle to express it to my spouse. Okay. But if I start having a conversation with my spouse, you know, what. When I notice anger, I feel guilt.
And I start expressing that. Now I’m already starting to talk about this higher level. Yeah. Right. That helps me to move. Yeah. Let me, I’m gonna take a shot at some examples here. Okay. Okay. So let’s say the, what is, is I realize that I’m experiencing anger. The how is looking at how it is that I’m reacting to that anger.
So saying, oh, I’m withdrawing right now. You’re asking us to go to that level of introspection, right? Not just to say I’m angry, but how am I dealing with that anger? Is that true? So how, what that experience is like for me to have anger in my body. Okay. Just the experience of anger. So when I feel anger, what’s that like for me?
Right. Okay. Not even how I respond when I have anger or sadness. What’s that like for me to sit a little bit with sadness, do I have other emotions or other experiences that come in with that? Does that make sense? Yes. Yes. And so it’s not just how I respond when I have that emotion, you know, out here behaviorally wise.
Right. It’s like, it’s yeah. When I have anger and I sit with it, what’s that like, or what’s it like to have your spouse be angry? Does that make sense? Yes. So, and that would bring that empathy piece absolutely empathy in the sense of, I think understanding and connecting part of going back to the family of origin, what we’ve experienced back here is when we take an experience or an approach of curiosity, and kindness into that to understand.
Oh, when you experience anger, you feel guilt. Huh? That’s interesting. I wonder where that came from. Right? So I’m moving. Yes. Rather than a critical cold, which oftentimes I think sometimes we do internally so that what you just said, I think made it clear to me when you said, when you feel ,angry, you experience guilt That is the introspection level that you’re asking us to go to, correct?
Yes. To say not only that, oh, right now my experience is anger and now I feel guilt for that. There’s that layer of introspection. Yep. Yep. Okay. Yep. That makes sense. And I know this is somewhat abstract and the take home exercise, I’m hoping, will start to unpack this a little bit. So that we can move into these conversations, at least somewhat.
And what I would say is with this, Matt, is, I think at some level we have to be somewhat removed. So let’s say Ang and I have a conflict. Okay. Tense conversation. We have to be somewhat removed from that, or we’ll get right back into it. I, that was kind of my question. I wonder if do couples need to, yeah apart from the event, bringing us to a place of anger and then talking about anger, let’s start with no anger at all and talk about anger. Right, yes. So that absolutely, so that we can understand each other a little bit better. Yeah. So when there’s nothing at stake here, there’s no argument on the line.
We’re not getting honey, help me understand. Help me understand the how here. When the, what is anger for you? Right, right. Is that right? Yes. Is that what the exercise is? Yes. And I think it’s helpful even. So with that, Matt, like, so let’s say we had a difficult conversation, so tonight’s Monday night, Friday evening.
Okay. We wanna revisit it a couple days later. There’s enough space and distance, and we can revisit it without diving back into it, but yet experiencing some of those emotions, that would be ideal you with me. Yeah. Yeah. It doesn’t overwhelm me. Right. But it is so with a little bit of space. Exactly. Yeah.
Yep. So, let’s jump into a couple things here before we let you go. The first is, this is just a feeling word, table. And one of the things that you’ll see here is at the top is the primary motion. and then it has, the intensity levels. Okay. So, with the universality, this can be a helpful way for us to begin to connect and put language, okay, to our experiences. Yes, because this is, I mean, we started with six or whatever that slide was of emotions and this really nuances those emotions and into levels. Correct. Does that make sense? Yep. And I think a list like this, or a slide like this, is helpful because for those of us who are emotionally challenged, this provides color and detail. It provides a vocabulary.
Yes, yep. Vocabulary for myself. And even like when my spouse is walking through something, if I pull out this feelings word list and start to think about what are they experiencing. Now I’m starting to connect and to empathize with them as well. Right. So this shows at the top, it’s a little and the bottom is a lot.
So, these are different varying levels of intensity of the same emotion, right? So for mad or angry, you can see it goes from being bothered to furious. Exactly. Yep. And that communicates a different message. You think about it, it goes to that bucket thing that I mentioned is this small bucket or is this like really large bucket?
Yep. Are my emotions at the right level for what the event was? Yep. Yep. So we’ll share that. So, here’s the take a couple take homes that we’d like to send you away with. One is, taking time to connect and share two to three emotions from your day. Okay. So as you reflect on your day, connect with, from this feelings word chart, connect with two to three emotions and share those with your spouse, but connecting them with event are, yes, we can send it out.
It will be on the website. We can put it on there. Yep. Yep. Okay. Maybe under this same exercise. Okay. It might be a good idea to put, we’ll do. But to start to connect with those emotions connected with this a particular experience in that day. So I’m gonna reflect back a while back ago, we had an event emotional experience and then a response.
And we mentioned that often the event and the response get all the attention and we need to provide more attention to the emotional response, the emotional experiences and you’re I think what you’re saying is this daily discipline will help us do that, it will help us start to turn our focus and our thoughts towards that emotional experience.
Right? Yes. Yes, because it’s not gonna be natural until we kind of build it into our life. Right. And connection is being able to share that because really part of our, I think it adds richness to our connection in our marriage relationship to begin to communicate and put language to our experiences.
Yeah. Emotional language. And then the second thing that we want to share with you is this is an article deeper dive. Yeah. Deeper dive. So, engage in dialogue with your spouse about how past experiences have shaped the way that you connect with and experience emotions presently. So if we go to our website here, the title of the article is Exploring Your Spouse’s Emotional World.
Okay. And essentially this is a list, a series of questions. Okay. So you can see the primary emotions that we talked about, which again, are universal in our experience, as far as the way we experience them, however we pull in what is the uniqueness? Okay. So it starts with the past. All right.
So let’s take fear for example. All right. So this first question says, what was your experience with fear in your family growing up? Okay, so you may start with that question in itself, and again, this was designed for you to sit down as couples and to walk through. Okay. So you can ask your spouse that, what was your experience with fear growing up and what made you feel fear? So think about specific experiences and maybe it’s a helpful way to start with experiences and move into the emotion, or start with the photo album. Right. And begin to connect with these experiences and what this leads to again, is the how do I feel about my feelings, not the what I’m feeling, but how do I feel about them?
Right. Or how do I think about my feelings? 101 is, what do we feel? 201 is how we feel about those. That’s well stated. Yeah. And, this list of questions is a way to start to go to make that leap correct? From 101 to 201, right? Yes, exactly. So you begin to uncover how our parents interacted, how they interacted with us, that sort of thing.
So that’s all in the past. Okay. Then we move into the present, how you experience that now. So what’s it like for you to experience fear now? Right. When would I, what would I see if I saw you afraid, right? What would I notice? How would you respond? Who do you go to when you’re feeling afraid?
So on and so forth. So again, these are beginning to unpack the emotional experience of a given emotion. Because here’s the thing, it could be a particular emotion that we have difficult experience around, not the whole suite of emotions. Yeah. Right. Which is probably very likely, yes.
Yeah. It looks like this present list really helps us understand why. Or, kind of how I view my emotions and the past tells me why I do that. Does that make sense? Yes. So we have, what emotion am I feeling? And then how do I feel about that emotion? This present list will kind of tell us that, why do I feel that way?
The past list will probably tell me that, yes, begin to connect to, to help make those connections. Yep. So now we’ve got some questions here or statements, questions for, is this for our spouses, right? Okay. Yep. So this is bringing it into the marriage relationship. Okay. Present isn’t necessarily. So this is looking at the spouse, you know, how do you respond when I’m feeling afraid?
Yes. So this is really that interaction between the two of us that I think of that spinning slide that you had. Yes. That mismatch with the air going in opposite directions. We are spinning with our emotions. And these questions kind of get to the core of that. Right. It’s so that we can talk about it objectively.
Yeah. Yep. That’s exactly what it’s designed for. Yep. And then finally, it’s just the last part there is about our overall kind of emotional approach. So what’s our philosophy about expressing emotions. Again, after going through this exercise, sometimes it leads to certain insights about a particular emotion that I feel more comfortable or less comfortable expressing.
And so all of that, again, is part of our spouse’s emotional world. And if I’m able to make sense of that then I can connect to them on a deeper level and empathize with their experiences. Right. And so it’s really discovery that we can go through together. Understanding goes a long ways, doesn’t it? It does. Yes. Just to understand, it doesn’t make maybe the response, correct. It doesn’t make, but just to understand and have some sort of explanation on why she or he reacted like that. Yes. Yep. Correct. Yep. And again, I it’s, it, none of us, this isn’t about doing it perfectly, but I think understanding our cycles and the negative interactions we get into as couples and beginning to have conversations about that yeah.
Can be really helpful and healthy. Yeah. Makes sense. So, excellent. All right. What else? Anything else? Is there any chat in questions,
Any questions anybody would like to throw out there we would be open to that.
You know one of the questions that came in that I really liked, Kaleb, is the question regarding accepting the feelings that I’m having. I get a sense and it’s not all that uncommon for people to have an emotion and regret that emotion. Does that make sense?
You know, I shouldn’t be feeling this way about this certain thing, and then we start to maybe spiral and that just spawns another emotion. Does that make sense? And now emotions are stacked on top of each other because, I felt angry about that and I know I shouldn’t have, or, and now I’m feeling bad about that.
And, I don’t know. What would you say to a person who might be already very thoughtful about their emotions, and almost like struggling with it like that. Yep. Yep. So, well, first the, we walk through this and this is some of these things are easy to say, but this is really hard to apply. Yeah. Okay. Just acknowledge when it comes to emotion. Again, they’re complex, they send different messages and there’s a visceral experience that we’re having with them. Okay. That can happen like this. Right. And so when I am having trouble accepting what I’m feeling, part of that means that again, I would wanna unpack some of, even these questions to, you know, the history and understanding, cuz I think making sense of it and being curious about my history in a compassionate way, not in a critical way. When do you see in the gospels that Jesus moves towards individuals who are hurting in a critical way? He doesn’t, always with grace. It is with compassion and curiosity. That’s hard to do sometimes, but I would say this individual of it’s difficult to accept my emotions.
Oftentimes there’s experiences around that, that it’s not just emotion, that emotions are bad, for example, or when I feel that something bad happened. So what that means is I need to start creating a little bit of space from emotion, cuz what can happen is I can, what’s called fuse with my emotion. I feel sadness, therefore I am bad. So it goes back to that Ravi quote that says I don’t, he said it really well, but yeah, not that emotion indicator of reality, but not a fabricator of the reality. Yes. And so what you’re saying, just like that warning dash light on your vehicle, you give it a little bit of a grace kinda like, ah, came on, might be right, might be wrong. Our emotions in the same way might indicate correctly or incorrectly. Is that a true statement? Yes. Yeah. And I think with that, when it comes on, what is it like for me to notice and sit with that emotion without doing anything with it? Yeah. Okay. So part of this is moving towards, even when it’s like this tunnel that’s dark. Right. And I’m moving into that emotion. And I’m really terrified to do that. Yeah. But knowing that moving through that out the other side is light. And so part of this is I think building the building blocks of starting to allow myself to sit with and be curious about the experience of sadness or fear even for a little bit.
Yeah. Not a long time. This isn’t about yeah. But just a little bit and little by little it’s building that ability to be present with and curious about that emotional experience. Yeah. Rather than response right now. Right. Cause often that’s what happens is the event and the response are tied together.
Yeah. If that makes sense. Yeah, it does. It does. Well, this has been very helpful. Thank you, Kaleb. Thank you each one for being on. This kind of falls emotional quotient. Isn’t that kind of a big thing right now? Emotional quotient or having an EQ. Oh, does that make sense? Yeah. Emotional intelligence and there’s a great deal of banter now about the value of that, the value in relationships.
And so we’ve all been, I think aply, taught in that important area, so we’re thankful for that. So thanks, Kaleb. Good. Thank you everyone for being along. Again, we will be putting this recording up as well as a link to this website and as well the PowerPoint presentation will be on our website as soon as we can possibly do that, hopefully tomorrow, sometime. And, you’ll find it under webinars. If you’re on our website and you can scroll and find webinars with pretty easily and it will be in the list there. So thanks each one for being along. Goodnight take care.