Have you ever felt abandoned, abused, attacked, betrayed, bullied, ignored, intimidated, invisible, let down, manipulated, neglected, put upon, rejected, rushed, or unappreciated? You have likely felt most, if not all, of those things at some point in your life.
All of the above feelings are actually faux feelings. That is not to say that you do not have an emotional response, but that these words are all mental interpretations masquerading as feelings. In other words, each of these words is an interpretation of what someone else did or did not do causing you to feel a certain way. They are a label about another’s behavior that we are falsely interpreting as an emotion.
When we “feel” ignored, for example, we are interpreting that someone else is ignoring us based on their actions. While that may or may not be true, we do not feel ignored. Our interpretation that we are ignored is causing us to feel sad, lonely, frustrated, impatient, or worried – those are the feelings. Our feelings are related to our interpretation of the other person’s actions because we have a need. In the case of being ignored we may have a need for recognition, community, expression, to matter to someone, or to speak our mind.
If you interpret your spouse’s behavior as ignoring you, you could say that you feel ignored. Or, if you take a moment to get in touch with your heart, you will realize that you are having “true” feeling based on a need. Perhaps you are feeling frustrated because you have a need for recognition or sad because you have a need to matter to your spouse.
When you use faux feelings, you give someone else responsibility for your emotional state. Learning to translate these interpretations into feelings and needs is empowering.
I encourage you to take a look at the list of “faux” feelings below and think about what emotions are attached to each of them. Look at the ways in which you are interpreting other’s behavior. Can you change your perspective and your wording to own your feelings? I also highly recommend reading Nonviolent Communication by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg.
More Faux Feelings:
Please note that some of the following faux feelings are based on a mental evaluation of self, such as stupid, rather than an interpretation of someone else’s behavior as discussed above.