How do you explain your feelings to someone who isn’t empathic?

I received a question the other day. It’s a question on how to explain your feelings to others who don’t get it. How to explain your feelings to people who are not emotional, and who are (though she doesn’t use that word) narcissistic:

“How can I explain my feelings to others who are on the other end of the “empath” continuum and not be called hysterical?”

Seems like a straightforward enough question, right? But there are actually many layers to this.

Here’s my answer:

 

How to Explain Your Feelings  – Excerpt:

Your feelings are for you. Your feelings are there to tell you what you need, not to explain to others why what you want or need is valid.

Your feelings are there to tell you what it is that’s important to you:

  • What it is that you need.
  • What it is that you want.

So with people who are not emotional and not interested in emotions  – and who think emotions are stupid and dumb and weak and bad and ridiculous – the last thing you want to do is talk about emotions.

You just want to tell them what you need. And you want to set some strong boundaries around that.

 

image of qa on how to explain feelings with womans face in background

 

How to Explain Your Feelings – Full Transcript

Hi, this is Caroline from the Happy Sensitive, and I’m here answering a reader question.

The question is, “how can I explain my feelings to others who are on the other end of the empath continuum and not be called hysterical?”

Now, on the face of it, this looks like a simple question, but this is actually a really, really complicated question because there’s a lot of assumptions in here and I have a lot of questions.

 

First of all: Why do you want to explain your feelings to people who call you hysterical?

They call you hysterical. They invalidate your feelings, but you keep trying to explain them.

Why? What are you trying to achieve?

You already know these are people who are not very emotional. They don’t have a lot of regard for emotions, they don’t have a lot of understanding for emotions…

 

But somewhere deep inside, you think if you just keep explaining it better maybe they will get it and maybe they won’t judge you.

Maybe they won’t be mean.

Maybe they won’t attack you.

Maybe they’ll be supportive.

Maybe they’ll be kind.

Maybe they’ll be loving.

Maybe they’ll finally understand you.

Maybe it’ll all make sense.

Maybe you can finally be friends.

Maybe you can finally get along.

Maybe everything can be OK…

But it’s not OK. Because when you express your feelings, you’re called hysterical!

But this is the thing about feelings: Your feelings are for you.

 

Your feelings are to tell you what you need, not to explain to others why what you want or need is valid.

Your feelings are there to tell you what it is that’s important to you. What it is that you need, what it is that you want.

And so with people who are not emotional and not interested in emotions and who think emotions are stupid and dumb and weak and bad and ridiculous, the last thing you want to do is talk about emotions.

You just want to tell them what you need.

And you want to set some strong boundaries around that.

 

But I’m guessing… a few things:

Either you’ve tried that. You’ve tried setting boundaries, but they don’t respect those boundaries. So you just go back to trying to explain, hoping that’ll work, which it doesn’t.

Or you’re afraid of setting boundaries, you’re afraid of just telling people: “hey, dude, this is what I need from you”.

You don’t need to explain why. You don’t need to explain how you feel. You just need to let them know what you need. And then either make sure you get it. Or adjust your expectations around that relationship. Get your needs met somewhere else. Adjust your relationship with the person. But either way, your feelings are not for them.

Your feelings are not for them to validate. Your feelings are not for them to understand.

Your feelings, are for you to understand. Your feelings, are for you to validate.

 

More Resources

If this is about family – you might also want to read / watch:

What if you parent is a narcissist?

Why can’t I confront my narcissistic mother?

You probably have good reasons not to use the word narcissistic. Maybe you don’t want to be judgemental. Yet, I really recommend calling a spade a spade. It will help with avoiding never-ending rabbit holes. (Like trying to get narcissistic people to respect your feelings. Which is understandable, really! Just – sadly – utterly pointless.)

 

 

P.S. I know this is an answer that problably opens a pandora’s box of more questions – that’s how it goes with questions!

But see how much can be shared in just a few short minutes? (The audio reply was just under 4 minutes)

Imagine how much we can get clarity on in 30 minutes. Because if you’ve read this far, I’m guessing, this is just the tip of the iceberg for you.

Relationships with narcissistic people are like banging your head against a brick wall. No matter how hard you try – the wall doesn’t budge!

So you need effective ways to manage those dynamics, adjust your expectations, and honour your needs. So that you get out of the exhaustion – sadness / frustration – overworking loop.

 

 

clarity call after post transp

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