Working together to achieve balance in all aspects of life.
Response to Feelings of Distress
It has been helpful, I have found, to encourage anyone who says, I feel unsafe, I feel attacked, I feel hurt, I feel frustrated, I feel worried, "I feel offended," or Youre making me feel..., to continue that sentence with ownership of the internal feelings. I encourage openness to dialogue about the feelings, whether feelings of threat, hurt, frustration, worry, or some other feeling of distress.
I encourage anyone who hears those phrases from another, to shift to the interview mode (reflecting back what was heard along with gentle questioning for the purpose of better understanding). This gentle interview mode is essentially an invitation to the reactive one to share what is going on in them.
I further encourage anyone who hears those phrases to carefully refrain from anything like taking responsibility for the other's reactivity; to avoid saying anything like, I am sorry, I didn't mean that, You misunderstand me, or There is no need to feel that way, until long after the reactive person has felt fully validated in their distress.
Adapted by Jim Wells
from personal correspondence with Al Turtle