Focusing Tip #803 – Not everyone likes to say “something in me”

Focusing Tip #803 – Not everyone likes to say “something in me”
July 6, 2022 Ann Weiser Cornell
It's not something in me. All of me is angry!

Focusing Tip #803 – Not everyone likes to say “something in me”

What do you do when someone doesn’t want to say “something in me”? Read on…

A Reader writes:

A friend of mine called me to vent her feelings of anger at her mom’s boyfriend — who I have to agree would make anybody furious. I just listened for a long time, but when my friend started telling me how sick she was of being angry, I ventured to suggest that she might try saying “something in me feels angry.”

“Oh no!” she said, now angry with me too. “It’s not something in me! All of me is angry!”

Any ideas about what to do when someone doesn’t want to say “something in me”?

Dear Reader:

Your story makes me think of that old joke about how many Focusers it takes to change a lightbulb.

Answer: Only one, but the lightbulb has to want to change.

Your friend said she was sick of feeling angry, but from the way she reacted, it’s a pretty good guess that she wasn’t really ready to change.

Hanging onto her feeling of anger was giving her something—and who are we to argue with that?

Early in my days of working with people, I noticed that anger has a special place among emotions. Like anger is not just an emotion, it’s also a shield, or a weapon. “Don’t take it away from me” is often the message.

“You’re aware that something in you is angry at him.”

“No! I am angry! All of me!”

What do I do when that happens? I sure don’t argue! “OK! All of you is angry! Of course!”

I do feel that people have a right to their emotions, and they have a right to express their emotions in any way short of actually hurting others. Sometimes “I am angry!” is exactly what’s needed.

It’s not up to me, thank goodness, to know what’s right for another person. If they like, I can make suggestions… but the other person is in charge of what they try. That’s as it should be.

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