Find The Underlying Reason For Your Feelings

We have many different feelings. If you characterize your feelings only by their usefulness to you – as in, awkwardness as bad because it drives people away, and energetic good because I can make friends – then you can end up only thinking about how you don’t like your “bad” feelings when you have them, and when you do that, you aren’t open to hearing the messages every feeling has for you.

If you’re feeling awkward, it can be very important to know why – something is generating that awkwardness in you, so bring forth the whole issue. Ask yourself why. Does it have to do with something painful, annoying, or frightening about what’s going on in a particular set of situations? Is it because you’re trying to force something that you want to have happen but doesn’t come naturally?

As soon as you begin to understand your feelings, ideas will come to you on how to handle the underlying situation. That’s my experience, at least. For instance, if you felt awkward because you were feeling uncertainty around an issue with a friend, an issue you didn’t really want to talk about, you could come up with questions you could ask them to clear up that uncertainty. Of course, coming up with questions might make you tense or nervous in anticipation of asking them, but you can work through those feelings of tension and nervousness, too.

The whole process of asking yourself why you feel as you do may seem like a lot of work, and sometimes it does take a while, but eventually you’ll come to a place where the direction you’ve chosen feels right, and it’s not painful for you anymore. But to find that place takes some patience and focus, looking at and describing your feelings to yourself, and asking yourself probing questions.

One of the major benefits of doing this is that oftentimes you’ll find that the surface issue – the awkwardness one day when talking with a friend, for instance – can lead you to an underlying issue that perhaps has affected your life in multiple areas. After understanding the issue fully, you’ll feel more at ease in that KIND of situation, rather than just the one situation that caused the awkward feelings to begin with.

Article adapted from the comments of Oliver Kaufman, founder of The World Within. Edited and posted by Matt who is a lover of peace and happiness. He runs a website that showcases awesome things to buy.


Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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