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Remember the feeling. Thursday May 4, 2017

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou's words speak to me through their simplicity and truth.

We all know people who don't talk to their family, their cousins, their neighbours because of a disagreement that started many years ago, so long ago that nobody remembers how it started. What they do tell you is that their side was hurt, offended, felt betrayed etc.

Feelings are so strong that successive generations will keep the animosity going long after the people who started it have died. A friend discovered she had long lost cousins in England and wanted to meet them. At the reunion was a side of her family that had not talked to the other side since late 1800's!!!

She was curious as to how it started but everyone was vague. What they did know was how horribly their ancestors had been treated by the other side.

There are good feelings that we can share with others. Funny how I immediately thought of negative feelings. I knew this family who had a child with a severe disability. Every time I visited them they made me feel like a queen. Words and actions have faded but that feeling of being welcomed and valued, has stayed with me forever.

There is common theory now that says as we think so shall we feel. If we change our thinking then other people can't make us feel bad. That is the theory and sometimes I am sure it works but in dealing with close family with fragile emotions involved it can be difficult to think logically.

If we change our thoughts we can change our feelings?

Can you relate to the quotation?

Do you remember how someone made you feel but have forgotten other details?

Do you have any ideas that worked for you to stop others from hurting your feelings?

A Moodscope member.

Thoughts on the above? Please feel free to post a comment below.

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Molly Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 1:30am

If people do not forget how others made them feel, then how have they have forgotten what they said or done? Is it not part of the same thing? I can think of several things, of why I feel a certain way, usually because of what someone said or done. M xx

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 4:58am

I suppose we are all different. I can remember feeling small and worthless or hopeless but I can't remember what the person actually said. Sometimes I may remember they shouted but it is the feeling for me that remains. Maybe I block out the words but the feeling remains.
Everyone is different and Molly I appreciate your comment.
I knew this woman who always made me feel inadequate, it was a long time ago and she died a few years ago, that feeling of not being good enough has stayed with me. I have no idea what she said or did.

Thanks again for your comment Molly.

Molly Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 5:46pm

Ok fair enough Leah, I enjoyed your blog and your reply, got me thinking as usual. Some people just have that way about them that make you feel inadequate, do they think they are better than you, or is it their own insecurities that make them have to belittle you - jealousy sometimes maybe?

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:31pm

Molly, I agree there are some people that make you feel inadequate and there are some people that make us feel special. Thanks you for our comments.

Mary Wednesday Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:50am

Just before I read this my family and I were talking about another family we know. "Oh, they are just so lovely!" we said. Every one one them; mum, dad, the three daughters. They never say anything nasty about anyone and just meeting any of them (especially mum) makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and covered with golden sunshine! And, apart from yesterday, when I met mum in the supermarket, I dont have any recollection at all of what they said or did, just that their warmth and kindness permeates everything they do!

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 7:55am

Mary Wednesday, Thanks for telling us about how the family made you feel so good, Often we think of feelings as being negative ones.

Orangeblossom Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:51am

Hi Leah thanks for the blog. Both the quote & feelings are familiar to me. Some people have made me feel fully accepted & welcome by a very positive attitude which has reached out. There are others who made me feel rubbish by attitudes & barbed comments. I hope & work at an inclusive & loving attitude. But I don't always succeed.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 7:58am

Orangeblossom Thanks for sharing your insights. At least you try to be inclusive and loving.

Sally Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 7:25am

I first discovered Maya Angelou about 30 years ago when a friend introduced me to her excellent book " I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings". It was an eye opener, and Maya Angelou quotes are some of my favourites still today. Her poem "And Still I Rise " is a firm favourite, too. She pins it down, somehow, the human condition in its many forms and with its many difficulties, but will not succumb to self pity, or play the victim . She was a marvellous example to all ,in my opinion .
Yes, I can very much relate to the quotation .
Yes, I have had to change some of my attitudes , through counselling some of this was made possible , because I had a very poor self image.
Eleanor Roosevelt I think it was who said "No one can make you feel inferior without your own consent" . I agree, but I know that a friend disagrees with this. What do we think here on Moodscope?
Thank you, Leah, as ever, on my wavelength, with the deep questions. Good to have to think through this one.
To stop people hurting my feelings I go away and reflect, because at the time of the comment, I am too taken aback to react. I use the " thinking around the subject" approach to mindmap WHY the person might have said what they did, and IF I got their intention wrong. I try to write down ( or at least , mentally, enumerate ) a range of possibilities for the comment ( was I too intrusive / were they having a bad day/ did I touch on a raw nerve/ did I misunderstand, etc etc) so that I don't jump to conclusions about the hurtful comment. Because as we all know, we all offend without knowing we have/ without meaning to. Relationships are like papaver poppies, delicate, and need careful nurturing at all times and sometimes, we just get it wrong.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 8:08am

Sally Thanks for your very thoughtful comment. You have given me so much to think about, I think it is good to have a plan to stop others hurting you.

Eva Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 8:44am

Hi Leah, I have a pretty good memory so generally I remember the details as well as the feeling. I have had many instances of negative hurt, but one of my evening class tutors from a few years ago is such a lovely ethusive person, she is so friendly and cheeky and motivating, I always enjoy being in her presence and smile when I think of her. In particular 3 years ago my paintings were in an exhibition (my first) my dad had come to see them and for the first time really got what I was doing. I introduced them, and she said, "oh you are the father who made this beautiful girl' grabbed him and kissed him on both cheeks, he was stunned and I enjoyed the spectacle. It made me so happy.

I can distance myself, when I'm not too tired, from immediate interpretation of comments, so mostly I do. It's something that has come to me over time, as I realised that communicated intent is not always received in the intended manner. Communication can be tricky so for me snap judgments aren't really appropriate, it's better to explore if you can what they really meant, with further questions then and there or later on if it bothers you.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 9:04am

Eva, Thanks for your well thought out comment. That was a delightful story about your dad and tutor. You art sounds exciting. I can't draw a straight line. I try not to make snap judgments but I sometimes do without thinking. I do try like you to explore what someone really meant. Thanks again Eva for your thoughts.

Hopeful One Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 9:50am

Hi Leah- your blog was very timely for me as I was recently involved in a discussion with members in my psychology class. We were discussing the nature of mental dysfunction which we all agreed was bounded by our thoughts,feelings and behaviour. I maintained that mental dysfunction is almost always due to distortions in our thought processes which create our feelings and affect behaviour rather than the other way round. These thoughts can be fleeting or long, positive or negative leading to a corresponding feeling. Sometimes these feelings can be so strong or overwhelming or sufficiently bad to leave a permanent trace when the original thought(s) leading to them has long vanished or only existed for a micro second. In other words our thoughts drive our feelings rarely ,if ever I believe , the other way around.There was no agreement so we simply agreed to disagree. The reason we remember them is due to the negative bias of our brain systems.

Onward with the laughs from newspaper headlines....

War Dims Hope for Peace

If Strike Isn't Settled Quickly, It May Last Awhile

Cold Wave Linked to Temperatures

Enfield (London) Couple Slain; Police Suspect Homicide

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:06am

Hopeful one, Thanks for your considered comment. You say our thoughts drive our feelings and rarely the other way around. What makes up our thoughts? Our feelings? If I feel scared I will think things that will scare me.You would say I feel scared because of my thoughts. Is it the chicken or the egg dilemma? Your class sounds very stimulating. I like a solid discussion.

Hopeful One Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 2:24pm

Hi Leah - I don't think we really know what makes up our thoughts but we do know they generate patterns on the EEG( electro encephalogram ) specific enough for example to drive a bionic arm .We think they arise in the subconscious but we do not know the precise location of this in the brain. Importantly it is to recognise that they our thoughts are automatic and random e g while typing this I suddenly remembered that I ought to write a particular letter without any prompt from me. We believe we can control them but if we could we would block all our negative or sad thoughts and lived with our happy thoughts ever after. Clearly this does not happen . In depression these become automatic negative thoughts (ANTs) or automatic unconscious negative thoughts ( AUNTs) Our feelings arise when the thoughts are acknowledged in the conscious and stimulate certain parts of the brain to generate appropriate neurotransmitters . In your scare thought example cortisol setting up a flight or fright response. Sorry to be technical but I had to go here to show that thoughts generate feelings.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:34pm

Hopeful One, Thanks for your technical and detailed response. It maybe a bit over my head and complicated for this simple Sheila!! I will look at it later in the day and see if I can understand it then.

the room above the garage Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:26am

Hello Leah, I meant to say how I adored the photograph of your shop last week, it looks like something from a film. Dreamy stuff! I think i hurt easily, maybe thin skinned, I think a lot about why someone would say or do. When my partner and I split there was much anger. I knew it had to go. So I did the only thing I could think of...I reframed him. He was no longer a partner or a father, he was a really good babysitter. Sometimes I would close the door after him and cry with frustration whilst repeating "he's a babysitter" in my head. Now, it seems to have worked and 95% of the time it's ok and 100% we never argue. Sorry if this doesn't flow or sound right...I'm rushing. Love your blogs Leah, my grey matter get a prod and it's good! Love ratg x.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 11:17am

Ratg Thanks for your kind words. Partner is a photographer so he can make anything look good- well not envy thing- I require much photoshopping!! I understand your reframing . Was it feelings from the arguments. that you recall more than the arguments. Take carexx

the room above the garage Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 7:22pm

A bit of both, generally it's the feelings (feeling used) but I can recall specifics if I go back (so I don't! :-)) We rarely argued, it was more bad feelings between us but mostly on my part. I'll ponder your blog a day or two...great stuff in here :-)

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:41pm

Ratg Thanks for explaining that. I will ponder your comments too.

The Gardener Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 4:26pm

The blog message today has dredged up the most hurtful thing in my life - might be the chance to exorcise it. We were asked to go and look after a grand-son (other side of world) while parents away. Before they went we took the other grand-son for the treat of a life-time. Then we received a phone call - the place we received it is etched on my memory. 'We don't want you in our house anymore'. Shattered, incomprehensible. We had to keep calm and finish visit and journey with grand-son. We were still required to do the baby-sitting. Our son phoned us - so out of character it was even more shattering. Only explanation, d-in-law issued invitations - then was notorious for hating visitors when they got there - she would hide in her bedroom, no meals ready. It would seem she wanted us out of the way and let our son do the dirty work. She is friendly if we meet accidentally - at a big family do, for instance - but she never contacts us, never comes to see us. Our son makes every effort to do so - the 'episode' is never mentioned, if his wife was at the back of it than natural loyalty to her would mean he would never betray her. So, life goes on, but that phone call stays, and the ensuing misery. Not in HO's league, but I've picked up a 40 year old 'Laughing Matter'. Just one quote 'It was reported this afternoon that a man in Cornwall was partially electrocuted. After his recovery he said 'It came as something of a shock'.

Jane SG Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:14pm

Dear Gardener this sounds really upsetting. It clearly hurt you deeply for it to have stayed with you all these years. Xx

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:52pm

Gardener I am sorry my blog brought up this painful memory but I hope writing this has helped in some way. You remembered the words and the feelings. Thanks for your contribution.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:52pm

Jane That is the thing with feelings they stay for such a long time.

Jane SG Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:11pm

Dear Leah, as soon as I started reading I felt - this is Leah's writing. I quickly scrolled now my iPhone to co firm it was indeed your blog. Quietly comforting. Sometimes when our feelings are triggered by events it's not the actual event itself but a reminder of the past. This happens to me a lot with negative feelings and panic. I felt very hurt last Friday by someone I care for deeply, and came away feeling small and inadequate. My response was out of proportion to the perceived snub as it had tapped into all my old fears. I'm now struggling to be ok with said person but feel this may be unfair of me. I think people can bake us feel inadequate but we need to own our feelings. I don't think we should ever underestimate the power other peoples' behaviour can have, sometimes with tragic outcomes. I'm thinking in particular here of young people who have committed sucide due to bullying by others. Oh dear, now I realise my reply is quite depressing ? On a more cheerful note- my best medicine is laughter and when I can sometimes not take myself too seriously and laugh at myself. Thanks for a great blog Leah xxx

Jane SG Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:12pm

It was last Thursday! Why this matters to me which day it was I don't know!!!!

Jane SG Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 6:13pm

And sorry for the typos!

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:57pm

Jane SG Thanks for your reply. I am not sure if being so predictable that everyone knows my words is a good thing. I will take it as a compliment like everyone knows Tolstoy writing!! So how is that for turning it into a positive!! You make a god point how a feeling ca tap into sn old fear and dredge up painful memories. I suppose people would say we it is what we do other people's behaviour that matters.

Leah Thu, May 4th 2017 @ 10:59pm

Jane I am pendatic like that when telling a story.I spend ages trying to get the right date and people will say does it matter to the story. No but it matters to me!! So glad I am not the only one.

Jane SG Fri, May 5th 2017 @ 6:53am

It was definitely meant as a compliment xx

Leah Fri, May 5th 2017 @ 9:04am

Jane just my Aussie humour - I knew it was a complimetxx

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