Feelings and emotional states are always perceptible in the body. If you are unsure what you feel, pay attention to your body. Can you localize where, in which part of your body, that you “feel” the emotion?
Feelings begin with our thoughts.
When we think that a need is not being met, a negative feeling arises. Positive feelings, on the other hand, come to light when we feel a need is met.
Yet often we make assumptions about someone else’s intentions, which leads to our thinking something that may not be intended, it rests upon a misperception, and as a result in a feeling that arises from that thought.
For example, you may think that you are being challenged, intimidated or being put under pressure by something someone said. The underlying real feeling though maybe fear, or shame, or guilt. This could come from thoughts such as “I did something wrong” or “I am not good enough”.
When you know how to interpret these emotions and extract the underlying feelings, when you can name the need that is not being met, you are though, able to change the entire situation. How? By sharing with the other person just how you are doing at this particular moment. Using the example given above, you could say: I feel shame when I think you expected more of me; or I feel guilty that I have not explained myself sufficiently to you. Being open about the underlying thought that is giving you this feeling, brings the conversation to a whole new level – you are able to direct the conversation (and as a consequence, the situation).
No feeling is wrong, rather all feelings give us feedback. When we become aware of our feelings, we get more clarity on what our needs are.