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17. Ask permission to tell someone what you assume they may be feeling

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Published on Mar 13, 2013

Ask someone how they feel about something. They may say, "I don't know". Often they will answer with 'I think...". They normally don't say "I feel..... " Why is that? Someone may feel awkward about sharing their feelings. To get a conversation started about a difficult subject it may be beneficial to say, "May I have your permission to tell you what I assume you may be feeling?" or "I think you may be feeling uncomfortable about (name something)."
• They may believe feelings and thoughts are the same thing.
• They may be afraid to say how they feel.
• They may believe that expressing a feeling shows weakness.
• They may be so disconnected from their feelings they don't understand what you're asking.
• They may want to make you happy so they avoid sharing uncomfortable feelings.

Sharing feelings, more than sharing thoughts or observations, helps create connection and understanding.

This is from the 17th skill in the www.CommunicateForever.org workbook.

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