You Make Me Feel… (Part 1)

What really happens in the time between someone says something and we react..
Transcription (auto-generated)

00:01 all right welcome back today we’re gonna
00:03 be doing the first two part series
00:05 called you make me feel and this this
00:09 first part is is we’re going to be done
00:12 discussing the cause and effect nature
00:15 of of communications and relationships
00:18 often times we think of of how we
00:23 interact with people in that
00:25 cause-and-effect kind of way my daughter
00:28 you know rules her eyes and sighs every
00:30 time she talks to me and as soon as that
00:33 happens I just get so angry or my spouse
00:36 is going out to work going out to lunch
00:39 with a work colleague and I just get
00:41 really jealous because they didn’t tell
00:44 me about it these these these in our
00:49 minds often seem like cause-and-effect
00:51 like as soon as this happens this
00:54 happens as soon as my daughter rolls her
00:55 eyes and sighs I get angry and what are
01:00 what I want to point out is that
01:01 actually if not caused and effect
01:04 there’s something that happens in
01:06 between the cause and the effect or the
01:09 stimulus and the response what I’m going
01:12 to call the stimulus and the impact
01:13 there’s something that’s going on in
01:15 here and that’s our interpretation of
01:19 what happens so there’s the thing that
01:22 happened
01:22 my daughter Rose arrives and then we
01:24 interpret what that means we make that
01:27 mean something in our minds she doesn’t
01:30 respect me she’s grateful she just wants
01:35 to leave she just loved me something
01:37 like that it doesn’t matter what the
01:38 interpretation is honestly it doesn’t
01:41 even matter if it’s right or wrong there
01:44 is some interpretation that we’re making
01:46 and then we react and what we react to
01:49 isn’t the thing that happened what we’re
01:52 reacting to is actually our
01:54 interpretation so my spouse goes out to
01:57 lunch with a colleague and doesn’t tell
01:59 me about it and I interpret that to mean
02:01 they are not attracted to me they’re
02:04 attracted to this colleague instead our
02:06 relationship is in peril anything like
02:09 that
02:10 andr jealousy is not about them going
02:13 out to lunch my jealousy is about man
02:15 interpretation that them going to lunch
02:18 means it’s about our relationship if
02:21 instead we knew that our daughter had
02:24 dust in her contact and she was wrong
02:26 our eyes to try to clear it or our
02:29 spouse was late for a project and this
02:32 person that they went to lunch with was
02:33 the only one of the company that could
02:35 help them finish it then our reaction
02:38 our our impact is likely to be way
02:40 different and so the thing that happens
02:44 isn’t what causes our impact our
02:49 response it’s our interpretation of
02:51 what’s happening a lot of teachers
02:55 actually teach change your
02:57 interpretation change your life if you
02:58 change the way you’re seeing things then
03:00 you can change how everything else in
03:03 your life goes sure maybe maybe not
03:06 to me it doesn’t really matter
03:09 the thing that I’m more interested in
03:11 isn’t I don’t want to get you to change
03:13 your interpretation I want to get you to
03:16 understand that it’s actually happening
03:17 and that’s happening in the way that you
03:21 understand and then you recognize it in
03:22 the moment that it’s happening if you
03:25 want to change your interpretation go
03:27 for it if you don’t no problem but if
03:30 you notice that it’s actually happening
03:33 in the moment and that’s what’s causing
03:34 your impact your response then you have
03:38 more freedom and more power in that
03:42 relationship if somebody if my daughter
03:44 comes up to me and says I’ll have a
03:47 daughter but if my daughter comes up to
03:49 me and says and rolls her eyes and I
03:52 immediately get angry I have no power
03:55 in that interaction I have no freedom to
03:58 be anything but angry and it’s it’s
04:01 honestly all over the power in this
04:04 interaction is her doing something if I
04:07 don’t know that there’s a different way
04:08 to be if I don’t know that I’m
04:10 interpreting that rolling of the eyes in
04:13 some way then I’ve lost the freedom to
04:17 be any other way than angry
04:19 in that interaction and so if we can
04:22 learn to separate those and see that
04:24 there’s an interpretation and do that in
04:26 the moment that it’s actually happening
04:28 all of a sudden there’s more space to be
04:32 something different to do something
04:33 different there’s more I have more
04:35 availability more power more freedom I
04:37 have more choice in this relationship
04:40 this is why I’ve named my website more
04:42 choices this is I don’t necessarily need
04:45 to tell you to change your
04:46 interpretations but if you know that
04:49 there are interpretations happening then
04:51 you’ll have more choices in your
04:53 relationships and that’s really what I’m
04:54 what I’m looking for so I’d like you to
04:57 take after this video just 60 seconds
05:00 it’s not much it won’t take long
05:01 think about one interaction that
05:04 happened to you in the last couple of
05:05 days that you just you just flipped or
05:08 you something happened you didn’t seem
05:10 that you just reacted without any sense
05:12 of control or choice in the matter take
05:16 60 seconds and just pick one of those
05:18 interactions and look to see try to
05:20 separate that down and slow it a bit and
05:23 look to see what the interpretation that
05:25 you made was that interpretation might
05:28 be right in spot-on it might be
05:30 incorrect we might not know I just want
05:34 you to look to see that there was some
05:36 interpretation happening and I invite
05:38 you over the next few days to during
05:41 your interactions and communications
05:43 with people to notice that these
05:45 interpretations are actually happening
05:46 all the time with most every interaction
05:50 trying to try to do that thank you so
05:53 much next week we’re going to be talking
05:54 about the other aspect of what this all
05:58 means in terms of how people make us
06:00 feel and if you would I’d love people to
06:04 put some comments down below about what
06:06 they found what interpretations they
06:08 noticed because the more that we can
06:10 have this a dialogue more than just me
06:13 talking to you a the better I feel about
06:15 it which I’d like that and the more the
06:18 others that are at this site can can see
06:20 oh right I do that too and I hadn’t even
06:22 noticed that and I’m glad somebody else
06:24 does that I don’t feel so alone so the
06:26 more the more that we can
06:28 some community involvement here I think
06:30 the better this will be so thank you and
06:32 we’ll see you next week

This is the first in a 2-part series called “You Make Me Feel….” It’s a term we often hear and use, but rarely think about. Can you make me feel something?

In this video, we investigate the cause-and-effect relationship of conversations and realize that it is not cause and effect at all. When we slow our conversations way down and put a magnifying glass to what is going on inside ourselves, we see that after someone communicates with us, there is a very fast period of interpretation that goes by so quickly we almost miss it. And that interpretation plays a critical role in our reaction. Watch the video for more.


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  • Tim, thanks so much for this magnificent reminder of the gift that is always available especially in times of trigger, which is to slow down, listen, learn from your deepest self what’s really going on. What is often revealed to me is my inner CareTaker, always ready to leap in and smooth over or dismiss what’s crunchy.

  • The “interpretations” between events and our responses are where all our power lies, because our responses are largely predicated by out interpretations. Recognizing those and owning that they are *an* interpretation rather than The Truth is how we can start to own our thoughts/feelings/prejudices/opinions and release the automatic assumption that they are Truth.

  • This is a great reminder to also practice empathy before reacting- taking a moment to think about how/why someone did or said something before you respond 🙂

Tim has been practicing and teaching interpersonal relations and communications skills since 2006. He leads the esteemed Boulder T-Group community and has taught circling and relational leadership for the Integral Center and C4 Institute.


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