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The Feeling Letter: How To Communicate Difficult Feelings To A Loved One

John Gray

One of the best ways to release negative feelings towards someone and then communicate your feelings in a more positive way is to write a Feeling Letter. My Feeling Letter technique is a good blueprint to help you process any negative feelings you have against someone else.

I call it the Love Letter Technique in my book Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus. However, it works well for any relationship that may be going through conflict, whether it's a partner, a friend or even a coworker.

There are three steps to writing and sharing your Feeling Letter:

1. First you write a Feeling Letter expressing your feelings of anger, sadness, fear, regret, and love.

2. Then you write a Response Letter expressing what you want to hear from your loved one.

3. Finally you share your Feeling Letter and Response Letter with your loved one.

You may choose to do all three steps or only need to do one or two of them. After getting through step one and two, you may feel ready to have a verbal conversation instead.


Step 1: Writing The Feeling Letter

In a Feeling Letter, you want to be able to express your feelings of anger, sadness, fear, regret, and then love. My format below allows you to fully express and understand all your feelings, so you can communicate those to the other person in loving, focused way.

When we are upset, we generally have many feelings at once. To understand our feelings, we need to feel all of our negative feelings about the person or situation (anger, sadness, fear, and regret) before we can fully feel and express our loving feelings.

When writing out a felt emotion, describe in short sentences what happened and then why you feel that way. For example, "I feel frustrated when you don't call to tell me you are going to be late" is what happened to stimulate the emotion. Next explore why what happened makes you feel frustrated. For example, "I feel frustrated because I made a nice dinner for you."

Below are the steps to The Feeling Letter process. It's important to process all of your negative emotions, so you should include all five sections in your Feeling Letter. So start with anger and complete the five statements with your feelings and then move on to sadness and complete the five statements, etc.

Dear ____,

1. For Anger
I don't like it...
I feel frustrated...
I am angry that...
I feel annoyed...
I want...


2. For Sadness
I feel disappointed...
I am sad that...
I feel hurt...
I wanted...
I want...


3. For Fear
I worry...
I am afraid...
I feel scared...
I do not want...
I need...
I want...


4. For Regret
I feel embarrassed...
I am sorry...
I feel ashamed...
I didn't want...
I want...


5. For Love
I love...
I want...
I understand ...
I forgive...
I appreciate ...
I thank you for...
I know...


P.S. The response I would like to hear from you is:

In my next blog, How To Resolve Conflict With A Loved One, I explain how to write a Response Letter. My Response Letter Technique is another non-judgmental way to communicate your feelings during an argument, so each person can better understand the other's feelings.

WATCH IT HERE

read more blog posts from John Gray


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