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Understanding Why You Haven't Been Listening To & Recognising Your Feelings

Your feelings have a beginning, and end and something in between but you may only be focusing on an aspect of the feeling and not recognising how it may have changed. For instance, you may have felt angry about something at 10am and have spent the whole day focusing on the fact that you felt angry at 10am and feeding that anger, when you felt other feelings throughout the day and other information came to light that could have changed the course of the feeling and allowed you to calm down.

Many people who do NC (No Contact), focus only on the times when they feel ‘bad’ and won’t acknowledge the times when they’re actually happier. If they did, they would have an understanding of what helped them to feel happier during these times so that they could increase it but they would not have to continue having a sense of hopelessness and claiming to be utterly miserable all day when they weren’t. This would also help them to acknowledge where they were doing well. They could also, by observing the feelings, having more self-care but also recognising that they are grieving, have a greater sense of where these 'bad' feelings are coming from and tune into what they needed to be and do for themselves, even if that comes down to acknowledging what it is that's made them sad, having some self-compassion and having a really damn good cry.

This is why you have to make the association between being a people pleaser and dulling your senses and awareness.

By deprioritising your own feelings as well as your needs, expectations, desires, and opinions, you are repeatedly telling you that whether your feelings are based on a genuine threat or on something imagined, or whether they're based on you or something else, that they don’t matter. In a pleaser's world, only other people’s feelings matter. The idea is that when you're in the Zone of People Pleasing, you think that the way to get out of it is to influence and control other people's feelings and behaviour to get out of the zone.

All of this pleasing malarkey pushes your feelings down along with your true self. Whether you're a pleaser only with certain people and situations or you do it across the board, this censorship and ignoring of your feelings can affect your congruency and affect areas of your life that are actually really good and positive. The more of a pleaser you are, the more compromised you are and the less you know how you feel at any given moment.

Being increasingly mindful is a crucial part in your journey to reclaiming you – learning to sit with your feelings, to not live in the past or spend too much of your time being anxious about or daydreaming about the future, allows you to be here for you.

You can authenticate how you feel and you can apply healthy reasoning and present-based knowledge instead of muddying the waters with a toxic mix of self-doubt, blame, fear and judgement from unhealthy beliefs.

Why pleasers ignore and misread their feelings:

1. You have a habit of suppression. You have learned and possibly been taught by certain people that other people’s feelings are more important or that your feelings are ‘incorrect’. This leads to confusion about what you feel and why, including applying unhealthy meanings to your feelings. It also means that it’s a lot easier for you to pretend to feel what you don’t and to also capitulate the demands and whims of others – you don’t get a look-in.

2. You don’t like the information that you think your feelings are telling you, which you may perceive to be something negative about you or that you may believe indicates a particular action that you need to undertake, such as asserting your boundaries. You may not like what your feelings alert you to and opt to be in denial so that you can continue. A big clue that you don't like information that you need to pay attention to is when you think, "Here we go again!" or you redouble your efforts to please.

Any information you don't like is information you need to pay the closest attention to.

3. You associate certain feelings with guilt hence when you feel X, you also feel guilty, even if X is more than warranted due to the facts of the situation or just because you’re a person with feelings. These associations mean that you get into a habit of pushing down how you feel and making the incorrect associations because you don’t want to look like what you think those feelings associate you with. You may tell you that ‘People should do ____’ or that ‘People should feel_______’ or that feeling a certain way makes you a ‘bad person’ or ‘Unchristian’ etc.

Note that you have these thought processes and go off and do all of these pleasing things to 'make a statement' that you're not making. No one really knows about the statement and it has little effect other than draining you out.

4. You feel guilty. Certain feelings trigger you into a mistaken sense of wrongdoing. You assume that because you feel a certain way that it means that you’ve done something bad or again, you think that it’s wrong to feel a certain way - Overactive Guilt Thyroid. You may believe that it’s selfish to acknowledge how you feel and of course when people are honest with you even in the face of your people pleasing, you may feel that they’re doing you wrong. This can spiral because aside from clocking up injustices, you’ll also be inclined to judge you for what they’re doing so you again end up feeling guilty and round and round you go. You don't know what an actual wrongdoing is so because you're always feeling guilty, you're always trying to reduce the feeling with pleasing, even though that makes you feel crap and causes you to be out of touch with your feelings.


Here's the thing: Who's taking care of your feelings?


5. You’re afraid of ‘getting it wrong’. When you lack self-awareness, you may be reacting on autopilot or making snap judgements and then when you believe that you’ve been rejected or disappointed, you perceive how you reacted as "wrong" or your feelings as "wrong" hence now you feel it’s better to ignore your feelings to avoid making a mistake, when actually, the mistake is pretending that you don’t feel as you do. Of course, if you think that how you felt was a mistake or how you responded was the issue, you will not trust your gut the next time a similar situation comes round and will be riddled with self-doubt. Even if it isn’t a similar situation, it may be similar in that it is looking for you to draw on your intuition and knowledge and to step up more than last time and get out of the pattern - and that may feel too much for you. This is where your desire to be directed can also land you in trouble because it gives too much authority to others and with your compliant ways, the very shady can end up being given too much power and airtime to tell you what’s what, which in turn you will treat as facts when they’re not. What results is that you have little data to draw upon because it's not your data that your paying attention to.


Ignoring your feelings dulls your instincts and clouds your intuition. You end up living your life based on responding to insecurity and habits of thinking and behaviour that aren’t working for you. You're living off emotional reasoning and forgoing logical reasoning and that stops you from being here - conscious, aware, and present.

Ignoring your feelings and people pleasing along with it, also affects your fight-or-flight response. You may go towards danger instead of away from it and you may see danger where there isn’t. I learned my pleasing ways as a child who sometimes saw and experienced things that really, no child should be put through that. My desire to not only protect me but to also feel better and make others feel better, means that I got into the habit of being pleasing and/or shutting down in some way to 'help out' in situations (or in response to them), when I should have been doing child stuff. That taught me to go into a danger as a Florence when I should have been backing away. Can you relate?

As a pleaser, you’re predisposed to wind up in toxic situations and to end up knee-deep in a toxic relationship because you give too much weight to the opinions and feelings of others, and toxic people in particular will exploit this plus, you will make a rod for your own back whether a person is toxic or not because of your pleasing habits.

The second guessing, the dodgy meanings, the playing down your feelings, and even the over-empathising with their feelings while ignoring your own, causes a great deal of pain and by the time you become aware that you’re way in over your head or that you’re even in danger, you will have become completely confused about who owns what because you’ve been too busy taking ownership of other people’s feelings instead of taking ownership of your own.

Bearing in mind that how you feel isn’t a fact, judging you based on the meanings that you attribute to your feelings is causing you a great deal of pain. Just because we feel something doesn’t make it so, so we might feel as if we are incapable of something or believe that we don’t have the willpower but this doesn’t mean that we’re actually incapable or lacking the willpower.


If when you feel something that you don’t find easy to label it as "good" and "pleasing", you then go and label it as "bad" or attribute meanings such as not being "good enough", that you’re being rejected (or are going to be), or that you're not liked, that people are out to get you etc., you're running your life on feeling and rescinding control of you.

Keeping in mind that your emotions are instinctive and that they don’t need knowledge or reasoning to happen, what you can learn from this is that you’re going to have emotional responses but that you can change the meaning that you attribute and the subsequent responses. You can. You are in command of how you continue.

Trying to get rid of certain feelings by pretending that they don’t exist or squashing them with pleasing behaviour (and thoughts) isn’t helpful to you and in fact creates much bigger problems for you while keeping you small. You’re labeling the feelings as being "bad" when what you really need to do is look at the origins of what you feel (become more familiar with the cues and triggers), be willing to listen to and recognise your own feelings, and to also change how you typically respond to those feelings because the people pleasing way isn’t working. It's not.

You will be working with familiarising yourself with four groups of feelings; sadness, anger, fear, and joy. You will feel more balanced as a person when you acknowledge that you experience feelings from all four corners and why, and that experiencing these feelings is no bad thing. They’re natural and it makes you human.

I’m going to teach you how to read your feelings so that you reduce the amount of mislabeling and are able to trust your intuition more so that you can listen to it from a healthy place and make more informed decisions. By learning to read your feelings, you won’t have to feel as if you’re over or under-reacting plus you won’t green light code red or amber behaviour.

When you’re in tune with your feelings, you don’t censor them and you're able to soothe and moderate your responses instead of living life primarily by your feelings and faulty information from your beliefs and assumptions. Your feelings will give you some indications about where you need to go or what you need to look at and your head including your healthy sense of self, will give a voice to your feelings.

In familiarising you with your feelings, you’re giving a voice to who you are as well as helping to soothe and nurture your inner child that may be affected from events from the past and currently having too much of an influence on who you are and what you do now.

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