My husband and I often have the discussion about whether or not we choose how we feel. My husband, who I will now refer to as C because 'my husband' takes too long to type, feels that we choose how we feel and more specifically we choose when we are offended by someone or something. This discussion usually comes after I have had my feelings hurt or been offended in some way and I am simply expressing those feelings to C. His response, "you choose to feel that way" offers no comfort. I do agree there are some instances in which I can be a little more sensitive than necessary. However, I do not believe that in all cases and at all times - we choose how we feel.
For example, I don't necessarily think we choose who to fall in love with. We can choose who we are attracted to and choose to associate ourselves with people that we share things in common with or that we enjoy the company of, but how do you choose to feel a certain way about someone or something?
I am certainly not the expert on feelings as some of my friends would say I've been 'emotionally constipated' for years. But I do think how we feel is a response to what we know. I don't know why I am more sensitive than other people sometimes or why I get my feelings hurt. But why would I choose that? Being sad or hurt or angry aren't necessarily feelings that I enjoy. I will admit there are times when I say, "That really hurt my feelings" and C responds with sympathy and compassion that helps to numb the wound. But if it's true, that we really do choose how to feel, then how do I change?
4 hours ago