From Dr. Glenn Doyle: “You’re gonna get people telling you that other people can’t ‘make’ us feel anything.
We’ve all heard the quote ‘nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.’
The idea is that no matter what somebody else says to us or how they say it, we’re ‘choosing’ how we feel about it and how we react to it.
How I wish this was true— that we ‘choose’ everything we feel.
But we don’t.
Often our feelings arise reflexively. When we’ve been through trauma, we can get triggered by someone’s tone of voice or the cadence of their speech, and go into a trauma response— and there won’t be any ‘choice’ involved.
Most often our thoughts don’t arise out of what we’re thinking or how we’re interpreting a situation— as much as some people want to believe that it’s entirely our thoughts that determine our emotional life.
Rather, our feelings very often raise out of our conditioning.
When we grow up in abusive or neglectful families, we get conditioned to feel— or not feel— certain things.
Sometimes we get conditioned to dissociate in response to certain things— and, again, there’s no ‘choice’ involved. Our sympathetic nervous system makes that ‘choice’ for us.
From our nervous system’s point of view, if it had to wait around for us to think about everything that happens to us or ‘choose’ a response, we’d have been eaten by sabre tooth tigers eons ago.”
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