I heard a saying that I really like. It says, “Feelings are neither right nor wrong, they simply are.”
I really like it, because if you are just sharing your feelings with your supporter (or anyone else), you don’t have to be defensive or angry or fight about them. You simply need to state the way you’re feeling.
Of course, people fight about them all the time anyway, I’m just saying that it isn’t necessary – it really doesn’t get you anywhere except mad at each other and fighting over something you can’t do anything about. A big waste of time, if you ask me.
It helps if you use a little bit of communication panache when sharing your feelings. For example, if you just cut out the phrases, “You always…” and “You never…” out of your sharing, you could probably save yourself a lot of fights.
These two phrases probably cause more fights between couples than anything else. They’re rarely true (if ever), and all they seek to do is escalate an already bad situation anyway – they don’t help you at all.
It’s better if you’re able to simply share your feelings in an open and honest way, without attacking the other person. Like if you’re able to say something like, “When you yell at me, I feel hurt.”
Then the other person has to acknowledge that you feel a certain way due to some action on their part, and they have to take responsibility for their action.
Then they can choose to do something about it if they’re concerned about your feelings, especially if they want to help you change the way you feel.
This way you have much better communication between you.
Some people have a hard time communicating. I know of a woman who had such a hard time sharing her feelings with her husband that she had to write them in a letter, but at least she was able to share that letter with her husband and they were able to talk about her feelings.
However you have to do it, share your feelings with your supporter. If you just “stuff” them, they’re going to come out in negative ways, like making your bipolar disorder worse or even making you physically ill.
If nothing else, write them in your journal or chart them on your mood chart, but get them out somehow. Don’t keep your feelings in.