Coming From Head or Heart
When we are upset with someone our something, our reactions and communication tend to come from one of two places: the head or the heart.
Responding form the head is generally centered around blame, focused on specifics, and concerned with ideas of right and wrong. It is from this space that we find ourselves playing out mental arguments and fantasizing about “winning” them, and never truly getting anywhere. This is because we are operating from a strictly mental space and not touching the actual core of the emotion.
Meanwhile, communicating from the heart is generally softer and simpler, a purer communication of what hurt us and how it made us feel. It does not need anyone else to be wrong for your feelings to be right. It is that place we reach when we are able to let our emotions be seen and felt so fully that they release the need to defend and soften into their truer form.
Interestingly, to reach this heart-centered place, we must first move through what has been circling around the head. One of the best ways to do this is through a practice of journaling or letter writing. As you pour your thoughts onto the page, you externalize them, allowing that energy to move and process so you can start to tap into what’s really underneath it—which is generally simpler and less complicated.
When you communicate from this heart-centered place, you allow yourself to be heard. Speaking from the head, we tend to put others on the defensive and rarely get the response we’re hoping for. Heart-to-heart communication, on the other hand opens the door to open, honest communication that actually brings us together more than it pulls us apart.
The next time you find yourself stuck between the head and the heart, try asking yourself the following questions:
What is my goal in this communication? Is it to cast blame or to win an argument? Or is it to heal and move forward?
What is the deeper feeling under the surface of this argument? When I slow down and tune in, what am I feeling in my heart?
How can I give expression to my more loaded emotions and clear the way to connect with the truer, simpler ones inside?