Our first language is the one we are born with – our feelings: we cry out our needs, act startled when scared, redden our faces in anger when frustrated and smile when contented. These are our normal healthy reactions to external stimuli, our internal experience, and the only way we know how to communicate with those giants who pick us up and do things to us. Sometimes they do what we asked them to and at other times they just don’t seem to understand or care. So, being smart – though limited in muscle-power, money, mobility and mentality – we soon learn what feelings our caretakers respond to and we switch on that feeling instead. Therefore, as we mature we may express our feelings in four different ways: reactive, rubberband, character and racket.
Reactive feelings are often referred to as our ‘real’ feelings because they are healthy feeling reactions to reality in the here and now.
A rubberband feeling snaps us back to a past emotion. An example is, when looking at old photos, we re-experience the feelings we had on the day the photos were taken. This can be a happy reliving of an old memory or it can tie in with a racket.
One way to ask yourself if you use a racket is to think about yourself as a child…what did you do to get what you wanted, for example, an ice cream, if you were first told No!
Examples might be, cry, tantrum, sulk, get angry, plead, etc.
This Module explores all the ins and outs of Rackets.