Why Protecting Peoples Feelings is Dangerous and Misguided

This is an excerpt from my new course: Healthy Boundaries in Relationships, Friendships and Work

This video argues that protecting people’s feelings can be misguided and lead to harmful consequences.

We’ll explore the importance of confrontation in providing critical feedback and building resilience, as well as creating deeper bonds despite what your fears believe will happen.

Shielding individuals from emotional discomfort can make them fragile and unprepared to handle disapproval or criticism, and teaching people how to manage their feelings in a healthy manner is crucial for personal growth.



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Full transcript (unedited)

You’re about to watch a video. That’s an excerpt of one of my online courses free sample, if you will. If you enjoy it, please get in touch Let me know what you think. So now we’re going to tackle a slightly controversial topic that’s important to becoming more assertive. And that is the idea that protecting people’s feelings is actually misguided and dangerous. I want you to just take a moment to think of how you would build a strong, resilient, confident person. I don’t necessarily mean parenting that kind of like creating a person like a god would. What would you do to make sure that they were strong, resilient and confident? Where you’re exposed them to challenges? Wouldn’t you just like working out a muscle, it needs to be provided with resistance and needs to get uncomfortable in order to grow and build and become resilient to future setbacks and pain and so on. So why is it we believe that we should protect people’s feelings, and keep them all safe and bubble wrapped, and not feel any kind of discomfort and hope that that’s somehow going to be good for the long term best interests. The biggest excuse I see people use to avoid confrontation is the story or the narrative, that they are protecting people’s feelings that they’re not hurting people. When they hold back like this, they think confrontation is harmful to people. And harm is objectively bad. So therefore, you shouldn’t do confrontations. But work in psychology has helped me understand that this comes from an underlying trauma conditioning, where as children, we were taught that a certain range of emotions are bad and wrong and harmful, simply because they were inconvenient to the adults who are managing us. Things like anger and sadness and confusion, were a hassle to our caregivers. So they told us that it was wrong to feel that way. And as adults, we now believe that we hurt people, if we cause them to have those emotions. Truth is, of course, as if you’re not traumatized about those emotions, they’re not bad. They’re helpful. They’re processing tools. There’s nothing objectively wrong with any of them. So this trauma conditioning leads to two limiting beliefs. One is that the receiver of my confrontation get hurt feelings, and that’s bad. And the second one is, it’s okay to stay silent, no one’s going to be harmed if I don’t confront. So kind of it’s bad to confront. And it’s okay not to those two limiting beliefs in particular, keep most of us silent. When we should be speaking up. Let’s have a look at the problems with the first one. The limiting belief that people will get harmed, if you confront them, what really happens is they get gaslighted if you don’t gaslighting as a manipulation term where you warp somebody else’s reality, you make them believe things that aren’t true, you skew their focus and their perspective on what’s real. So when you’re showing all the time that you’re okay with stuff that you’re not okay with, that you feel something that you don’t feel, they get a very warped view of reality. They’re now living in a fiction and they don’t even know it. They miss out on crucial, critical feedback for their social success. If they’re not getting feedback from people on what they do that upsets others, they’re just going to keep doing it, they’re going to assume that everything they’re doing is fine. And then one day, they end up alone or only a superficial relationships, or they keep attracting the wrong people all the time. And they can’t figure out why. Because according to their reality, they’re not doing anything wrong. So they’re doomed to repeat themselves. Because they have no idea how they’re really affecting people. They waste time with you as a potential barefoot. I can’t count the number of marriages that I’ve seen get divorced right in front of my eyes when the people shouldn’t have been together in the first place. But one of them, at least in the early dating stages was not being honest. Had they been honest, this wouldn’t have gone anywhere. But because they were dishonest because they held back on confrontations, they ended up building a whole life and a family together. And of course, it all came crumbling down in the end. So when you actually keep someone with you, by holding back on confrontation, you are wasting their life. And of course, they always find out. And when they do, they’re going to feel betrayed and they’re going to feel stupid, they’re going to take a huge hit to their confidence when they find out that you’ve been tricking them into thinking that you’re okay when you’re not. And don’t think they won’t find out. I do this work all day every day and trust me, they will eventually find out and the longer it takes them to find out, the worse their reaction is going to be. And of course, overall, if they have the trauma conditioning, that feelings are bad, you’re further validating that by protecting their feelings. You’re giving them this same conditioning that they had growing up, say that they’re not allowed to be anywhere near certain feelings and That’s just gonna keep reinforcing the idea that normal, natural human emotions are bad and wrong and shameful. The second limiting belief, the idea that nobody’s harmed if you keep your mouth shut is also dishonest. Why don’t you think about the other people who know about your secret and have to keep it for you, because you don’t want the person involved to find out. So if you have ill feelings towards someone, and you’re gossiping around your friends about how you hate them, and so on, be safe. But don’t tell them. You’re not forcing all these people to keep a secret for you to bear that burden on their back. And to have to be fake with the person you’re talking about. And have to be dishonest themselves, you’re calling them and corrupting them, and to living without integrity, just because they’re loyal to you. This leads to alliances forming tribalism. If you ever wonder why do people split into all these different groups and fight each other, it’s a really good chances because two individuals can sort out the differences together, and instead created a big lie world around them that form two teams that now fight each other without really knowing why. So aside from the gossip and awkwardness that you’ve now caused by forcing other people to keep your secret, there’s also the dishonesty and disconnection that they are going to endure, now that they know about something that they’re not allowed to share. Okay. And if nothing else, everyone’s going to become aware that you are a liar. As soon as someone knows that you hide feelings from someone else, some deep part of the brain is going to realize, oh, this person hides feelings. Maybe they’re hiding feelings about me. Maybe they’re gossiping about me behind my back. And if you wonder why people don’t trust you and won’t connect with you deeply, and maybe simply because you’ve advertised the fact that you can’t be trusted, and that you’re not honest about the way you feel. protecting people’s feelings means making them weaker, fragile, not giving them the relevant social practice and training, they need to deal with things like being disliked and being rejected and having people disapprove of what they do. You’re setting them up to fail, you’re creating a situation when they finally do meet someone who’s willing to speak up, they’re going to be crushed by it. Not because somebody’s speaking up is objectively bad. But because this person is so fragile, they’re going to react poorly to emotions that they find uncomfortable, because they’re not trained to endure those emotions and to have healthy reactions to them. So they’re going to binge and they’re going to overreact and they’re going to make stupid decisions whenever they’re feeling uncomfortable, because nobody puts them through the right training. So this idea you have about being rude or mean. Simply means you’re thinking of confrontations is this aggressive, cruel thing where you try to harm somebody else. And that’s not what we’re teaching in this course. You’ve got to let go of the idea that honesty is harmful, and that feelings are bad, because there’s really no truth to either of those statements. compassion, kindness, empathy, and respect are all possible while doing confrontations, as you’ll learn throughout this course. So there really is no excuse to protect other people’s feelings. You don’t need to protect them, you need to help them manage their feelings.

How you can make massive progress in just a few months!

You can do all this on your own.

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Thanks for reading

Hope to speak to you soon

Dan Munro

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