Emotions And Feelings (Cont.13)

10 When the heart is open (can cause love, lovelessness, heart break, trust, betrayal, defensiveness, flooding, hurt)

    a) love is a capability of feeling in many contexts - from intimate partner relationships and family bonds to friends and pet; it permeates everyday interaction with others and is used to strengthen relationships

"...the pre-occupying and strong desire to further connection, a powerful bond people hold with a select few and the intimacy that grows between them, the commitments to loyalty and faithfulness..."
Barbara Fredrickson as quoted by Brené Brown, 2021

"...we cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honour the spiritual connection that grows and offers with trust, respect, kindness and affection..."
Brené Brown, 2021

Emotions like shame, blame, disrespect, betrayal, withholding affection have a negative impact on love

    b) lovelessness is lack of affinity, respect, trust, etc for each other; love ethnic means following individual morality and ethics; not the rainbow and unicorn love, not commercialised love, not partisan religious love; need more love between us and amongst us

"...the injustice and systemic oppression that we see in the world today stem from a deep, collective lovelessness..."
Bell Hook as quoted by
Brené Brown, 2021

    c) heart break is coming from the loss, real or perceived, of love; loss of one's connection to love and belonging; rejection by the one you love

    d) trust is choosing to risk making something you value vulnerable to another person's action; while, in contrast, distrust involves not being willing to disclose something that is important to you to another person; despite trust being more of a cognitive assessment than an emotion, emotions are involved such as hurt and defensiveness;  7 elements of trust (BRAVING)

        i) boundaries: respect another person's boundaries; check what is okay and not okay; willing to say no

        ii) reliability: deliver on your promises; understand your competencies and limitations; deliver on commitments and balance competing priorities

        iii) accountability: own your own mistakes, apologise and fix

        iv) vault: keeping confidences; don't share information or experiences that are not yours to share, ie confidential

        v) integrity: choosing what is right rather than what is fun, fast, convenient, easy, high profile, etc; practise your values; choose courage over comfort

        vi) non-judgemental: in conversations and activities, don't get judgemental; ask for help, and/or give help, without judgement

        vii) generosity: assume the most generous interpretation possible to intentions, words and actions of others

(source: Brené Brown, 2021)

Don't forget self-trust

"...is normally the first casualty of failure or mistakes. We stop trusting ourselves when we hurt others, get hurt, feel shame, question our worth..."
Brené Brown, 2021

    e) betrayal is a violation of trust; there must be trust first; usually happens in a situation where trust is expected and assumed; in addition to the romantic situations, examples include lying, misleading, betraying confidences, etc; when injured by betrayal you experience high levels of anxiety, depression, anger, sadness, jealousy, decreased self-worth, embarrassment, humiliation, shame, etc; extreme cases are called betrayal trauma, some other types of betrayal include

        i) self-betrayal is doing something you didn't want to do in order to avoid feeling left out

        ii) institutional betrayal is when an institution causes harm (by action or inaction) to an individual who trusts or depends upon the institution like strict membership requirements, the existence of prestige or power differential like senior management versus staff, caregiver versus patients, rigid priorities to protect the reputation of an organisation, etc

"...cover-ups are perpetrated not only by the original actors, but by a culture of complicity and shame. sometimes individuals are complicit because staying quiet or hiding the truth benefits them and/or doesn't jeopardise their influence or power. Other times, people are complicit because it is the norm - they work in a cover-up culture that uses shame to keep people quiet......it is more important to protect the reputation of that system and those in power than it is to protect the basic human dignity of individuals or communities..."
Brené Brown, 2021

Thus betrayal can occur when

"... i) shame is systemic
      ii) complicity is part of the culture
      iii) money and power trump ethics
      iv) control and fear are management tools
      v) a trail of devastation and pain..."

Brené Brown, 2021

The most effective way back from betrayal is accountability, amends and action; initially need to acknowledge (without rationalising or making excuses) the pain and possible trauma that has occurred.   

    f) defensiveness is a way to protect your ego and fragile self-esteem; self-esteem is fragile when your failures, mistakes and imperfections decrease your self-worth; grounded confidence is the opposite of fragile self-esteem, ie you accept your own imperfections and they don't diminish your self-worth; any threat to your weaknesses you fight hard to defend and you can over-justify, make excuses, minimise, blame, discredit, discount, refute, reinterpret, etc; can block us from hearing and evaluating feedback; can end up in a flight/fight/freeze response when being defensive; physical cues can include

"...folding their arms over their chest, shoving their hands into their pockets, getting tunnel vision, feeling their hearts race, looking down, and getting dry mouth are just a few..."
Brené Brown, 2021

    g) flooding is a sensation of feeling psychologically and physically overwhelmed when in conflict, making it virtually impossible to have a productive, problem-solving discussion; your body becomes overwhelmed when it senses danger, threats, etc; you can feel overwhelmed, attacked, confused, etc; it is linked with how much stress is in your life, ie the greater the pressure you're under more likely you are easily flooded; need to learn to take time out during these episodes; chronic flooding upsets effective communications

    h) hurt is the experienced in a combination of sadness at being emotionally wounded and fear of being vulnerable; it happens through social interaction, especially with those you have close relationships with; usually it involves actions or words that are not intended to be hurtful; rather, they are thoughtless, careless or insensitive; your reactions to hurt can vary from self-blame to retaliation, with the latter generally causing an unnecessary escalation; linked with sadness, anger, anxiety, jealousy, loneliness, etc; to handle, you need to be vulnerable, straightforward and honest about the situation's impact on you.


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