Welcome to “Love and Sex Today.” I’m Dr. Doug Weiss and today we are going to discuss “Emotional Internalizers.” Previously, we discussed emotional externalizers. For some, maybe that fit you. For some, maybe that was totally way off. For some, you are married to that person. I hope that post really helped you take the next step. This topic is right out of my book “Emotional Fitness,” which has helped a lot of people.
This is the other side of the coin. If you didn’t resonate with the emotional externalizer, you’re going to probably resonate with this one. The emotional internalizer is someone who really keeps his or her emotions on the inside. I have eleven characteristics and I want share with you, so you can see if this fits you. If it does, I think you’re going have great insight into how you’re experiencing your emotions and it impacts your love, sex, relationships, and marriage.
Number one: They’re responsible for their emotions, regardless of the situation. If they feel afraid, anxious, concerned, hopeless, or overwhelmed, they are responsible for that and take accountability. They’re not going to look at you and blame you for how they’re feeling. This is the mature way of handling things. The externalizer is more child-like. Feelings aren’t truth. They’re not facts, they’re just feelings. The internalizer realizes that and takes responsibility for it.
Number two: Feelings are a choice. Someone who internalizes their feelings understands emotions are controllable. If you haven’t developed that skill, I strongly recommend my book, “Emotional Fitness: From Challenge to Champion in 60 Days.” It’s one of my favorite books I’ve written. It’s helped so many people evolve emotionally because where do you go to get classes on emotional fitness? And where do you become emotionally fit, the gym? How about high school? College? I have four degrees and I didn’t learn how to do that in school. So this book can really help you.
Number three: Chooses responses. Regardless of their feelings, they actually think before they speak. They don’t puke verbally and hit walls. They may not choose to speak at all, so they can really think through what their response is going to be in the relationship because the relationship has value to them.
Number four: They tend to grow emotionally. They’re the kind of person who takes information courses and reads books and evolves. They tend to be hungry to evolve, including emotionally.
Number five: They’re honest with themself and their feelings. They don’t need to always look good. They don’t always need to be congruent with what’s going on. They’re just honest with who they are and their feelings. I can tell you, being in a relationship with people who are emotional internalizers is so easy. You know where they are, because they tell you where they are. They’re open and they’re honest about that. It’s wonderful. Someone says, “I really felt discounted or unimportant when this happened.” Okay, that’s how they felt. It’s not necessarily what the other person was trying to cause, but it’s what they felt and it’s out there in the open now.
Number six: They tend to be pretty fearless. They don’t have a lot of shame and guilt because they’ve processed that and they’ve evolved. They felt the feeling back then and they didn’t medicate it. They’re able to be very present and fearless, especially if they believe in something. If they’re passionate about something, they are fearless.
Number seven: They’re assertive. There’s a passive attitude, which is, “I think you’re more valuable than I am.” There’s an aggressive attitude, which is, “I think I am more valuable than you are, so therefore I can treat you anyway I want to.” And then there’s an assertive attitude, “I respect my value in this relationship and I respect your value in this relationship. I can speak who I am to you in a very assertive, frank way without feeling like I need to demean, disrespect, or shame you to make my point.” Maybe you’ve experienced someone like this in your life, whether it’s at work, in a relationship, family, or your marriage. They’re going to have boundaries and they’re going to tell you if they’re cross. They’re going to clearly communicate what’s going on and are assertive about it.
Number eight: They see with equality. Whether they’re relating to a billionaire or someone who’s asking for money on the street, they see people as equals. They don’t quantify them academically or economically or by race or religion. People just have value because they’re people. “I innately have value and you innately have value, regardless of where we’re coming from in life.” They tend to value people just as people.
I was fortunate to meet Oprah and one of the things I appreciated about her was she just seemed to have a way of giving you respect, even though she’s worth so much more money and has accomplished so many different things than you have. She just shows up where she is at that moment. I was really impressed by that with her. I’ve done many shows with different kinds of people and some of them are very haughty and disconnected. I remember one show with a very famous anchor and she was so arrogant the entire time. I felt like, wow, really? It’s just a difference in how people actually give value to others. It makes a big difference. Someone who’s an emotional internalizer values all people.
Number nine: They apologize. They have no problem with being wrong. They know they’re flawed. They know they make mistakes. They know they don’t have all the information all the time. They know they’re not always right. Now, if you don’t know any of these things, you might need to read my previous post on the externalizer, okay?
I grew up with “Happy Days” in the 70’s, and one of the flaws of Fonzie, this really cool dude, was he could never say he was wrong. He could never get the words out of his mouth. It was kind of a funny thing about him. That’s not true of the internalizer. This person can say, “You know what? I thought about it and I was wrong. I’m sorry. I take responsibility for that,” and they move right on. That is a very powerful difference between the internalizer and the externalizer. The externalizer is blaming. The internalizer is taking responsibility, that’s why they can apologize.
Number ten: They own their emotions.. They live in their emotional environment and they’re not afraid of it. They play with it. They experience it. They feel it. They process what they are going through honestly, and then they move on.
Number eleven: They are empowering. They are the most empowering people I’ve met over my lifetime and I’m talking about very successful people, financially or in their fields. The people who tend to be successful who are more externalizers tend to be shaming, controlling, and critical. They try to get you in their world so they can show you how superior they are. The internalizer is able to feel secure and enjoy you and your accomplishments and even give you ideas on how to improve or just celebrate who you really are. That kind of empowerment is really great leadership, it’s great in relationships. It will help your love and sex so much if you are an internalized emotional being. If you can hold your emotions, understand them, grow with them, experience them, be able to apologize, and have integrity in your relationship with your spouse. Oh my gosh, that is so refreshing.
I can’t tell you how many couples I’ve worked with who were emotionally immature. They were externalizers, they were addicted, and had to really take on the challenge of becoming emotionally fit. As they did, within months you could see tremendous growth in their life and relationship. I can’t tell you how many women have told me, “Dr. Weiss, it’s like there’s a man in my marriage now. It’s amazing. He talks about his feelings, he’s present, he apologizes. It’s like wow, this is a totally different world.” Yes.
Many externalizers never had the opportunity to develop. Often times, internalizers grew up in a family where their parents were emotionally mature, so they were able to see it and model it. Or they got therapy, or got in a relationship or group of people where emotional awareness was really a priority. They really took off and grew. So anyone, no matter where you’re at in your emotional fitness, can grow and expand. In my book “Emotional Fitness,” I teach you how to identify your feelings, write them down, learn them, and communicate them looking in the other person’s eyes. And if you’re doing that, you can start to make progress.
I want to encourage you to go to loveandsextoday.com, subscribe there, and find a free chapter to one of my books that can help you in some way. Review us on iTunes and tell us how helpful these are for you. That will encourage other people. I also want to encourage you to leave questions. I want to hear what’s on your heart and mind so I can maybe address it in another post. One of you who leave a review will win a private, fun, engaging conversation with me. I look forward to meeting some of you that way. Remember, always have great love and have great sex, today.
The book mentioned in this podcast, Emotional Fitness, can be purchased at http://drdougweiss.com/emotional-fitness.