Re: strong emotions
From: Tom Smyth (
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2021 19:09:21 -0800 (PST)
My facilitation trainers taught me not to fear or disapprove of strong
emotions. Rather to match them and engage with them and figure out what is
behind them and what's at stake. Usually if someone is emoting like that it
means they want to be heard in my experience. I think that's the key
ultimately. Making sure people feel heard, whether they're yelling their
feelings or almost whispering them (some people do the latter but their
feelings are just as strong). And then sometimes you have to make sure the
person at whom the strong feelings were directed is also heard! And also be
careful of power imbalances if they exist, that's a whole other dimension.
But certainly judging folks for having strong feelings is not the way to go!

On Mon, Jan 4, 2021 at 9:45 PM CJ Q <homeschoolvideo [at]> wrote:

> I have a question for the list serv. I see the expression strong emotions a
> lot. It is confusing me. I come from a loud, Sicilian background and our
> family is mixed with Mexican and I'm used to being around loud, expressive
> people. So, this seems to say - keep your feelings stuffed.  Why not just
> say people are hurt? Or offended? Or disagree and work with that?  Any
> explanation to clear up my confusion or misunderstanding is appreciated.
> Thanks,
> Carol
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Tom Smyth

Worker-Owner, Sassafras Tech Collective
Specializing in innovative, usable tech for social change · @sassafrastech
Pronouns: he/him
  • strong emotions CJ Q, January 4 2021
    • Re: strong emotions Tom Smyth, January 4 2021

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