Psych 101: Feelings don’t tell the truth

Feelings don’t tell the truth.

They ultimately lie.


What we call feelings typically have a sensation and story component.

We feel something.

This feeling has a sensation component. We can feel it in our physical body as sensations.

And there are story elements here too. These include stories telling us the name of the feeling and what it means.


This story about what the feeling means is not true. It can have some validity, in a conventional sense, but is ultimately and in a more real sense out of alignment with reality.

We can identify and examine these stories. We can find the limited validity in them. We can find how they are not true. And we can find what’s more true for us.


When we say “I feel X”, we are only talking about the feeling itself and the story connected with it.

It’s a kind of confession about what’s going on with us. And, other than that, it says nothing about reality.


Emotional reasoning is when we feel something and assume that’s how reality is.

We believe the story component of the feeling without realizing it’s a story and without examining it and checking with reality.


So how can we explore these feelings?

We can learn to differentiate the physical sensations and the stories connected with it. We can rest in noticing the physical sensations. And we can rest in noticing the mental images and words connected with it.

We can identify the meaning of the feeling, the story behind it, and examine it.

We can learn to say “I feel…” and recognize this as only saying something about the feeling itself and nothing else.

Feelings lie 

  • Have a sensation and story component 
  • the story behind it always lies, does not tell the truth 
  • When say “i feel” that’s all we say, is only about the feeling itself 
  • Examine the stories connected with it, the story behind it and fueling it, and underlying assumptions, stories about the feeling itself, about the triggering situation, etc. 


Feelings lie.

They don’t tell the truth.

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