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Digital Subscriptions > Psychologies > No. 150 > Unblock your emotional edit

Unblock your emotional edit

Many of us ignore our more painful emotions, but doing so truncates good feelings too, as Rachel Garnett discovers

self

Recently, I found out I’d not been invited on a day out that other members of my family attended. It’s not the first time this has happened and I don’t understand why. There’s never been any argument or falling-out; it’s always been very polite. I ignored the rejection I felt – again – and instead told myself: ‘I’m overreacting. There’s no law saying they have to invite me. I’m OK. Surely, in stepfamilies these things happen? I’m going to stop thinking about it.’ I did not even tell my husband about their day out and I carried on as normal. What I was doing is called emotional editing. This is when you internally edit the impact of your true emotions because what you actually feel – in my case rejection – is too painful, or you are too busy to process it.

Emotional editing can either slowly build up or it can be a subconscious reaction to a traumatic time. My lovely friend Amelia was left by the man she loved. She edited her feelings to convince herself that she hadn’t wanted to be with him. In the weeks after he walked out, she was full of plans to travel, run marathons and be fabulously single. Her lacerating hurt only spilled out when he married.

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