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Successful Relationships
Reminders from Infants
about Feelings

Pamela Levin, R.N., T.S.T.A.,  

Infants' lives depend on creating successful relationships because their lives depend on it. And infants' can't distract themselves from their feeling states like adults can.  Like it or not, their lives revolve around feelings.  That's why we can learn so much from them about the role of our emotional states in building successful relationships - in other words,  What can infants teach us about that?

Here are some of their lessons for us:

1. Feeling is central to being alive. Everybody we have a relationship with is alive and therefore has feelings, even though they have different styles of dealing with them. Emotional states are as fundamental as breathing.

2. Communicating feelings is as natural and basic as breathing. Infants just flat-out express their emotional experience without apology. They teach us that including these states as part of a relationship - both in our own selves and with others - is natural and normal.

3. Having feeling states accurately received and accepted - by ourselves - and by another - is massively comforting. Infants communicate feelings non stop... until.... yes, UNTIL they experience it's been accurately received by the other person. Then they feel sooooo much better. That doesn't change just because we're adults. We, too, want our emotional state to be accurately received and interpreted, both by ourselves, and by another.

We can practice receiving and accurately interpreting feelings so we can do it well. The place to start is with ourselves. For example: 

  • "I'm so mad right now, on a scale of one to ten I'm an eleven."  
  • "That scared me so much I'm shaking."  
  • "I know I'm anxious, I just don't know what I'm anxious about... yet." 

We can also practice with others: 

  •  "Wow, you're really mad about this, huh!"  
  • "That sounds terrifying, were you (are you )scared? 

If you're not sure what the other person is saying, you can gently ask for clarification: "Are you sad? (Mad? Glad? Scared?) about this? "Are you saying you're hurt that...."

Doing so can dramatically improve the quality of our relationships and significantly reduce the chances that unexpressed feelings might sabotage those relationships.

For resources that help you increase the nourishment and satisfaction in your relationships and your life right away, a great place to start is my free minicourse "Raise EQ: Seven Simple Steps to a Higher EQ" at http://www.raiseeq.com. In a few minutes per lesson, you'll discover which of six primary areas is the right next step for you, the better to save yourself from needless relationship conflicts, headaches and heartaches.

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Pamela Levin is an R.N. and a Teaching and Supervising Transactional Analyst who has been in private practice offering health improvement services for 40 years.

She has over 500 post-graduate hours of training in clinical nutrition, herbology and applied kineseology.

She has published many professional journal and lay audience articles and has an international reputation in the fields of emotional development, emotional intelligence and Transactional Analysis.

For her work in these areas, she was awarded the prestigious Eric Berne Award by members of the International Transactional Analysis Association in 72 countries.

She has lectured and trained both lay and professional audiences all over the world.

Her work is continues to be used  throughout North and South America, The UK, Europe, Asia and Australia.

She has personally researched the key emotional nutrients™ she makes available through this site.

They have consistently been demonstrated to be the core nutrients people need to feed all the six parts of their emotional selves. 

People from all cultures and languages in all parts of the world have used them since she first made them public in 1974 to feed their emotional selves, move from surviving to thriving, release limiting beliefs, improve parenting skills and more.