Why emotions make relationships so painful

Dr Lisa Turner

Dr Lisa Turner

World renowned visionary, author, high-performance mindset trainer for coaches to elevate skills, empower clients to achieve their maximum potential

What’s the point of emotional pain? Why do we feel anger, hurt, sadness? What’s the point?

We feel physical pain to tell us that something needs attention. The burning tells us to move away from the fire. The ache of a joint tells us to stay still whilst it heals.

Emotional pain has the same purpose as physical pain. It is to tell us that something isn’t right. It comes about as a result of the difference between what we desire inside and what we actually experience outside.

A painful emotion is the tension we feel when there’s a difference between what we want, and what we have

For example, if you have a need to be acknowledged or listened to, and in your relationship you don’t feel you are getting that, you will feel this difference as a painful emotion. This difference between what we want (or need) and what we receive creates a gap or tension. And it’s this tension that we feel as a painful emotion.

We might have different labels for that emotion – we might feel anger, or hurt or even sadness. Whatever the label, the cause is the same. It’s the difference between what we want, and what we get.

According to many philosophies, there is really only one emotion – the emotion of LOVE

Anything else you feel is resistance to love or the absence or even withholding of love.

Think of love as an energy that flows through you, and if that flow is blocked, either from coming IN to you or from LEAVING you, you will feel it as an emotion. The word emotion breaks down into E (energy) motion (movement), so it is literally the movement of energy.

When you feel a negative emotion, what you actually feel as pain is the resistance to love

Those feelings inside are the result of your inner resistance to love. The label we give to a painful emotion refers to the way in which love is being removed from us or resisted.

For example, when we feel sad, that feeling comes from the loss of something or someone we love.

  • • Anger is the feeling that we were denied love.
  • • Fear is the feeling that we will lose love.
  • • Hurt is the feeling that another withheld love, or rejected our love.
  • • Guilt is the feeling that we didn’t love enough, didn’t give or show enough love.

When love flows freely, the feeling is GOOD – when we give love and it is accepted, and when we feel that we are loved and are able to accept it. When we don’t feel love being given and we want it, we feel it as pain.

How do you stop the pain?

Most people try to stop the pain by changing the OUTSIDE. They try to get others to change. Sometimes they even change the actual person. The problem with this is that if you still have an underlying need for love, then you will likely repeat the same pattern with different people.

However, if you change the INSIDE, i.e. you change your need to be shown or given love in a particular way, then the tension is gone.

Of course, you can still choose to accept love, and enjoy being loved, without it being a need. Without the tension of that unmet need, and the accompanying painful emotions, it makes it much easier for people to love you and show you love, and you get even more love.

Think how much easier it is to feel love towards happy, cheerful people, and how much harder it is to show love to people who are resentful, needy or demanding, or gloomy.

Thus, once it’s no longer a need, paradoxically, you’re more likely to get it. You show more love more willingly and you receive more love.

Dr Lisa Turner


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