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Notes from the Journey - Do You Have the “Urge to Purge”?

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of enduring a bout of food poisoning?  I have and seen many friends and family members go through that torment from time to time.  And, let me tell you, it is not fun to watch or be the one enduring the pain.

Have you ever had the unfortunate experience of enduring a bout of food poisoning?  I have and seen many friends and family members go through that torment from time to time.  And, let me tell you, it is not fun to watch or be the one enduring the pain.

When we have food poisoning, we have the “urge to purge.”  The toxic waste of whatever we ate infects the stomach and must be expelled.  Our body is telling us, “I don’t think so.  I want no part of this.  I can’t believe you ate the whole thing.  You must now pay for the errors of your ways.”  The human defense mechanism is relentless to force out the unwelcomed guest and rid itself of any remnants of its existence.

In our relationships, we sometimes have this same affliction, but with a little twist. Take a moment and remember a time when you felt so flooded and overwhelmed with negative emotions that you had the “urge to purge” your thoughts and feelings.  Maybe it was at work when you were resentful of a co-worker or angry with a customer.  Perhaps you were mad with yourself.  Finally, we come to the category of our committed relationship, which this phenomenon, unfortunately, seems to occur more frequently then we would like.  

When our mind is focused on fear-based thoughts, we are unable to distinguish between past pain, present reality and future anxiety.  We then begin to create full length fantasy movies based upon distorted perspectives and unrealistic expectations.  When an everyday issue or situation develops that does not match one or both, we create negative energy.  This painful energy then builds up until we release it in one of two ways; in an emotionally intelligent or unintelligent manner.

In Chapter 3 of my book, The Journey from “I-TO-WE”, I explain the Conscious Discussion Technique - CDT.  The CDT is a structured communication technique that enables the person with the emotional poisoning to purge the negative energy in a healthy manner.  This person is called the Sender.  The lucky recipient of the energy is called the Receiver.

When the Sender is filled with the toxic waste of resentment, contempt and anger, they must have a safe space to release the energy.  In order for the Sender to purge, the other partner must learn to be a Receiver and let me tell you, it is not an easy job.  We all know how to diagnosis the disease of emotional poisoning.  It is usually quite evident.  The question is how we show up to help our partner.  

The first step in the CDT is for the Sender to make an appointment to purge.  When the Receiver knows a negative message is about to be delivered, they have the time to prepare and anchor themselves in this role in order to be able to receive the message as is intended by the Sender.  Being a masterful Receiver is one of the most difficult and important relationship skill sets to learn and perfect.  As a graduate from the University of “I-TO-WE” with a Ph.D. in Emotional Intelligence., you will follow all of the rules and also the pledge you solemnly swore upon completion of the Receiver course; “This is not about me!  I am here for my partner and this is about my partner’s pain!  This is not about me!”

Of course it goes without saying that the Sender also follows the rules of the CDT.  As the Sender begins to purge the toxic waste of pain, you as the Receiver, are emotionally present by looking them in the eyes.  You are mentally available to listen without any other thoughts in your mind.  You are grounded in your role to provide the safety the Sender needs.

Unfortunately what I witness many times is that some people, I say this with no disrespect, are emotionally unintelligent Receivers.  If this is the case, one of two things happens.  Either they engage the energy, react and poison themselves or they do not allow the Sender to purge.  In the latter case, they usually will say; “Thank you anyway, but not now dear” or “You should not think or feel that way.”  How about this all time favorite, “Just deal with it and get over it.”  When Receivers do this, it is like taking a hand; covering the Senders mouth and making them choke on the toxic, painful energy.  When this happens, the Sender become’s sicker and sicker until they erupt and believe me, you do not want to be in front of that mountain of energy. 

I know first hand how it feels to be on the receiving end of an eruption because I was once very emotionally unintelligent.  But after many years of diligent study and hard work, I can now say that I am an emotionally intelligent Receiver.  Unfortunately from what I hear, it appears I was not in the top ten percentile of my class.  I guess, we never really graduate.  We always must be inspired to continue to learn, stretch, grow, mature and change. 

We are human and we all need to purge at sometime or another, whether it is in a professional relationship, a personal relationship or the relationship we have with ourselves.  As long as we purge in a safe, honest, peaceful and respectful manner, this process is very healthy.  In order to Create Emotionally Intelligent Relationships, it is absolutely imperative that we become masters of our emotional domain and learn how to be phenomenal Senders and Receivers.

In a committed relationship, if one or both partners are not able to send and receive their painful messages in a healthy and productive manner, the poison they have inside will grow like cancer until it metastasizes into a Cycle of Conflict which can lead to the ultimate death of the relationship.

So, the question from the journey is; Are you an emotionally intelligent Sender and Receiver?   And if notFind Article, what can you do to become one?

©2008 – All rights reserved – Glenn Cohen - “I-TO-WE” Coaching /

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Glenn Cohen coaches individuals, couples and works with companies around the country in his coaching practice.  Glenn also conducts workshops, speeches and seminars on how to Create Emotionally Intelligent Relationships at home, at work, and within the self.  You may contact him at 843-852-9828 or his website:

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