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Any time that someone starts a sentence with, "I feel that...," I assume that he or she is about to express an opinion rather than a feeling.

Feelings are pretty basic; rage, joy, and grief are feelings. Most other things that people "feel" are opinions.

A true story: many years ago, a member of my family told me, "You should respect my feelings, and I feel that you should wear your hair differently."


Yes, this is true, but these "opinions" that are so despised often come as a result of feelings. Maybe your mother actually wanted to tell you that she feels ashamed when the neighbors see you because of the way you wear your hair (my mother says this constantly), but she didn't have the guts to say it so she tried hinting with opinion. You're right, opinions are not feelings, but there are most likely a result of suppressed feelings.

My pet peeve is when my mother expects me to read her emotions through her rather forceful opinions and therefore know exactly how to make her feel better at all times. Sometimes, I wish she were a cat.

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