10 Hurdles To Emotional Learning

When dealing with people, let us remember we are not dealing with creatures of logic. We are dealing with creatures of emotion, creatures bustling with prejudices and motivated by pride and vanity ~ Dale Carnegie

When I say Emotions, you almost immediately associate ‘Anger’ and ‘Sad’ as the synonyms.  Emotion is the mental state and this could be positive or negative.

There are seven major positive emotions : desire, faith, sex, enthusiasm, hope, love, romance.  And the seven major negative emotions are : anger, fear, jealousy, hatred, revenge, greed, superstition.

Our brains harbor a lot of emotions and it is the negative emotions that is worrying.  The amygdala  is most commonly associated with fear and anxiety.  Each of us have a chronic or habitual emotional level that determines the overall well-being or satisfaction.  If a threat is perceived,  the amygdala tends to hijack the reasoned response process.  We have certain triggers-things that cause us to have an emotional reaction and elicit our innate ‘fight of flight’ response.  This limits our capacity to think clearly and causes us to move to default behaviors that may not be skillful or effective.

Emotional intelligence (EI) is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior.  The four main components of EI are : Self-Awareness, Self-Management, Social Awareness, Relationship Management.

Our emotional level, thus is the manifested frequency level of everything and anything that is real (perceivable) to us in our world and actual life’s experiences.

Have you wondered as to Why are these negative emotions triggered?

1. Change  results in discomfort and stress – a lot of us expect life to be easy and when challenges and hurdles come along, it overwhelms us and may cause negative reactions.

2. Human Being rather than Human Doing - we forget many times that what really matters in each of our lives is what we are, what we build and what we share.  Living life with a passion and being your true self is the most important.

3. Relationships – many times we tend to chase people though they may have shown no interest in building and maintaining relationships. In our busy lives we ever so often forget to make time for those who matter the most.  We allow our pride and ego to be the mainstay of relationships and taking those, who have been with us through thick and thin,  for granted.  This leads to disappointments and triggers a lot of negative emotions.

4. Allowing our mind to control us – life is not perfect and sometimes we allow a bad moment, or a bad day to take control of our state of mind and the reactions to other unrelated events of the day.

5. Help – not asking for help when you need it desperately.  Each of us need help and cannot survive in isolation.

6. Know when to walk away and when not to give up - many times we hold onto things without asking ourselves the utility value in the same.

7. Surrounding ourselves with people who make us unhappy and drain our energy out – ignore those who hassle you, stalk you, embarrass you and step beyond the boundaries of decent behavior on social media and in real life.

8. Not being accountable & responsible - not walking the talk which leads to distrust and guilt. We loose our identity by not learning to say,  ‘No’ resulting in over committing and under delivery.

9. Not taking a break- many of us get into the rigmarole of  doing too much without pausing. In that we live without enjoying the simple pleasures that life has to offer. We are stressed out, irritable and a vicious circle ensues.

10. Focusing on past – allowing our past to continue to dominate us to such an extent that we become victims of it.  We focus on the negatives, loosing ourselves in the problem.  More often than not,  we repeatedly point to our unhappy circumstances to rationalize our negative feelings. This is the easy way out. It takes, after all, very little effort to feel victimized.   But the negative thinking and behavior hurts only one person the most and that is “You”.

So how do we deal with our Emotions especially those that trigger a negative response.

Adaptability is all about recovering from the anxiety  & adversity that change initially brings & then having the flexibility to move ahead vigorously.

I find that one way to practice this idea is to write or think about a good experience. Not only does this remind me that there’s life beyond bad feelings, but it also serves as an emotional anchor.   I find my memory can become a positive emotional reference point, to remind me of the range of possibilities when I am at my worst feeling down and out.

Refer my post on Twelve Ways to Inspire Yourself When You Are Feeling Down and Out

The role emotions play in shaping thinking accounts for a large part of why we see a failure of good thinking in most leaders.  You are free to choose behaviors that are truly in your own best interests.

We all have so much to give. We just need to consciously choose to access and share it.  When we give good vibes, good thoughts,  and a smile, we generally get it back.  Recognizing emotions is the basis of self-knowledge and interaction. An emotion comes up to the conscious level when we are ready to manage it.  I like to think emotions as colors, some simple, and yet others are blends.

Emotional memory management enables us to manage our emotions in a way that will produce more positive outcomes.  It is the “habits of mind” that reveal intellectual character.  Please watch my video on “Emotional Blindspots‘.

The 3 core development steps for all Leaders are:  Knowing Yourself, Choosing Yourself and Giving Yourself.  What do you think ?

7 Elements of Empathy

You have had a down and out day and the events of the day are still unfolding and the people you have come across during some of those vulnerable moments makes you feel that the world can be a punishing place. You feel unsafe to expose your feelings to others during some of those moments.

You almost feel you are falling apart, and you need your feelings to be met with love,  understanding and acceptance without judgement.

What are you looking for in such an impasse ?

Isn’t that Empathy?

Empathy is the ability of putting oneself into the mental shoes of another person to mirror connect and understand the emotions and feelings (joy or sadness)  experienced by that person at that moment in time.

Empathy involves 7 elements in my view

1. Emotional intelligence is the cognitive ability involving traits and social skills that facilitate interpersonal behavior. It involves understanding emotions including non verbal signals, body language and facial expressions. Responding appropriately to the emotions of others is key to facilitating insight.

2. Mindset – Staying human and having the right attitude to connect to another person at that moment when they need you the most.

3. Present – You are present and in the now.  It is not about the past or future but being aware about another person’s feeling at that moment.

4. Attention – Demonstrate your interest in the person through your body language, facial expression, and gestures to encourage someone to continue speaking. “Give whatever you are doing and whoever you are with the gift of your attention” ~Jim Rohn

5. To Listen - You listen to understand rather than respond.  Sometimes, in order to elicit more of a response from the other party, you need to pause and say nothing.

6. Help Encourage – Use supportive comments to get someone to continue to open up. Gestures like nodding your head, appropriate facial expressions, eye contact can accompany, “I see,” “Really,” or “Oh no” to provide the necessary encouragement for the person to continue to release the emotional turmoil they are going through.

7. You Recognize Feelings:  Feelings reveal critical aspects of what is important to a person.  Identifying an impasse by Saying, “I see that you are angry” or “I am sorry but something seems to be upsetting you,” are ways you can bring someone’s feelings out into the open.

In Summary, by empathizing you show that you care, you are listening and you are concerned of the other person’s ideas, feelings and how it has impacted the other’s perception.

Do you have any experiences to share or  views on what you think is Empathy?  Please feel free to comment. Thank you.

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