From the prior post, I know you are looking for ways to stop the bad ones and let the good emotions flourish – your search is not over, we are not taking you on such dangerous path- understanding your emotions is a more important step to maturity than stifling it.
See the emotional maturity journey of an individual as narrated in madamenoire.com thus –
I come from an emotionally-stifled family. Showing extreme emotion in either direction always seemed frowned upon by elders of the family. You had better not get too giddy, especially if you were a little girl. It wasn’t ladylike to laugh loudly. You better not sit too long sulking or being sad. You have too much to be grateful for to allow that. And if someone made you angry? You better not fly off the handle. In fact, you better perfect your poker face so not even the slightest hint of anger can creep across your face.
I had no way of realizing it for a long time, but I had been taught to be emotionally dead for most of my childhood. I would smile when it was appropriate. I would grieve in private. I would stifle my rage over injustice. I would bottle my feelings up to maintain a comfortable space for those around me. I was a robot.
I had stuffed the height and depth of any emotion so far down into myself that I didn’t know how to express the overabundance of joy I felt at times, or how to feel and express the red rage I felt at other times.
Understanding and healthily expressing my emotions creates a safe space for me as someone in a society that increasingly embraces the disingenuous for appearances’ sake. Being free to express emotion honestly should be a right from birth, not an epiphany had during a quarter-life crisis.
My trajectory has shown me in 3-D that it is important for sanity, honest and open communication with others, and genuine self-expression. I wasn’t gifted the opportunity of space and time on this earth to be a robot, clone or drone. Some of us wait a lifetime, but I’m elated that I’ve been blessed to make this discovery, now, at 27 years old. Now, I can live a lifetime of free expression.
It’s a big understatement to say that if the only emotion concepts you recognize are “me feel good” and “me feel bad” you’re not going to be very emotionally intelligent, more like an emotional imbecile.
Steps To Emotional Mastery –
1. Emotional Granularity –
Take the time to distinguish the emotions you feel, to recognize them as distinct and different, the more emotionally intelligent you will become. This is called “emotional granularity.” Try to distinguish between happy, ecstatic, joyful and awesome.
2. Emotions in the Dictionary – Learn the words for the shades of emotions
I don’t mean you can find the word “emotional intelligence” in the dictionary. Well, yeah, you can, but that’s not what I mean. I mean a dictionary can actually help you develop emotional intelligence.
If you don’t know what “ennui” means, you’re not going to be able to distinguish it when you feel it. Learning more emotion words is the key to recognizing more subtle emotion concepts.
So are you angry, furious, or just cranky? Recognize your emotions. Make the feelings distinct from each other.
3. Give a word to Your Feelings
So give those feelings a name. That dread you feel on Sunday night knowing you need to go to work tomorrow? “Sunday-nitis.” Or the one for Monday morning, “Monday-dread” and the one for Friday, “Friday-lala” Or that special something that you feel around your partner? “Passion-o-rama.”
Those are unique sensations. Give them an emotion. Learn to distinguish them from the other forms of dread or elation.
Yeah, it might feel a little silly at first but don’t let that hold you back. In Japan they have “age-otori” — “The feeling of looking worse after a haircut.” We’ve all felt that. It just took one emotionally intelligent genius to give it a name. Be that genius.
Till next time on emotional mastery, we like to read from your – please share your items in your emotional crayon box.