Managing Our Emotions

We all have a range of emotions, some good, some not so good.  Well, I should change the word “good” to “positive” and “bad” to “negative.” Emotions should not be thought of as good or bad, but positive or negative.  “Good” and “bad” labels put us in the position of judging, and emotions should not be judged.  While we should evaluate them, and determine how to manage them most effectively, that is different than judging emotions as good or bad.

It is good to be in touch with our emotions, all of them, and to not “stuff them down.” If we fail to deal with our emotions, they can become more problematic. We heard about the problems this can create from Prince Harry earlier this week.  But how we deal with our emotions is the key.  Sometimes our negative emotions come between us and others because we do not deal with our own emotions effectively.  That can become cumulative, and what could have been resolved develops into conflict, expressed (overt) or unexpressed (covert).

What are some negative emotions?  Hurt, anger, frustration, envy, and sadness are some of the most common negative emotions.  If these are unresolved, other negative emotions can occur.  Unresolved hurt can become anger, anger which can be directed at others.  Frustration sometimes comes from our inability to control our situation, and can result in us trying to control others.  Envy is coveting what someone else has, and can lead to sadness and even depression. Sadness that isn’t intercepted leads to depression.     

Joy, gratitude, empathy, happiness, and hope are some positive emotions.  As is the case with negative emotions, positive emotions are often related. The person who has a spirit of gratitude is usually happier and perhaps even joyful.  Those who possess empathy usually also have a spirit of gratitude.  People who have hope also are usually happier. 

We all possess both positive and negative emotions, and these are often the result of allowing external factors to control how we feel.  We need to examine this.  Why would we allow our happiness to be dependent on how many “things” we possess, how we look as we age, and even the opinion others have of us?  If we need the latest Apple product or the latest fashion to feel good about ourselves, we will likely have too many days of negative emotions such as envy or sadness.  If we are depressed or even sad as we notice we no longer can color the gray in our hair or hide our wrinkles, we are likely to be unhappy most of our days, and miss the joy those years can provide.  If others disagreeing with us makes us hurt or angry, we will miss the opportunity for polite discourse that can result in mutual understanding and even deeper relationships. 

When dealing with emotions, it is best for us to look within, and refuse to focus on the behavior of others.  You have heard, “The only one you can control is yourself.”  If I control my own behavior as I deal with my emotions, that will be more than enough for me to do.  There won’t be time for me to worry about the emotions and behavior of others!

About Patti Fralix

Patti Fralix inspires positive change in work, life, and family through Speaking, Consulting, and Coaching in three specialty areas: Leadership, Managing Differences, and Customer Service. Her leadership firm, The Fralix Group, Inc., has been helping clients achieve practical and tangible results for twenty-two years.
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