How emotional are you?
As a society, we do not talk much about emotions. Conversations tend to focus more on what we are doing or what we are thinking. A well-known fact, most people find it easier to start sentences with, “I think…” Instead of, “I feel…” simply because it feels less awkward. Most of us are not educated about feelings. Instead, we are supposed to learn what is socially acceptable ways to deal with emotions by watching others around us. Some individuals who were not fortunate enough to grow up surrounded by emotionally ideal role models likely miss out on some important emotional concepts.
Social norms can differ over what is considered acceptable in terms of talking about feelings and ways to deal with those emotions. It is no wonder there is a lot of confusion about emotions. For starters, a person should feel differently in certain situations. When a person says, “I should not be upset over little things,” or “I really should be happier than I am.” There are not any rules regarding emotions and your emotional reaction to an event is not wrong. Rather than waste energy beating oneself up over how to feel, except that emotion right now and consider the choices in how you react to that emotion.
Especially with traumatic brain injury, an individual might think, “I cannot control how I feel,” even though, emotions are never wrong. Whatever type of emotion a person has there is always a choice to make. The decision of do I want to keep feeling this way or do I want to change the way I think and behave when given the adequate amount of time to evaluate the cause of emotional arousal.
Then there is the idea that trying to control your emotions is synonymous with behaving like a robot. People think that regulating his or her emotions is trying to act as if they do not have feelings. A realistic view of emotion shows that we are capable of experiencing a wide range of emotions but we do not have to be controlled by those emotions. After a hard day, choosing to do something to help a person feel better is different than staying in a bad mood and this is a healthy life skill.
Next there is the thought that showing emotion is a sign of weakness. While it is a healthy social skill to be able to behave professionally even when you are not feeling at the top of your game, letting your guard down during a socially appropriate time is not a sign of weakness. If a person is aware of those emotions and making a conscious decision to share those feelings with others at a socially appropriate time is a sign of strength.
In a previous chapter, readers saw that my family tends not to be emotional for show emotion and some still display little emotion to one another after my accident. I would expect this type of response from someone who is oblivious to the idea that I am not an emotional type of person because that is the way I was raised by my parents. We are humans capable of great things but when we cognitively undermine our emotions we sell ourselves short of being emotionally strong. I challenge him or her to grow as a person and stop living in an emotional box the rest of your life.
Some takeaways from this message is try your hardest to be emotional and convey those feelings outward. Start by focusing on those positive feelings like joy, interest, and most importantly hope and start talking about them with other individuals.
What do you think? As great as people are why do we limit ourselves by not being emotional? Contact with me…