Why You Need to Make Friends With Your Emotions

August 5, 2020

Emotions can sneak up on us, get stuffed down, spew all over others, make us feel uncomfortable or make us delirious (happy or crazy!). I let myself out of my self-imposed prison and it has made a huge difference.

Why You Need to Make Friends With Your Emotions

Emotions are tricky things. They can sneak up on us, get stuffed down, spew all over others, make us feel uncomfortable or make us delirious (happy or crazy!). Our job is to see them coming a mile away and make good decisions about when and how to express them. Most of us suck at this. I’ve lost track of the blunders I’ve made when it comes to managing my emotions at work. But I have learned to do better over time. Here are a few things I learned the hard way.

Anger is a total buzz kill. It is the bully in us that wants to make others do what we demand or belittle people to make ourselves feel superior or to deflect. Shouting, pounding fists, using aggressive and demeaning words is a bad look. Stop it.

Discomfort and anxiety about challenging the status quo; also, not helpful. Passivity turns into being obsequious which turns into being ignored. Get help finding your voice so you can be a valuable contributing member of your team.

Those are two extremes. Most of the stuff in the middle is important to bring to the office. Our passion, our ambivalence, our love, our frustration, the whole gamut. I used to shove so many emotions aside until I received repeated feedback that I was too hard to read. I let myself out of my self-imposed prison and it has made a huge difference.

Final note: Once we become aware that we have loads of emotions, we need to self-monitor. That means knowing when it will be helpful to share them, when it is best to breathe through them and when it is better to bitch and moan with loved ones after work.