PREVIOUS: Ennea – Triad Emotions (Part 3)
QUOTE: “Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.” ~ Sigmund Freud
ACoA have been conditioned to believe that having emotions is as evil as killing someone. (see”Positive uses” for anger). Also, people living with an intense mood disorder for a long time (panic d., obsessive-compulsive d., manic-depression, rage-aholism, paranoia….) tend to reject various emotions as unacceptable. Unfortunately, this can lead to some very dangerous behaviors such as self-harming, sexual acting out, addictions….. not distinguishing emotions from action
• The popular field of Positive Psychology is sometimes used to justify pushing away ‘unfriendly’ emotions. This suits many people who do not want deal with their pain, partly because they never learned how to handle uncomfortable feelings.
— However “…. emotions, no matter how painful or dark, are natural expressions of what it means to be human. They all have a message for us that will ultimately lead to greater clarity, if acknowledged, contemplated, & not repressed. They are just like thoughts – merely symptoms of more deeply held beliefs, which must be fundamentally changed if we want to modify the experience of uncomfortable emotions. (From :”Why Feeling Bad is Good“)
In general, having access to all our Es is essential to being fully integrated & functioning well in the world. We should never expect to do this continually or ‘perfectly’*. It’s just important to accept all of them.
While it is sometimes necessary to have a bit of distance from our emotions or to even be temporarily shut down – as self-protection – long-term suppression causes bigger problems than whatever was being avoided in the first place.
• SO – it is our responsibility, as much as possible, to gently check in every day with ourselves, so we can keep track of what we’re feeling, on our own, &/or with help. This gives us invaluable information about how well we’re taking care of our PMES needs, & how safe or unsafe our environment is!
✶ Naturally we have to take into account the WIC’s over-reaction to people & situations, from stock-piled old wounds, & to our under-reaction from obeying the Toxic Messages, rather than our True Self. As we heal & develop our “Unit” we can usually tell the difference between historical vs present-day emotional responses (“Getting to our Es”)
• While we do want to aim for serenity & a balanced life, it’s not healthy to cover up painful emotions (Es) & harmful beliefs (Ts) with a bunch of platitudes & ‘positive thinking’, especially without first cleaning out old childhood pain
KEEP IN MIND that WE:
• can experience Emotions & not act on them at all
• can have our Es & find the right place to ‘get them out’
• will notice Es shifting from pain to discomfort – then pleasure – when hearing a kind word or being with any accepting, comforting person
• can change how we feel emotionally by coming to an aha! moment, or by mentally understanding what’s going on with us
EXP: In her 30s Amy was dating a very ‘religious’ man who made it clear he did not approve of anger. For a few weeks Amy let this information slide, trying to be the person Carl wanted. When she began noticing aching joints not related to age or illness, she started searching for an internal cause. Finally Amy realized she was holding in her rage about being told to not ever be angry, just like her religious parents had done. As soon as she put those pieces together – the joint pain disappeared!
Emotional intelligence (E.I., also called E.Q.) refers to our ability to understand & use emotional information to guide our thinking & behavior. E.I. includes: (MORE……)
Self-awareness: recognize internal emotions
Managing: act appropriately on any Es that occur in a situation
Motivation: use self-control to channel Es toward a goal
Empathy: understand emotional perspective/ experiences of others, especially when different from ours
Handle relationships: use info about Self & others to respond appropriately in social relationships by developing healthy interpersonal skills (IMAGE from children’s movie 2015)
• Researchers are beginning to develop tests that measure emotional intelligence:
— People with high E.I. have greater mental health, show greater job performance, & usually work well in cooperative situations, being good at motivating & managing others
— People with low E.I. have low(er) self-esteem, often misinterpret emotional signals, have trouble in relationships, & are not as motivated to be cooperative or perform well at work
Although E.I. probably has an inherited component, many psychologists believe that people can be guided into making better use of the E.I. they were born with but is still under/ undeveloped.
NEXT: ACoAs – ACCESSING our Emotions (Part 2)