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What is Emotional Management?


If you google “emotional management," you get this definition: “Emotional management is the ability to be aware of and constructively handle both positive and challenging emotions." But how do we manage our emotions?

It seems that almost all media and self-help systems tell you to express your emotions and explore them; and yet, they tell us nothing about how to manage them when we finally understand what we are feeling. Before we can manage anything, we have to identify what emotion it is we are feeling. The most common surface emotions are anger, happiness, and sadness. They are the first to rear their heads when something happens, but those reactions are just scratching the surface.

For many people, emotions like fear and hurt come out as anger and we have to dive into that. When we react with anger, it is important to understand what you are feeling in our reactions. This leads to management. If we understand that an angry reaction was born from hurt, then we can manage how that anger comes out and transition it to its root emotion. This is hard. To accomplish this, you need a trusting relationship and an open line of communication.

Learning to manage your emotions takes time and diligence. Most of all it requires acceptance. If you are in the process of understanding your reactions to your feelings, odds are high you are going to be called out about some things you aren’t going to like. This is a huge challenge because you have to manage this moment and find the truth in it. When I get into fights with my partner or my parents, I have to be constantly aware of how I am speaking and reacting. I have had moments where I got told I do something that I had no intention of doing. It sucks, but it offers a huge moment of growth.

Nothing hurts more than being told you do something that hurts someone else or resembles something you never wanted to become. As a teenager, I hated the stereotype that teens were self-centered, so I did my best to constantly be aware of how I perceived and articulated my frustrations. This awareness is the first step to management.

Let me break it down. If you are aware of a behavior you don’t like exhibiting then you are more likely to refrain from expressing it when you react to something. If someone says you react in a way that is harmful to them, you can now be more aware. Emotional management is so much more than not yelling or holding back tears when you are stressed. It is adapting and growing constantly.

Remember that every reaction you have invokes a reaction from another. I find the best way to manage my emotions is to be aware of how they come across. I can sometimes excite easily. I get super pumped about new sticky notes and I found that a lot of people thought that was ridiculous, but they also found joy in it.

Soon, my reactions to the little things at work were what made people feel their jobs were just as important as any because I expressed my value for them. I am also a very expressive person so when something is wrong it is very easy to tell. This was a less positive reaction and led my team to be less productive and more concerned. I managed this by being upfront with everyone about what was going on. It helped all parties feel valid in their own emotions as well as allowed them an understanding of my behavior.

You have to be patient with yourself because you have to learn and be aware of every part of you. Sometimes we get lost in our world of feelings and successes and lose our perspective of others around us. Managing your emotions allows everyone to be successful and heard. You have to take the time, the fights, and long nights before you can successfully manage your emotions. And even then, you will still have more to learn.

I will never be able to preach this more, but your key to success is being honest with yourself and communicating. If you can communicate effectively and understand how you bring across powerful moments you will be so much more content with yourself and have much more rewarding relationships in your life.

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