Emotions. A beautiful thing that can be expressed in a number of ways. Some healthy and some harmful. It’s a beautiful human and animal emotion. God often expressed emotion. It’s His creation. I always imagine how God feels. In the likeness of Christ, He must feel many things. I wonder how that is for Him. A God that is patient beyond human comprehension…further than we can fathom.
I say all this to say that within our emotions as humans, we can’t completely understand one another’s emotions and many times we can’t fully understand our own emotions. Sometimes emotions are meant to just be expressed and that underlining feeling just can’t be verbally expressed. Sometimes tears are enough. Sometimes yelling helps. Sometimes, laughter does the trick.
I, for one, am always working on controlling my emotions. It has been a long time duty and process because you don’t change overnight. Human traits and flaws do not magically go away in a short time. It takes constant work, failure, and forgiving yourself and others.
Today, an email transpired between me and a gentlemen who I may have met once but I don’t quite remember. It was a conversation about a topic that clearly he was passionate and very invested in. His response triggered a response within me and while it wasn’t a ‘messy’ argument, it sparked me to defend myself from his hard response. He responded from an emotional place based on his strong stance and while that was not the issue, it created some confusion. I was moved to respond to what he said rather addressing my meaning and I felt I got caught up in something that I didn’t need to be. I didn’t think of it until after and was beating up myself about it because I thought perhaps I was completely wrong for saying what Is aid or perhaps I didn’t think things through enough. I thought, oh no, everyone on this email thread is going to think I’m not for the cause and that bothered me the most. It wasn’t until I was just about done drafting another email response to his second email which was more intense than the first that I received a text that would bring about relief and peace for me. He reached out to another who then reached out to me to let me know that he misunderstood the point of the original text and that he was too invested and very sensitive. I felt a bit better but also felt I should’ve received some apology so then that made me think perhaps he just realized that he let his emotions get in the way but still felt the way he did and perceived me to be someone not apart of the cause and that alone bothered me.
I then wanted to email him back to clear the air and while I did draft and email, several times, I had to go back and read what I wrote to check my own self. My truth came out in the email but it didn’t mean that I wasn’t for the cause. It just mean that out of defense and emotion, I felt the need to defend myself and in this transaction, I failed to refocus on the main point of the whole email.
Emotionally driven. It was for one, interesting to see someone else in an emotional place as it was a good time for me to reflect and think about how I may look when I respond emotionally. Well, I understood his heart and frustrations although they were a bit misguided and misdirected but it was great to understand another human being like myself.
One of the new things that I’ve adopted this year is about thinking before I speak and it goes likes this and is the 3 Question Method:
- Does this need to be said?
- Does this need to be said by me?
- Does this need to be said by me now?
This is new to me and I have yet to get good at it. It’s something that I have to review weekly to remind myself of my emotional goals for this year.
In response to those questions, I added my own method:
- when to say it?
- when not to say it?
- how to say it?
These are questions that I do practice answering during disputes and it has been helpful to me. Not something I have mastered but a work in progress. What’s important for me is to learn how to utilize these when my triggers go off. That is an area very tough for me and honestly, I didn’t think about it until now. Perhaps it’s because the person that informed me of this person’s email response mentioned that it was a trigger thing. Now I need to reflect which I think is going to bring me a whole new way of dealing with my emotions and not repeating an unhealthy pattern of yelling and arguing matches with those close to me.
“Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success”. – both things that are equally important to me.
I added a quote of mine that goes like, “I can cry, maybe just not in front of my boss.” (which I have done) but the point is to aim to have your emotions under control.
I hope this is helpful to someone.