Emotions - The Third Foundation Stone of the Self-Esteem Triad
Last week we learnt about the importance of boundaries in our lives. Unfortunately, when we are young children, if our boundaries were shut down so were our emotions. Boundaries and emotions are very intertwined.
We know our emotions were shut down if we were told, “Don’t cry or I’ll give you something to cry about”. In my experience, if I got too excited because I had done something well at school, I had to stop talking about it because it was too prideful. I can still remember my mother’s voice, “I’ll cut you down at the knees if you are too prideful”. So I learnt not to celebrate myself and my achievements. Another time, I remember being chosen as captain of our softball team one year and on the day we were to play interschool sports, my mother decided that that was the day we had to go to the dentist 3 hours away from home. I remember going past the school yard on the bus, seeing my team practicing out on the pitch. The tears started falling and I was told to ‘shut up, you cry baby’.
When our emotions are denied, we either internalize our pain and shut down, or we externalize our pain and act out.
So how do we know when we are healthy and resourcefully using our emotions. We are functional human beings when we can access all of our emotions and are not threatened when others are accessing theirs too.
There are many lists of what our emotions are. The list that I like the most comes from http://www.thegorgeousmindseteffect.com/move-22-tier-emotional-guidance-scale. They rank the major emotions on a scale of 1-22.
To be able to access a new level of emotional intelligence, you first have to go through the emotions below it. That is very freeing for someone who is trying to get out of the ‘anger’ cycle because if someone is angry, they are at 17 so would have had to go through 22 – 18 prior to reaching 17. So in fact anger is a celebration of the person’s growth.
The problem is when we stay in it, because of what has happened in our life previously which causes us ‘victim mentality’.
If you notice in the hierarchy of the Emotional Guidance Scale, 22 to 8 is negative behavior patterns and then 7 up to 1 are all positive emotions.
Which emotions would you prefer and which ones add value to your office environment. It is not too hard to work out, is it?
So now a useful resource for you to do would be utilize the above scale to work your way up the Emotional Level Scale where you will grow and find who you truly are by attending to your inner emotional world.