An emotional person is defined as: “One easily affected with or stirred by emotion; one who displays emotion; one with a tendency to rely on or place too much value on emotion; one whose conduct is ruled by emotion rather than reason.”
Many times when our emotions are out of of control it is because we haven’t learned to set the right boundaries. Many times it comes from saying ‘yes’ to situations where the answer should have been ‘no’, not setting clear expectations in a relationship or business transaction, or having ineffective communication skills.
I recall a time when I worked at a job and was frustrated because how things were being handled. Instead of speaking with my supervisor about how I felt that I was being slighted, I held it in and eventually exploded with emotions that almost got me written up for insubordination. In the end, I expressed my feelings to my supervisor and he understood. However, the embarrasing emotional outburst was unneccesary and hurt my reputation.
In business, if you haven’t set clear expectations for yourself and your client, you’ll run into boundary issues that could impact your brand and reputation if your emotions are out of control. Do you really want to be known as the one who always looses control? With your clients at that? Your business won’t last very long with that repuation.
People who are out of control always feel unhappy with themselves. We were created to operate with a free will. We choose what we will do and what we won’t do. When we allow our emotions to rule, we know we’re out of control and we give others the keys to control us. Most of the time it’s because we haven’t done the prework to prevent an emotional overload.
The best thing to do to prevent problems is to do the prework with communication, boundaries, and expectations. However, if you find yourself in a situation where it feels like your emotions are about to get the best of you, keep them in check with these four simple steps:
Step 1: Identify
You will always have some time of physical reaction that starts before the emotional reaction. Breathing heavy, sweating, clenched jaw, a frown, shaking, literally get hot (steam up out of your shirt).
Step 2: Breathe
Breathing does help. Take a few moments and focus your attention on your breathing. This helps to calm your emotions.
Step 3: Reflect
Now, take a moment and ask yourself, “What am I feeling?” and “Why am I feeling this right now?” Are you feeling something difficult and don’t know how to cope? Try to identify that feeling and give it a name. Is it sadness, loneliness, fear, anxiety? Maybe you’re confused about what you’re feeling. That’s OK. Simply reflecting on your experience interrupts the cycle of the out of control emotion.
Step 4: Choose
Now it’s time to choose what to do. An empowering question to ask yourself is, “How do I want to feel one hour from now?” This question helps link your choice with a desired outcome. Or, choose a distracting activity that helpd you manage your emotions such as write in a journal, call a friend, take a walk, or take a bath, organize a closet, wash the floor. PRAY. The bottom line is to do something other than what you emotional response dictates.
When you get your emotions in check, you’ll have less drama in your life, improve your family relationships, and strengthen your client relationships.