Many people advise on shunning away from emotions. I think it’s the other way around.
Being an emotionally unstable individual myself, I know that the daily trip to the office can be a challenge for those who struggle with keeping their emotions at bay.
Many times, to make mends with such challenges requires help, through the beauty of the internet, I look to connect with these people and many more.
These are not self-help tips. These are just my experiences.
It’s important to establish a base for this article. Most people will not understand emotional instability because, well, they are emotionally stable. Or at least, they’ve been taught to hide them, or ignore them.
It’s unusual for them to let the ups and downs, insecurities, fears or sudden bursts of anger and sadness out into the open. So it’s extremely difficult to make them understand emotional instability. Making the decision to understand emotions myself was the priority.
Also taking the time to accept that other people are different was a huge step is handling these issues in the work environment.
After countless therapy sessions to treat self-loathe— frequently questioning my abilities and doubting myself — my counselor, my friends, family and girlfriend made me realize that emotions and insecurities are a part of me. Here’s the first thing I learned: embrace emotions.
“Otherwise, you’d be just another engineer who doesn’t want anything to do with art, passion, leading, creating. That engineer is fine, he’s great, but he’s not you.”
Those were my counselor’s words and that’s what I did. I call it emotional embrace.
Mind you, this is only the first step. Then I had to work. I might’ve been different than the others, and that didn’t mean the entire world had to endure those ups and downs, at least not without me trying first, especially at the work place.
Hence I learned the valuable gift of patience. Everything takes time, especially if done right.
I remember the first days when I made a mistake or had an argument with a headstrong individual (worst of all, she was wrong all along).
When driving back home, I would revisit those events, the mistake, the argument, the feelings that consumed me, and my insides would boil just because. There was no reason. I would feel down, useless, unmotivated, I would question every action I did: was I any good?
This is what emotionally unstable people do.
Why do we do it? Because we let the moment take over, even when the moment’s gone. We forget that we are in another environment and that work is work, then there’s life, there are hobbies and there are other places to visit.
We need other environments, our own personal space: a place where we can be vulnerable if we want to. I read, draw, write or just listen to music.
Above all, it’s important that the space is yours. My girlfriend, for example, knows that headphones and a drawing pad mean my personal space. I know music and a yoga mat mean hers.
Riding parallel with environments is time. Learning takes time. Don’t be frustrated if things don’t happen immediately.
I would let the cumbersome feeling after a mistake, a harsh encounter with a coworker, or bad overall group performance, ride along on for days. Then I learned I couldn’t allow those emotions to last for more than a day.
When I succeeded on an objective, the next morning I wanted to succeed on another, right?
Then, if I felt down and out, I couldn’t let that overcome something good. In fact, once you overcome that weary and disappointed sensation quickly, you’ve achieved something, you’ve succeeded and from then, it just carries on.
Of course it’s hard. You wouldn’t believe the times I climbed into my car in a great mood and turned sour just by thinking of things that happened yesterday, or the day before!
With time, and lot’s of learning, here’s a simple set of rules I do:
– Appreciate where I am at this particular moment. If change is to happen, it happens now, not yesterday, not tomorrow. Now. And change might big or small.
– Accept that nothing is perfect. Your job has flaws, your love life has flaws, your family has flaws and you have flaws. We all do. Perfection is making accepting flaws and working with them, not covering them up.
– Others’ energy shouldn’t deter, it should only multiply. I learned that people that are healthier are those who are able to learn and then let go. Chances are, I’m the only one getting angry. The rest of the world is moving on.
Finally, and most importantly, when facing any challenge, I’ve fought to separate myself from the work place.
No, this isn’t running away. It’s work-related hence it stays at work. I don’t let it seep into my personal life, nor my hobbies, nor my friends.
Being emotionally embracive is difficult. I’ve dealt with it in many ways and it’s a never-ending learning experience. It can be fatiguing trying to keep a smile all day long, or not get angry in a second.
On of the great keys to being emotionally embracive is to talk about the things I’ve learned and others have learned. An outlet for frustrations is key and also an outlet for learning.
The beauty of it, is that learning never stops, unless we want it to stop.