Getting emotional is not an excuse for unacceptable or dysfunctional behaviour Sometimes we – or our clients – use it to rationalise behaviour that is otherwise unacceptable, such as screaming at one’s spouse, kids or co-workers. We are not under the robotic control of our emotions.
Sure, emotions can influence us to act in a different way e.g. under the influence of any strong emotion, there are changes to our voice, facial expression, body posture, and even behaviour. It is possible that under the influence of a strong emotion there is a tendency to act in a particular way. But the truth is that it is just a TENDENCY. It’s not a necessity. There is no reason to act in that way – such as to shout, or abuse, or sulk… We are not held hostage by our emotions. We can feel angry but still act coolly. Emotions do not CONTROL us. We choose to use them as an excuse for unhelpful behaviours.
What are ways that might be more helpful in dealing with strong emotions? Start with understanding that there is nothing ‘wrong’ in having strong emotions. Next, learn ‘to notice’ the emotion that you are feeling – each time you feel overcome with an emotion – say to yourself or write in your journal – ‘I notice I’m feeling…sad..angry…scared…’. Being aware – telling yourself what you’re noticing – is helpful in loosening the grip of the emotion on behaviour. It requires practice!
Before you ask your client to try it, experiment with it yourself first!
Reference: The Happiness Trap: Stop Struggling, Start Living by Dr Russ Harris
Check out details of our ICF accredited 125 hour ACTP Executive Coach training program being held in October and December in Bangalore, on this website’s ACTP/ACSTH page. Why not use this as an opportunity to visit India / Bangalore?