Human beings, both male and female have struggled to live together for years and attempted to understand each other. The more we try to understand each other the harder it seems especially in this time and age when there are more complex things to deal with in light of the technology at our disposal and our economic aspirations.
Somewhere along the line, researchers who tried to resolve human problems in relating with one another began to call our attention to our emotions. They have helped us to see different types of emotions and some of them have even categorized the emotions just like we have in the case of temperaments!
My assignment here for now is not to talk about temperaments so I am going to shy away from it as much as I can and just focus on emotions but let me say that the anchor statement for all I’m going to say is:
‘Anything or anyone that gets your attention can determine your emotion’
I would like to break the words we are looking at down into simpler or more familiar words to help us understand the issues at hand to let’s go into definition of terms.
Definition of key terms:
Emotion – A strong feeling
Well-being – the state of being comfortable, healthy, or happy.
From the key terms separately defined by the Oxford Dictionary above, I can then say that emotional well-being is ‘having a strong, comfortable, healthy or happy feeling.’
1. Fear – an unpleasant emotion caused by the threat of danger, pain, or harm
2. Anger – a strong feeling of annoyance, displeasure, or hostility.
3. Guilt – a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation
4. Depression – a mental condition characterized by severe feelings of hopelessness and inadequacy.
5. Pride – the quality of having an excessively high opinion of oneself
6. Jealous – envious of someone else’s possessions, achievements, or advantages
7. Self-pity – excessive unhappiness over one’s own troubles.
8. Anxiety – a nervous disorder marked by excessive uneasiness.
9. Resentment – bitterness; indignation
10. Envy – discontented or resentful longing aroused by another’s possessions, qualities, or luck.
11. Frustration – feeling dissatisfaction and a lack of fulfilment.
12. Shame – a feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour
13. Denial – refusal to acknowledge an unacceptable truth or emotion, used as a defence mechanism.
14. Offended – cause to feel hurt or resentful
15. Regret – feel or express sorrow, repentance, or disappointment
16. Resentful – feeling or expressing bitterness or indignation.
17. Sad – feeling sorrow; unhappy
18. Worry – feel or cause to feel troubled over actual or potential difficulties.
19. Grief – intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.
In my opinion and observation over the years, the following are the things that trigger the various emotions that we experience and I can say this having had different emotions at different times and for different reasons.
1. What we hear (our conversations, the news, the songs, stories)
We all know that when we hear bad news it will automatically change our emotions and when we hear good news we start jumping. I don’t know how rich you are but if you suddenly get a phone call to come an collect some millions, you are going to be happy and some others are going to be restless with the brains doing a lot of calculations. When someone also tells you that you are a fool or that you are stupid, that’s not really bad news but it’s not an encouraging word so what you experience most times when you hear such is that your self-esteem bag may be punctured! If you hear that often or accidentally repeat it to yourself then your self-esteem bag will be completely punctured.
2. The things we see (pictures, videos, accidents, victories)
We may have seen some accidents live or on television and usually our first reaction would be pity for those involved in the accident. If we continue to look and they are people we know or they are people we have started building affection with then our emotions move from pity to sorrow. I have also heard my pastor, Sam Adeyemi, say that if the picture of a car is in your mind, it’s only a matter of time it will soon move from your mind to your garage! That is very true and I can quickly remind you that if a poor picture is in your mind and you approve of it, you will soon have the object or scenario on that picture in your life!
3. What we say (Personal confessions, repeating the negative or positive things we have heard)
One of my personal experiences that I will always share for the rest of my life when it comes to confession is what I experienced as a student when I was in Mayflower School, Ikenne, Ogun State as a student. One day in my first year, I was returning to the hostel and I saw the Senior Prefect walking in front of me. He was so charismatic and I admired him more than I ever did! That moment, I said to my friends, I will be the Senior Prefect of our time! They laughed at me and guess why they laughed! At that time, I didn’t appear to be as brilliant as they were and you have to be good to be our senior prefect. In fact, somewhere along the line, I repeated a class and I almost thought that my dream of ever becoming a prefect has been shattered needless to talk about being the senior prefect. Guess what, when I started repeating the class, I bounced back! My oratory skills began to show up because I was made a class captain and I used it well. From there I began to contest in elections and finally became the Senior Prefect of the school. Before then, it was never heard off that someone who repeated bounced back so well to even become the Senior Prefect! Your confession affects your emotions now and in the future!
4. Those things we have or don’t have
When I see people resorting to drinking because of lack of money it used to be very funny to me but when thinking about it, I realized that it’s true and most people do it unconsciously! Some of us have some habits we indulge simply to shy away from those things we don’t have! Some people look for consolation from the opposite sex just because they want to talk but they end of having sex. In that case, you may have people who take to sex whenever they are discouraged about something while others take to drinking and some others just begin to move around and looking for something to distract them. Do you remember how you feel when you realize there’s no money on you even if you don’t need money urgently at that point? If you also watch your emotions you will realize that your emotions deepens as the need for money becomes more urgent!
5. What we do or what others do to us
By now you should know what gives you joy when you do it and what gives you joy when others do it to you. You should also know what makes you unhappy when someone else does it to you. What most of us have not done is to be able to gradually avoid those things other people do to us that we don’t like. The case is even more serious if you are a married woman. So many people believe that they cannot totally control their emotions because they are married and that it is the man that makes them feel the way they feel all the time!
Do you realize that most of the time when you think that your partner has made you feel somehow, the person in question, probably your husband or fiancée, does not know how you feel? For some people, it’s even worse when they realize that their partners do not know how they feel and they almost want to crucify their partner. Let me say something that may change your marriage or relationships, ‘Never! Never give total responsibility of your emotions to some else!’
When you give the responsibility of your emotions to someone else then you are already committing your life into that person’s hands. You indirectly admit that you are no longer in charge of your life and when that happens, it means other people determine when you can be happy or when you can be sad! No one has the right to determine when you should be happy except the people you have given such rights!
Striking the balance in your emotions.
At this level we are already talking about the proper emotional intelligence because this means you are studying your own emotions, the other person’s emotions and thinking through on how best to relate with such emotions especially if the person in question is someone you have to live with for the rest of your life. Before you can strike a balance you need to ask some questions and they include:
1. What are the things that make me sad?
2. What are the things that just get me angry?
3. Why do I get jelous?
4. What do I do when I am angry?
5. What do I do when I am jelous?
6. What do I do when I am sad?
7. How do I respond to threat?
8. Do I find myself being constantly sad?
9. Am I always happy?
10. What can I do to be happy most of the times?
It is important for you to ask all these questions and answer them in the most honest way you can! When you answer them properly then you will see if you are depressed or sad or envious most of the time and then begin to work towards being happy!
I truly intend to go on and on but I do not have such luxury of time! On a lighter mood, if I exceed my time I may be risking not being invited again! Let me say that we all deserve to have a good feeling most of the time and also remember that a good feeling does not have a place for diseases but a bad feeling does. Take responsibility for your emotions and always remember that anything or anyone that gets your attention can determine your emotion!