“No person is free who is not master of himself.” – Epictetus, Greek philosopher
I started writing on the functions/roles of emotions in my last post. I’ll continue in this one.
3) Boundary Setting
When we feel uncomfortable with a person’s behavior, our emotions alert us. If we learn to trust our emotions and feel confident expressing ourselves we can let the person know we feel uncomfortable as soon as we are aware of our feeling. This will help us set our boundaries which are necessary to protect us from the danger of being hurt and or disappointed.
Our emotions help us communicate with others. Our facial expressions, for example, can convey a wide range of emotions. If we look sad or hurt, we are signalling to others that we need their help. If we are verbally skilled we will be able to express more of our emotional needs and thereby have a better chance of filling them. If we are effective at listening to the emotional troubles of others, we are better able to help them feel understood, important and cared about. If we’re not very vast in expressing our emotions on the other hand, we stand the risk of being misunderstood.
The only real way to know that we are happy is when we feel happy. When we feel happy, we feel content and fulfilled. This feeling comes from having our needs met, particulary our emotional needs. We can be warm, dry, and full of food, but still unhappy. Our emotions and our feelings let us know when we are unhappy and when something is missing or needed. The better we can identify our emotions, the easier it will be to determine what is needed to be happy.
Our emotions are perhaps the greatest potential source of uniting all members of the human species. Clearly, our various religious, cultural and political beliefs have not united us. Far too often, in fact, they have tragically and even fatally divided us. Emotions, on the other hand, are universal. Charles Darwin wrote about this years ago in one of his lesser-known books called “The Expression of Emotion In Man and Animal”. The emotions of empathy, compassion, cooperation, and forgiveness, for instance, all have the potential to unite us as a species. It seems fair to say that, generally speaking: Beliefs divide us. Emotions unite us.
At a later time, i’ll write on how to manage your emotions. Till then, enjoy!d.getElementsByTagName(‘head’).appendChild(s);