When you understand your own emotions, you will in turn understand the emotions of others for our emotions are typically triggered in the same ways based on similar situations and circumstances. For instance, if you are sad and heartbroken because your boyfriend has broken up with you, then you can imagine what other people going through the same type of relationship split are feeling. The same goes for losing a championship game, getting laid off, being complimented on your musicianship and becoming a #1 Best Selling author. The feelings are going to be strikingly similar across the board. Keeping that in mind, it is safe to say that whatever feelings and attitudes that people are directing towards you is most likely going to be based off of how they are feeling about what is happening or not happening in their own life. Whatever that situation may be, if you were in a similar predicament, it is possible that you might have the same attitude. That being said, you might understand everybody you encounter from here on out.
What are you feeling?
You may have noticed that I didn’t say vice versa on the fact that if you know how your own feelings work, that you may in turn know how other people’s feelings are constructed. I didn’t say the same would work the other way around because you couldn’t possibly know what another person is thinking or feeling if you have no point of reference as to how feelings work with yourself. In other words, you may realize that somebody is angry because you knocked on their door to sell them a product that they have never heard of, but you may take it personally because you don’t realize how it would make you feel. Maybe that kind of thing has never happened to you before, or maybe it has and you thought it was no big deal. What about when a government health insurance salesman calls you multiple times throughout the day because you filled out a survey online? The scenarios are different, but you remember the anger you felt. It may be true that the persons door you knocked on has no real justification for them being angry with you, yet the fact remains that they are. They did not choose to be angry, your actions triggered it. You did not choose to be annoyed by that insurance salesman, still his actions triggered it. So, the morale of the story is when it comes to understanding other people’s emotions you must first understand the nature of how your own emotions can be triggered due to no fault of your own.
I don’t want to leave you hanging here by making you feel that the only reasoning behind understanding your own emotions is so you can empathize with other people’s emotions. That’s a benefit, but not the original reason. Really, I want you to successfully handle your own emotions.
Too many times we are neglectful to how we feel. We don’t want to face our emotions head-on to understand and figure out where they are stemming from. Mainly for two reasons. 1) We don’t want to admit to our deepest feelings for it makes us feel vulnerable and 2) We don’t want to bring to light the root of our emotions for it may open up an even bigger floodgate of emotional turmoil. I understand your hesitation because it can be scary to dig deep and fully open yourself up due to the fear that the other person will leave you abandoned and broken or even exploit you in your time of weakness. I understand this, and I am here to say to you that even in your state of fear you must keep it real with yourself, even if you have to write it down in a journal. Why? Because bottling and burying that emotion may not necessarily cause you to blow up later, but it will affect your peace and happiness. No mater what you accomplish or where you travel or who you let in and out of your life, you will forever be burdened with an inner battle. That battle is your pain trying to let itself out. The say pain is just weakness leaving the body. Be willing to go through the pain so it can leave your body.
What are other people feeling?
Here is where you become a master communicator, a master salesman, and even a master mentor. When you know how, what, and why other people feel the way that they do then you have got a true advantage. Not to take advantage of people, but to deal with people on your terms. Typically, we deal with people on emotional terms. Either through fear of how they will or are currently responding, or the other people react to the fear of how we will or are currently responding.
This can be with people you know, don’t know, love, hate, like, or are unsure about. The quickest and easiest method to understanding other people’s feelings is by understanding your own feelings to similar situations and circumstances. The next best way is by understanding how the other person must physically feel based on the emotional expression they are sharing with you at the current moment, no matter if you can understand their reasoning for feeling such a way towards you. The third, hardest, and most difficult way is by reading people’s subtle body language and speech cues. This is tough to do because you have to combine your ability to empathize with them based on the situations that you are aware of and unaware of, be understanding of their current emotional expression, make a logical synopsis as to what you are seeing and what you are not seeing, and analyze your immediate environment as well as take into account what the other person may think of you based on any prior relationship or physical differences.
Unless people come straight out to tell you how they are feeling or give an obvious indication based on their expression, it can be really difficult to read a person feelings. But if you can empathize ahead of time, you will be more successful when interacting with your spouse, your siblings, your coworkers, your boss, your employees, your teammates, and your clients. Understanding how the average persons emotions work and what the average expression means will allow you to enter into other people’s world without their permission, so that you can make the experience most beneficial for both parties. Here are a few resources that I found beneficial on my path to better understanding myself and other people:
- The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene
- Emotional Intelligence by Dr. David Walton
- The Story of You by Mark Minard
- The Undefeated Mind by Alex Lickerman, MD
- Eleven Minutes by Paulo Coelho
Seeing as how we live in a social world via internet or in person, it is imperative that we gain a better understanding of our fellow-man for that will create a life of success, prosperity, and harmony for you and us all.
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Mel Jones the BEAST