Take The Emotion Out Of It

Were you expecting a light hearted “Happy Holiday’s” edition? Seriously, Happy and Healthy Holidays to all. This has been an amazing year of growth, development, ups and downs and I wouldn’t trade it or all the experiences for anything. But, there’s more to say and way more to do coming up in 2020.

I was going to title this “Keeping Your Cool With People You Want To Punch In The Face” but that was already taken so I went with “Take The Emotion Out of It” instead…Look, I get it. You can’t go around punching people in the face. I’m an emotional person; not a lot of “flight” in my “Fight or Flight” natural instinct, but I’m not hitting anyone (unless we’re in a ring…)

I have unreasonably high expectations of relationships.

As men we are emotional creatures. It is hard for us not to be emotional. In general I think it’s good to be in touch with our emotions and to not suppress them however there are situations where we must somehow manage our emotions especially well.

I could write a “5 Tips on Controlling Your Emotions When You’re an Extremely Emotional Person” but I’m not here trying to coach you because I’m too consumed with being coached myself and all the feel-good advice stuff is not one size fits all anyway.

I am gonna tell you though what I do, what works for me, aggregate some content I read and pass it along and if it helps you, great! That would make me happy.

There are two things I am really trying to remember whenever I start to feel emotion coming on;

1. You cannot control those around you, you can only control your reaction to them.

2. The reaction you have to negativity is a choice you make, and it usually happens in an instant.

For me, emotional outbursts are usually due directly to work-related matters or to stressors from my personal life…What else is there really? It’s either business or personal and often business is personal and sometimes my personal is business. As much as I try it’s often difficult to separate the two.

While it’s never good to repress or suppress emotions, positive or negative entirely, emotions must be managed to allow us to function in various situations. But when we act on our emotions too quickly, or we act on the wrong kinds of emotions, we often make decisions that we later regret.

My feelings alter between extremes. Too much one way and I’m angry and ready to go. Swing it in the other direction and I’m too happy and too much of a “yes” man.

As with many other aspects of life, emotions are best met with a sense of moderation and logical perspective.

Emotions are the most present, pressing and sometimes painful force in our lives. At least for me they are.

I’m passionate about new opportunities and prospects. I get upset when I get hurt or hear news I don’t want to hear. I react strongly when I feel I or my friends, clients or colleagues are being wronged or treated unfairly.

Without a doubt, my emotions dictate my thoughts, intentions and actions and often take over my mind. I know this is true because my Whoop tells me how many disturbances I experience in my sleep so now I even have some data on this, which is nice…I guess.

I’m just trying to take emotion out of as many situations as I can in order to make better decisions, be more productive and live happier overall.

So how can we avoid reacting with the wrong types of emotions under the situations that we face constantly, because the list of things to get emotional about unfortunately is not getting any shorter.

People want what they want when they want it.

They want it the way they want.

They want it at the price they want to pay for it.

They want it faster, cheaper, better.

They don’t want to hear the bad news or straight talk.

As long as you’re bringing good news and what they want to hear, you’ve got a relationship. Once you stop. It’s gone.

They will turn on a dime and drop you for that very same dime.

They will tell you how they operate their business and treat their people and then treat you and operate with you in the exact opposite manner.

They’ll justify, rationalize and sensationalize their behavior to serve their needs.

They’ll blame, make assumptions and pass judgements on those who do not.

They’ll change the deal.

This is not to be cynical or negative. It’s to be real. To manage expectations. To establish and put up boundaries between where and when to expend energy and emotion.

Because, when we go home exhausted and spent at the end of the day, that’s the world we all go home to.

And yet still as my friend Michael says "We're doing better than most"!

So here’s what I told you I wasn’t going to do…Give you 5 tips on “How To Control Your Emotions When You’re an Extremely Emotional Person”.

1. Breathe! I have this app on my phone called Box Breathing. When I’m starting to get amped, I open it and go thru a cycle or two of Box Breathing. It’s a series of inahales, holds, exhales, holds and it actually works.

2. Hit something! Operative word here being “Something”, not “Someone” (unless it’s in a ring). Go Box, hit the bag, book a pad session with a trainer. Bonus: You can picture anyone’s face on the bag, not get arrested and get in amazing shape.

3. Write it down! Whatever you’re thinking, really want to say, do or action you want to take, write it down. And for fuck’s sake, DON’T send it! Invoke the 24hr rule, read it back the next day and then delete it. Unless you’re really certain that you want to blow up your whole world and in which case, I really can’t help you. I can tell you that 9 times out 10 whatever I’ve written down rarely matters in a day or two.

4. Lift Weights! The iron doesn’t lie, hit back, talk back or move itself. You do all the work and get all the reward. Keep doing it enough and physically you end up much stronger than the person you’re emotional about in the first place and thus you feel better, stronger and happier that you in fact could throw them out a window if push really came to shove.

5. Talk! Don’t bottle it all up. Find someone to talk to, vent to and throw up all over about whatever it is that’s causing your emotional reaction…Preferably find someone out of state who doesn’t know or really care about what you’re dealing with but is just willing to be a decent enough friend to let you vent without interruption, judgement or criticism. Remember though, this is a two way street so you better answer the phone when they call to dump their shit onto you too. Don’t have one of these? Hire someone.

Now back to your regularly scheduled Happy Holidays! Catch ya in 2020!

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