We are terrestrial animals. There are a few things that make us different from the other animal species: We have an erect posture, are omnivores, use bipedal locomotion, have high manual dexterity, and for the most part, can use a more open-ended complex language to communicate. We have a larger, more complex brain with a limbic system interconnected by a neurological structure. That limbic system is responsible for our behavioral and emotional responses. Although sometimes it might look otherwise, we can use reasoning in our actions. We also have the ability to control our impulses and desires, and sometimes, we can forgo immediate satisfaction in favor of longer-term goals.
Humans and animals have a few things in common: both are territorial creatures, driven by instincts. Like undomesticated animals, sometimes, we—meaning humans—also fail to control our instincts.
Something that can make us lose control is our emotions. Automatic reactions to our emotions come from an innate, biological force that impels us to do something, to perform, act or respond in a particular manner very specific to the stimuli in front of us. Also, we can have an automatic, instinctive reaction to any predisposition or motivational force.
Animal and human, likewise, have an automatic response when feeling threatened. One of the most powerful emotions one can experience is fear. This includes the fear of losing emotional control over others.
What happens when the fear of losing emotional control takes over reasoning? We become cursed selfish, egocentric mortals, incapable of rational thinking. More often than not, if we cannot control our emotions, rather than flight, we stay and fight. We let the impulsivity and anxiety that come with fear take over reasoning. We bawl, kick, and scream bloody murder, overcome by a false sense of grandiose power with an exaggerated nonfigurative sense of entitlement.
When that happens, we make everyone involved miserably hopeless, including ourselves. A person can live 21 days without food and water. But a person cannot survive one day without hope. We then become depressed and discouraged, lacking motivation even to breathe, less so to move on.
Here is the thing. Those out-of-control emotions are unpleasant and physically painful. They leave us physically exhausted and emotionally shattered. Uncontrolled emotions are self-destructive because they often lead us to detrimental actions.
Uncontrolled emotions are also a weapon because they can cause significant physical and emotional damage.
Here are a few things that can help us not to weaponize our emotions:
- Learn how to be honest with yourself because being truthful and upright with yourself will help you to communicate with others, deal with conflicting ambivalent or guilt-ridden attitudes.
- Recognize your feelings and emotions. Call your emotions by their names. Naming your emotions gives you the control and capacity to analyze and evaluate your emotional states and use that information to make reasonable-sounding decisions.
- Become a self-agent and self-negotiate with your emotions. Self-compromise. It represents an emotional conciliation between the demands of your ego, defenses, and unconscious wishes. It also protects you and others from emotional uncertainties, feelings of anxiety, and conscious or unconscious apprehensions.
Dr. Iberkis Faltas
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“Hominidae Classification”. Animal Diversity Web @ UMich. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2006.