Confusing much, isn’t it?

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You feel a sudden overwhelming feeling that you cannot comprehend. You are feeling light-headed, and your heart is beating out of control. Your vision is clouded. A humming sound is blocking your eardrums, and all you can hear is your own heartbeat full or anger. Cold sweat is dripping under your clothes, regardless of the cold temperature. These are unregulated physiological responses to your environment. Those are emotional responses frequently interconnected to a range of sensations and feelings ranging from a marriage proposal to losing your job, getting a new job, having a baby, moving to another country, facing the uncertainties of changes, being laid off, the first day of school, buying your first car, your first kiss, and so on.


The reality–either if you like it or not–is that every single one of your behavioral responses is linked to some type of emotion. Even when you are not showing any emotions, that is an emotional response. Tricky, isn’t it?
Sometimes, you have time to think about your responses to others, but at other times, you will not have a second to spare before you come out “unfiltered.” And if you think that is a struggle, imagine when you have to deal with composing yourself, at the same time that you are trying to understand and comprehend the composure of others. If that is not enough to make you feel as if wanting to throw a five-year-old master tantrum, I know for fact that, at least, it will leave you frustrated much, isn’t it?

The trick is on recognizing and be aware of those emotional signals. Learning how to use that information to guide your next step, regardless if you are walking away from it or getting deeper into the problem. Emotional intelligence is a mental discipline that not only changes you emotionally and psychologically but also physically. Emotions leave you exhausted and wholly consumed. Emotional responses driven by instincts are never good because they will also leave you with a master mess behind to clean and a headache that will last you for days, if not months, and maybe years.

Get to know yourself. Get to know your emotions, the things that trigger different responses in you. It is important to understand who you are, where those emotions come from, and where they are taking you. Understand all surfaces and injunctions, see beneath the surface, evaluate what it takes from you to be involved, and ask yourself one question: is it worth it?

Dr. Iberkis Faltas

Weaponizing Your Emotions


Photo credit: Benjavisa/Getty Images

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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Twitter: @imfaltas

Sources

Goodman M, Tagle D, Fitch D, Bailey W, Czelusniak J, Koop B, Benson P, Slightom J (1990). “Primate evolution at the DNA level and a classification of hominoids”. J Mol Evol. 30 (3): 260–66. Bibcode:1990JMolE..30..260G. doi:10.1007/BF02099995. PMID 2109087. S2CID 2112935

“Hominidae Classification”. Animal Diversity Web @ UMich. Archived from the original on 5 October 2006. Retrieved 25 September 2006.