Embracing emotions

By | June 12, 2017

Quite often when we speak with our family, friends and colleagues, we hear “Don’t get so emotional” or “Don’t be emotional”.

What is being emotional?
If you search for emotional on google, this is the first result you will get.

adjective
adjective: emotional
1. relating to a person’s emotions.
“gaining emotional support from relatives”
synonyms:
spiritual, inner, psychic, psychological, of the heart
“their emotional needs are often ignored”

antonyms:
material
2. arousing or characterized by intense feeling.
“an emotional speech”
synonyms:
poignant, moving, touching, affecting, powerful, stirring, emotive, heart-rending, heartbreaking, heart-warming, soul-stirring, uplifting, impassioned, dramatic; More

antonyms:
dry, unfeeling, emotionless
3. (of a person) having feelings that are easily excited and openly displayed.
“he was a strongly emotional young man”
synonyms:
passionate, feeling, hot-blooded, warm, ardent, fervent, excitable, temperamental, melodramatic, tempestuous, overcharged, responsive; More

antonyms:
apathetic, cold

Look at the meaning of the word. In all the three meanings, you will see that emotions display your passion, compassion, your inner feeling. Of course, there are other meanings to the word which do not showcase the positivity, like melodramatic, temperamental etc.

I have heard this term quite a few times in my life. Every time I heard this word, it was not sounding right for me. Then, I started researching more on this word.

* Being emotional is a very good trait. However, one should understand the context of the situation where emotions are being displayed. For instance, road rage is an attribute of being emotional, showing your inner feelings of anger and frustration. This is not a positive attribute.
* Visionaries and Leaders are definitely passionate and emotional about what they do and what they believe in. This is a positive attribute.

Now, whenever I hear someone saying that I am being emotional, I take a step back and draw a mental picture of why the person said that and what attribute am I displaying. If it is regarding what I do, what I believe in and what I stand for, then I completely ignore the feedback. This feedback is coming because the other person does not share my passion and he/she is only trying to subdue my conversation by saying this. There is no point in continuing the conversation with the person. I walk away in silence.

The second instance is where we let our ego play. Even though our gut says that we are going wrong somewhere, we try to support ourselves in what we say.

All leaders who have shaped the world have displayed public emotions – From Mahatma Gandhi to Rabindranath Tagore to Steve Jobs to Sir Richard Branson to Bill Gates and the list only continues.

Being emotional is a very strong attribute of being a true leader. However, balancing the act between positive (which comes passion) and negative (which comes with ego) emotions strengthens the personality of the leader.

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