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Rein in your Emotions

Emotions are useful in many types of situations, working better than logic to get you where you want to go. However, sometimes, you just cannot afford to give your feelings the run of the place and completely disregard logic. Relying too much on emotions can make you temperamental, seem unprofessional, and be hard to cooperate and reason with; so how can you quash down your feelings when necessary? By assessing the situation, responding instead of reacting, and taking responsibility for your actions, you can be calm, professional, and collected.

When something happens, whether positive or negative, you should evaluate what is going on before you do anything. Consider what has gotten you to this point objectively and what you steps you need to take to resolve or move forward from this present moment. Get rid of any biases or excuses. Instead, take on the role of a bystander. Take a few deep breaths to clear your mind and calm down. If you choose to, do a few simple math problems in your head, as that activates the logic part of your brain and push invasive emotions to the back of your mind.

Next, after knowing the situation, respond to it whether than react. Reacting means to act without thinking, much like how you angrily reacted when you caught your younger sibling in your room when you were a child. Responding means you make a move only after careful consideration. Think of your life as a chessboard. What piece should you move to get to where you want to be? How would you move that piece? This way of thinking puts you in an outsider’s position, where you can carefully consider how you should respond to the situation without the burden of emotions, which can ruin a cool-headed approach.

Finally, you must take responsibility for all that you have done, the good and the bad. Instinct will tell you to run away, make excuses, and push the blame towards someone else, but logic dictates that the correct thing to do would be to fully embrace the role you have taken in this situation. Whether you were an instigator, an observer, or a victim, you must clearly address what position you were in when this event occurred. Your coworkers and boss will appreciate you more for your honesty and professional ways of acting; they might even overlook your mistakes if they were minor.

This is not to say emotions are burdensome or useless, but that they have a specific role that should only be played when the time and place is right. When you are with your friends or family, feel free to let yourself run wild. At work however, it’s best to tightly rein yourself in and not give your emotions too much credit. When you are in a professional environment, you must act appropriately, making decisions with your mind rather than your heart. When you do this, you are more likely to make good choices, and advance your career.