Emotional Awareness

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Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others

Emotional awareness:  The second core conflict resolution skill

Emotional awareness is the key to understanding yourself and others.  If you don’t know how you feel or why you feel that way, you won’t be able to communicate effectively or resolve disagreements.

Although knowing your own feelings may sound simple, many people ignore or try to sedate strong emotions like anger, sadness, and fear.  Your ability to handle conflict, however, depends on being connected to these feelings.  If you’re afraid of strong emotions or if you insist on finding solutions that are strictly rational, your ability to face and resolve differences will be impaired.

Why emotional awareness is a key factor in resolving conflict

Emotional awareness—the consciousness of your moment-to-moment emotional experience—and the ability to manage all of your feelings appropriately is the basis of a communication process that can resolve conflict.

Emotional awareness helps you:

  • Understand what is really troubling other people
  • Understand yourself, including what is really troubling you
  • Stay motivated until the conflict is resolved
  • Communicate clearly and effectively
  • Attract and influence others

Assessing your ability to recognize and manage emotions

The following quiz helps you assess your level of emotional awareness.  Answer the following questions with: almost never, occasionally, often, very frequently, or almost always.  There are no right or wrong responses, only the opportunity to become better acquainted with your emotional responses.

What kind of relationship do I have with my emotions?

  • Do you experience feelings that flow, encountering one emotion after another as your experiences change from moment to moment?
  • Are your emotions accompanied by physical sensations that you experience in places like your stomach or chest?
  • Do you experience discrete feelings and emotions, such as anger, sadness, fear, joy, each of which is evident in subtle facial expressions?
  • Can you experience intense feelings that are strong enough to capture both your attention and that of others?
  • Do you pay attention to your emotions?  Do they factor into your decision-making?

If any of these experiences are unfamiliar, your emotions may be turned down or even turned off.  In either case, you may need help developing your emotional awareness.  You can do this by using Helpguide’s free emotional intelligence toolkit .

Resource – HelpGuide.org

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