|"And how does that make you feel?"|
For example, many people engage in a behavior known as minimisation, a behavior that avoids acknowledging and dealing with negative emotions by basically denying they exist or discounting their effect. When I was 16, my boyfriend at the time broke up with me. It broke my heart. My mom told me, "It's okay. It's not like you're enemies; you can still be friends. At least he's not dead!" Not. Comforting. At. All. I completely understand why she said those things. What else do you say when you see your child is inconsolable? A better way to handle a situation like that is to simply offer a few words ("I'm so sorry you're going through this. I'm here if you need anything.") in the event that you don't have some secret to healing their pain (who does??). This is something we ALL have to remember, as negative emotions arise on a daily basis in those around us.
I interact with an online group of expectant women, new moms, and experienced moms. Our page is hidden, and we all have an agreement not to "tattle-tale" on members, so we all have the comfort of speaking freely. Many of us are dealing with pregnancies, new babies, and less-than-involved significant others. On one particularly rant-y post, a woman chimed in that she had recently lost her significant other, and "didn't feel so bad" now that she saw what we were going through. At first, I thought surely she must be being sarcastic, but I'm not so sure. I told her not to discount her emotions that way. That is the situation she is in right now. That is what is affecting her, and we were complaining about what is currently affecting us. You can't compare such things.
|"I'm holding this cute cat, but I can still raise my brows at you."|
Anyway, all that to say that I hope to arm my little one with the ability to recognize emotions and deal with them appropriately. When something upsets you, it's more than okay to acknowledge it and the way it makes you feel. Problems only arise when you refuse to deal with the situation and continually dwell on the negative emotions.
|Hey, Spock was half-human, after all. Even he had to deal with emotions.|
We aren't Vulcans; we're humans. We have emotions -- good, bad, and everything in between. It's important to recognize our emotions, how they are influencing our actions, and deal with them appropriately. While this can seem easy enough when it's just ourselves we're dealing with, we also must apply this approach to our emotions when dealing with others. Someone once told me that we can't change people or the way they think, but we can change the way WE deal with them and how we let them affect us.