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10 Things About Emotions That You Can Learn From ‘Inside Out’

10 Things About Emotions That You Can Learn From ‘Inside Out’

“Do you ever look at someone and wonder what is going on inside their head?”

Inside Out, a new animated feature by Pixar, gives you a glimpse of what might be happening inside peoples’ heads. The movie revolves around a happy 11 year old girl, Riley, who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. However, instead of telling the story from Riley’s perspective, the story is told from the perspective of Riley’s dominant emotion, Joy.

Together with Joy, Riley’s other emotions of Sadness, Anger, Disgust and Fear influence how Riley acts and help her cope with the new environment.

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It’s interesting to watch how these five emotions operate inside Riley’s head, but most importantly, you get to learn lessons about your own emotions from Inside Out.

1. All of your emotions are useful

However insignificant or negative some of your emotions may seem, they all play an important role in your well-being. They help you survive. As mentioned in the movie, fear helps you to stay away from dangerous situation, disgust keeps you from getting poisoned and anger helps to keep things fair. All of them are useful when used in the right context.

2. Emotions are neither good nor bad

Some emotions such as sadness are deemed to be bad or weak by many people. Some adults put on a happy front when times are bad. Some children are reprimanded by their parents for crying. However, there is nothing wrong about being sad. This movie shows you that sometimes sadness can help you get the support you need from others.

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3. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy

You can’t be happy all the time. Suppressing your emotions is unhealthy in the long run. Not able to feel your feelings makes you numb or depressed. Plus, if you don’t express or communicate your emotions to people who care about you, how would they know what you are genuinely feeling and when you need support?

4. Emotions come and go

For an emotionally stable and healthy person, emotions don’t stick around for long. They come and go. Feeling emotions and letting them go is so natural to human that we aren’t aware that emotions can be released easily.

When a person is angry, they replay the event that makes them angry in their head and that makes them even angrier. This movie shows that other emotions can easily step in to stop this unhealthy loop.

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5. Listen to emotions that keep showing up

Emotions are good signals for your well-being. If a particular emotion keeps showing up, there must be a reason to it.

When you keep feeling down or angry, it means something isn’t right and you need to address it. It’s time to pay attention to your emotions and listen to what they are telling you. If it’s time to feel sad, feel the sadness. Give it the moment it deserves and then understand why you are feeling these emotions.

6. A memory can have more than one emotion

Inside Out shows you that emotions aren’t as clear cut as you think. A memory can be both happy and sad. Riley’s happy memories that are made in Minnesota can be easily turned into sad memories because she misses her home. It all depends on which emotion is narrating the story inside your head.

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7. Your actions and decisions are influenced by your emotions

Emotions can have a very big influence on your actions and decisions. From what you like or dislike to eat, to what you do when you face a problem; they play a huge part in your decision-making. They give you ideas or directions that help you to make decisions.

8. Your emotions don’t have the final say

Even though emotions can influence you and your actions, they don’t have the final say. Ultimately, you have control and freedom to make your own decisions. Your emotions have no control over you unless you let them be in control.

9. You can be reactive to other people’s emotions

When one person is angry, the other person can get angry easily too. The exchange between Riley and her parents at the dining table shows that your emotions can be just a response to other people’s emotions. Sometimes, you can be so caught with the emotions that you don’t even realize that you are reacting to the other party’s emotion.

10. Embrace all your emotions

Emotions help to communicate your personality. Whether you like the emotions that you are feeling or not, embrace them all. They make your life more colorful and complete.

Featured photo credit: Inside Out / Pixar via youtube.com

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

How to Communicate Effectively in Any Relationship

For all our social media bravado, we live in a society where communication is seen less as an art, and more as a perfunctory exercise. We spend so much time with people, yet we struggle with how to meaningfully communicate.

If you believe you have mastered effective communication, scan the list below and see whether you can see yourself in any of the examples:

Example 1

You are uncomfortable with a person’s actions or comments, and rather than telling the individual immediately, you sidestep the issue and attempt to move on as though the offending behavior or comment never happened.

You move on with the relationship and develop a pattern of not addressing challenging situations. Before long, the person with whom you are in relationship will say or do something that pushes you over the top and predictably, you explode or withdraw completely from the relationship.

In this example, hard-to-speak truths become never- expressed truths that turn into resentment and anger.

Example 2

You communicate from the head and without emotion. While what you communicate makes perfect sense to you, it comes across as cold because it lacks emotion.

People do not understand what motivates you to say what you say, and without sharing your feelings and emotions, others experience you as rude, cold or aggressive.

You will know this is a problem if people shy away from you, ignore your contributions in meetings or tell you your words hurt. You can also know you struggle in this area if you find yourself constantly apologizing for things you have said.

Example 3

You have an issue with one person, but you communicate your problem to an entirely different person.

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The person in whom you confide lacks the authority to resolve the matter troubling you, and while you have vented and expressed frustration, the underlying challenge is unresolved.

Example 4

You grew up in a family with destructive communication habits and those habits play out in your current relationships.

Because you have never stopped to ask why you communicate the way you do and whether your communication style still works, you may lack understanding of how your words impact others and how to implement positive change.

If you find yourself in any of the situations described above, this article is for you.

Communication can build or decimate worlds and it is important we get it right. Regardless of your professional aspirations or personal goals, you can improve your communication skills if you:

  • Understand your own communication style
  • Tailor your style depending on the needs of the audience
  • Communicate with precision and care
  • Be mindful of your delivery, timing and messenger

1. Understand Your Communication Style

To communicate effectively, you must understand the communication legacy passed down from our parents, grandparents or caregivers. Each of us grew up with spoken and unspoken rules about communication.

In some families, direct communication is practiced and honored. In other families, family members are encouraged to shy away from difficult conversations. Some families appreciate open and frank dialogue and others do not. Other families practice silence about substantive matters, that is, they seldom or rarely broach difficult conversations at all.

Before you can appreciate the nuance required in communication, it helps to know the familial patterns you grew up with.

2. Learn Others Communication Styles

Communicating effectively requires you to take a step back, assess the intended recipient of your communication and think through how the individual prefers to be communicated with. Once you know this, you can tailor your message in a way that increases the likelihood of being heard. This also prevents you from assuming the way you communicate with one group is appropriate or right for all groups or people.

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If you are unsure how to determine the styles of the groups or persons with whom you are interacting, you can always ask them:

“How do you prefer to receive information?”

This approach requires listening, both to what the individuals say as well as what is unspoken. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson noted that the best communicators are also great listeners.

To communicate effectively from relationship to relationship and situation to situation, you must understand the communication needs of others.

3. Exercise Precision and Care

A recent engagement underscored for me the importance of exercising care when communicating.

On a recent trip to Ohio, I decided to meet up with an old friend to go for a walk. As we strolled through the soccer park, my friend gently announced that he had something to talk about, he was upset with me. His introduction to the problem allowed me to mentally shift gears and prepare for the conversation.

Shortly after introducing the shift in conversation, my friend asked me why I didn’t invite him to the launch party for my business. He lives in Ohio and I live in the D.C. area.

I explained that the event snuck up on me, and I only started planning the invite list three weeks before the event. Due to the last-minute nature of the gathering, I opted to invite people in the DMV area versus my friends from outside the area – I didn’t want to be disrespectful by asking them to travel on such short notice.

I also noted that I didn’t want to be disappointed if he and others declined to come to the event. So I played it safe in terms of inviting people who were local.

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In the moment, I felt the conversation went very well. I also checked in with my friend a few days after our walk, affirmed my appreciation for his willingness to communicate his upset and our ability to work through it.

The way this conversation unfolded exemplified effective communication. My friend approached me with grace and vulnerability. He approached me with a level of curiosity that didn’t put me on my heels — I was able to really listen to what he was saying, apologize for how my decision impacted him and vow that going forward, I would always ask rather than making decisions for him and others.

Our relationship is intact, and I now have information that will help me become a better friend to him and others.

4. Be Mindful of Delivery, Timing and Messenger

Communicating effectively also requires thinking through the delivery of the message one intends to communicate as well as the appropriate time for the discussion.

In an Entrepreneur.com column, VIP Contributor Deep Patel, noted that persons interested in communicating well need to master the art of timing. Patel noted,[1]

“Great comedians, like all great communicators, are able to feel out their audience to determine when to move on to a new topic or when to reiterate an idea.”

Communicating effectively also requires thoughtfulness about the messenger. A person prone to dramatic, angry outbursts should never be called upon to deliver constructive feedback, especially to people whom they do not know. The immediate aftermath of a mass shooting is not the ideal time to talk about the importance of the Second Amendment rights.

Like everyone else, I must work to ensure my communication is layered with precision and care.

It requires precision because words must be carefully tailored to the person with whom you are speaking.

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It requires intentionality because before one communicates, one should think about the audience and what the audience needs in order to hear your message the way you intended it to be communicated.

It requires active listening which is about hearing verbal and nonverbal messages.

Even though we may be right in what we say, how we say it could derail the impact of the message and the other parties’ ability to hear the message.

Communicating with care is also about saying things that the people in our life need to hear and doing so with love.

The Bottom Line

When I left the meeting with my dear friend, I wondered if I was replicating or modeling this level of openness and transparency in the rest of my relationships.

I was intrigued and appreciative. He’d clearly thought about what he wanted to say to me, picked the appropriate time to share his feedback and then delivered it with care. He hit the ball out of the park and I’m hopeful we all do the same.

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Featured photo credit: Kenan Buhic via unsplash.com

Reference

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