A friend expressed amazement not only at my ability to get to the heart of the issue quickly, but to do the analysis devoid of emotion and judgment.
As always, my friends’ observations trigger the question “How did I learn to do that?” I assure you that it wasn’t always so.
Here’s what my analysis uncovered.
Emotions are automatic responses to what was said or done. We can’t stop them, but we can decide how to act upon them. Indeed, we can make the shift from raw emotion to being devoid of emotion in milliseconds…once we’ve trained our minds to do so.
Like emotions, judgments are automatic responses. When we hear comments like:
- That sucks!
We’re hearing judgments about what was said or experienced.
Judgments, like emotions, can be nurtured or dismissed. The question then becomes “When we experience an emotion or judgment, how do we set them aside in favor of more objective analysis?”
The first step is to become consciously aware that we’re experiencing emotion or judgment. While that seems obvious, emotions and the judgements they evoke are powerful…and they are triggered in our subconscious mind.
Emotions and judgments occur so quickly that we’re often aren’t aware of what just happened. That’s why it’s so important to become consciously aware of what we’re feeling. Interestingly, that awareness is gained using our subconscious mind.
At the beginning of each day assign your subconscious mind the task of alerting you to the fact that you’re experiencing emotion or judging. As you embark on this effort to retrain your mind, it’s helpful to put a periodic alert on your phone or other device to remind your subconscious that you want to be alerted to emotions and judgments.
When you get an alert from your subconscious mind, pause a moment. A simple pause causes emotions and judgments to lose power. You know from personal experience that when you’ve walked away from a highly-charged situation, you’ve regained composure and begun to think more objectively about how to resolve the situation.
Continue this exercise until your responses to raw emotion and judgments become automatic. You’ll know when that happens because you automatically pause before speaking or acting when you experience an emotion or a judgment. During that pause, literally milliseconds, you’ll gain insights into how best to deal with the situation. You’ll develop solutions that benefit all parties involved and strengthen rather than diminish relationships. In doing so you’ll gain the admiration and affection of others.
That’s a huge gain for so simple an effort.
For our kids
Can you imagine a more valuable gift for the kids in your life? By teaching them how to tap into their subconscious minds to reign in their emotions and judgments in a way that assures the admiration and affection of others, you give them a priceless gift.
Of course, living the message is always the most effective way to teach them, but gentle reminders along the way are helpful too.