Many of us guys lack a basic emotional literacy; we have physical sensations when we're feeling something, but we often don't know how to identify what we're feeling, nor are we able to recognise emotions in other people. Being able to identify emotions is the basis of empathy, which is a core communication skill.
In short, most of us don't understand how our emotions work. Simply learning to identify and express the following basic emotions will improve your relationships dramatically:
|Basic Emotion||Also Known As||Physical Sensations|
|Angry||Rage, Defensive||Heart racing to fight|
|Sad||Upset, Lonely, Grief, Hopeless||Crying, Tears in eyes|
|Scared||Anxious, Frightened, Fear, Terrified||Frozen or heart racing to run|
|Ashamed||Embarrassed, want to hide||Blushing|
|Guilty||Remorse, “I'm bad”||Choked up|
|Disgusted||Appalled, “it's wrong”||Face screwed up|
|Love||Warm, Peaceful, Secure, Compassion||Relaxed/tingly|
The unpleasant emotions dominate the table because they tend to give us the most grief. Learn how to express them constructively, and you end up experiencing more of the pleasant emotions too more or less automatically.
The more childish your language, the more likely that what you say will connect with your inner child and trigger your natural emotional healing process. It's better to say “I feel scared” than “I feel anxious”, and “I feel sad/lonely/hopeless” than “I feel depressed”. Avoid psychiatric diagnoses like “depression” which do not promote healing, and instead express the emotions that underlie them.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more about Emotional Intelligence and the dramatic positive impact it can have or your life, I highly recommend Nicholas de Castella's e-book The Keys To Emotional Mastery, included as a free bonus in The Confident Man Program.