Does any of this sound familiar?
Husband: Why are you crying?
Wife: Because I’m pissed off!
Husband: So, you’re sad?
Wife: No. I’m just really upset. (long pause) Don’t you want to know why?
Wife: I’m overwhelmed about everything I have to do and don’t feel appreciated.
Husband: (long pause)
Wife: (longer pause followed by a loud grunt..and possible stomping of feet and slamming of door)
This “fictionalized” conversation is common. As if it wasn’t hard enough to decipher the difference between upset and overwhelmed, now the Oxford Dictionary has added slang emotions! I’m happily validated that “wine o’clock” is now an acceptable time, but now I have to understand if I am can be “hangry” and “butthurt” on the same day. In my house, we created a points system. (Hey, I’m a highly competitive sports enthusiast. Remember my blog about The Queen of Tic-Tac-Toe?) My husband will give me “wife points” for coming home with a surprise steak or “Mom points” when I find a new way to trick my son into letting us put sunscreen on him before school. But, this is a silly solution to a real problem. Knowing, identifying, and conveying feelings is the real answer.
Smart in the Heart
What’s more important than the names of feelings, are the functions of them. Some emotions serve to sound an alarm. The anxiety alarm goes off when an expectation is shattered, whether practical or not, your anticipated outcome did not come true. The anger alarm goes off when boundary is breached; your personal bubble constructed over a lifetime of experiences to keep your mind and body safe has been broken. Understanding this brief explanation has just raised your emotional intelligence (EQ), knowing what to do with this knowledge raises your EQ up another notch.
The idea of emotional intelligence has been around for decades. This psychological theory has even been adopted by corporate America to help their productivity. Basically, there are four areas of emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness – You are able recognize and identify your own emotions. You understand how they affect your thoughts and behavior. Your self-confidence comes from knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
- Self-management – You are able to control the actions triggered by your feelings. You understand which feelings are impulsive and which behaviors are triggered when those feelings are present. You can manage your emotions in healthy ways, take initiative, follow through on commitments, and adapt to changing circumstances.
- Social awareness – You can understand the emotions, needs, and concerns of other people that may be different from your own. This includes the ability to pick up on emotional cues and feel comfortable in different social circles
- Relationship management – You know how to develop and maintain healthy relationships and communicate your feelings clearly. That intelligence inspires and influences others to manage conflicts.
Spark Notes Summary
The best way to have a happy life as a happy wife (or mother, or sister, or partner) is to understand what happiness means. Once that is figured out, you will be on your way to figuring out what the word is for the loss of happiness, the yearning for happiness, and the dream of happiness. Your feelings are unique to you; you have to know them as well as you know yourself. Otherwise, you run the risk of being too hangry and getting butthurt by foolish things.