Home > Becoming an Entrepreneur, Empowering Women, Leading Teams > TIP: Separate the Emotion from the Behavior to Strengthen Your Relationships

TIP: Separate the Emotion from the Behavior to Strengthen Your Relationships

Do your emotions take over your behavior?  Do you see this happen with your children, spouse or work colleagues?  Or do you notice that emotions become mixed up with behavior and clean conversation and action?

Here’s a great tip that I heard last week in a Positive Psychology workshop series that I’m coordinating for single mothers as parents…..

  • When you’re talking with your kids, first point out (mirror) the emotion.
  • Put yourself in their shoes and empathize with the way it is to be in their place.
  • Meet your kids there.
  • Second – deal with the behavior.

This sequence works not only with our children.  But with our work and other personal relationships – our kids, partners and colleagues.

Our message and gift is to be OK with whatever emotion exists for them.

  • It’s real for them.  So it’s not a question of right or wrong…
  • It’s OK to feel emotion.
  • Once we are there for them in this place, we can address the behavior – desired, what’s right, etc.

For me, the hard part is to be in an objective place and soft place with my kids (and others) when there’s anger or tense times.  To be there with them from this objective place without taking on the anger and agitation in my voice.  To talk out of the objective place which is soft and objective.  Not put on the emotion in me…  But to accept what’s there….  There’s a LOT in not only being there with the emotions – but in being there as a supporter and letting them just feel OK with where they are.

The same goes for positive emotion and achievement.

  • Be in the happiness.  Rejoice.  Celebrate.
  • Acknowledge what’s there!!!
  • For me, this is an easier, more natural task.  But for some, it is a new habit to acquire!  Providing the ingredients of self-esteem, confidence and security.

Try it!  With your kids, partner and work colleages/teams. 

  1. First – notice and name the emotion.
  2. Acknowledge what’s there. Everything is OK – there’s no right or wrong, just is…
  3. Be aware of how you are.  What’s the impact?
  4. Then – deal with the behavior…. When the emotion has passed: Have the rational conversation. Set the rules. Get understanding and agreement. Etc.

This process takes a lot of awareness and self management.  Preventing the triggering from your adult self.  Be compassionate, kind and empathetic to yourself and others!

I’d love to hear about your experience and new perspectives!


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