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Emotions – Why we need to know them?

Updated: Mar 28, 2020

By Sparkian Poorabie

Contributing Author for Spark Igniting Minds

Emotions are always feared or avoided. Therefore, I would like to delve deeper into these very emotions and see how they work!

Emotions give us important information. They indicate which way things are going. Emotions help us live our lives to the fullest. They help us relate to other people, their expectations and in-numerous demands of life. Understanding these emotions equips us to use efficient ways to respond to situations. Our emotions tell us what we need, when we need it and the kind of actions needed to fulfill them. They also communicate our feelings. All these emotions are learnt through experiences which are built one at a time, from the time of birth.

For instance, while learning swimming, a 4 year old named Riya is terrified in her first ever swimming lesson and, the water from the pool took over her, then there is a possibility that the action would have induced fear at that moment of water. This event would therefore create a negative effect on Riya. To overcome this fear what is it that Riya would have to do? She would have to acknowledge this emotion, understand the reason of her fear and find ways to tackle this negative emotion. It could be by learning Scuba Diving as a sport which doesn't require swimming or then actually taking on swimming lessons head-on with a much stronger willpower this time around! Of course, a 4 year old wouldn’t be able to take this decision but her parents will have to. For them, to be able to make their daughter a strong and fearless individual and steer their child on the right direction calls for their understanding of emotions.

Emotions sometimes arouse us and sometimes calm us down. Being able to identify our emotions helps us accept, change or alter our entire lives to make it a better journey.

The Importance of Identifying Emotions -

If I ask you to sit back and list down 10 human emotions - the scale of emotions will tilt more towards the negative - shame, fear, sadness, anger, disgust, suspicion, happiness, excitement, surprise, satisfaction etc. We experience more unpleasant emotions - more than the pleasant ones - because unpleasant emotions help us to survive. Our feelings turn out to be more unpleasant if we fight with them. However, if we allow them to be there and work along with them they seem to be less unpleasant.

This discussion of good and not good could keep going on forever. Nonetheless, let me remind you that most of us are unable to identify the right emotions at the right time; hence remain miserable and twisted. There are times when we fake emotions to get things done and there are times when we cover our real emotions and suppress our real feelings.

Let me present to you the story of Anand. One rainy day, on his way to work Anand's car broke down and he reached office late. He had hailed an auto-rickshaw to reach office. However a bike which passed by splashed muddy water on Anand's freshly ironed office clothes. Anand reached office sad and disappointed. He did not have an extra pair of dry clothes at work and knew he would have to spend the day in those soggy clothes. His desk mate offered him a cup of hot coffee from the vending machine to make Anand feel at ease. The cup tipped slightly and he ended up spilling some coffee on the desk. Anand shouted at his colleague for the mishap.

In this situation we see that Anand is unnecessarily getting angry where as his actual emotion is that of sadness. This misjudgment at his end simply sidelined his colleague's caring attitude and in-turn (maybe) jeopardized a perfectly normal ‘work relationship’.

Anand was in the need of compassion and comfort. Not able to identify this, his reaction (due to his current emotions) only drove people away. If we are try to identify, know and be patient with our emotions; we might realise what is it that we need to heal.

Tackling our emotions -

  • Acknowledging our emotions by telling ourselves or showing it to someone whom we trust and not covering it up helps us to streamline the emotion better.

  • Moving on to methods of self compassion and assertive anger. Thus, one should stand for one self, without driving people away.

  • Handling criticism even if it hurts by pushing oneself to be aware of our real emotions even if they feel painful.

  • Understanding real emotions, the way they are, help us feel what we need from ourselves as well as our friends and families. These real emotions will always be fresh and new instead of stuck up old feelings.

Stuck and misguided emotions can change if we

  • acknowledge our emotions

  • attend to them

  • are patient with our emotions

  • talk about and show our real emotions

  • learn to accept different emotions

  • change emotions with emotions

Emotions teach us, make up, or break us. All of this is easier to do with empathy and support of another person, even if it’s your spouse, best friend, confidant/e, parent/s, counselor, neighbor or even your children.

(Featured Image by John Hain from Pixabay)

About the Author

Poorabie is a brand strategist and marketeer. She has worked in business strategy teams; launched brands, marketed them and made businesses flourish. She runs her own marketing advisory firm for solo-preneurs, start ups and SMEs. 

Ms. Poorabie

Poorabie is also an Improvs theatre artist, director and playwright.

She conducts Self Development Courses for pre-school students, school-going students and young adults through creative methods based on internationally acclaimed Play-Way method of teaching over the weekends. 


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