When emotions get involved (for good or ill) in our relationships, the intensity of the relationship’s experiences rise — usually, dramatically. Therefore, it is important to use emotions positively in relationships.
Replacement Is a Great Way to Use Emotions Positively in Relationships
Having trouble with changing your emotions?
We cannot calm common negative emotions — anger, disappointment, disgust, dislike, and even revengeful feelings — by reason alone. Emotion must calm emotion for true peace to be found. For example, to calm fear we need to exercise faith, trust, courage, or some opposite emotion. Trust dissolves fear. Love dispels hate. Positive feelings push the negative ones out of mind.
Always understand the power of replacement (replacing one emotion with its opposite) and how it completely changes the mental landscape.
Use Emotions Positively with Your Children
Tantrums — You hate them, don’t you?
When your child has a tantrum, what is the opposite of a tantrum? Calm? Yes, so remaining calm yourself and calming the child is the first step to ending the emotional tantrum. Deal with the issue after you have achieved calm. The child can’t listen until he is in a calm state. Responding with negative emotions will block your efforts.
Knowing the temperament of the child will provide the keys you need to best overcome their negative emotions.
- The frightened SJ child is calmed by calm support, reassurance — perhaps even logical explanations and reason — thus removing the insecurity.
- The emotionally distressed NF child who has lost his favorite toy or blanket is calmed by loving touch and soft voice of an understanding parent.
Use Emotions Positively in Casual Relationships
There’s a wise instruction that says to “turn the other cheek” when someone wrongs you. “If someone takes your shirt, give him your coat as well,” is another advice. In our day and time, we seldom see that type of response to injustices. However, the principle is sound.
- When someone speaks harshly and shows anger, respond with a calm demeanor and a gracious attitude to stop the verbal assault.
- When someone responds in anger to an intrusion into their “space,” a soft reply of understanding and apology will do wonders to change the atmosphere.
- The neighbor in the apartment next door angrily yells at you for disturbing his peaceful evening of reading with the noise of your subwoofer vibrating your mutual wall. Respond by expressing your care, acknowledging his loss, and offering your willingness to lower volume or move or disconnect the offensive equipment. He’ll most likely calm immediately and apologize because you respect and appreciate (positive emotions) his need.
Use Emotions Positively in Your Intimate Relationships
Imagine the strength of your relationship when you’ve learned to respond with intelligent emotions to your partner.
- Your “NF” partner is bouncing off the walls with excitement over something that they have just experienced. You, a strong “NT”, will see clearly that you must share in that excitement when you respond with an appropriate level of excitement. Sharing in the positive moment is the best support you can give. Knowing that you appreciate your partner’s emotion of the moment forms a bond between you that will strengthen your relationship.
- Your “I” partner objects to attending a social affair in which you, an “E,” want to fully participate. Or perhaps she wants to leave early. Your assurance that you understand her need by happily agreeing to set a time frame for the duration of your joint participation shows your care. Alternatively, suggesting another plan in which one of you arrives or leaves at different times demonstrates your love and care for your partner’s needs. Respect, love, and concern for your partner’s needs achieve a stronger relationship. Emotions expressed in this way nurture the emotions you want in your relationship.
- You (an NF) are passionate about a dream you have for your future. Your partner is a solid, logistical SJ who wants to know the details and refuses to show appreciation for your “dream” until he has them. Show respect and appreciation for your partner’s skill at “making things happen by attending to logistics and details.” Express those positive emotions to enlist their participation and partnership in the project. When you do that, you inject your relationship with nutrients that will nourish it to prime health. Those positive emotions of respect and appreciation draw the two of you together, especially when you show equal appreciation for your SJ partner’s interests.
To build a strong relationship, use positive emotions.
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My book, Intelligently Emotional, will be a great help to you in discovering the power of your own emotions in developing your own strengths and your relationship.