Emotions are like the weather.
Sometimes we have sunny days, weeks, even months. Take this summer, for example, for me I remember it being very sunny most of the time. Other times the weather is awful, we go for weeks without an inch of sunshine, and the rain keeps hammering down, sometimes we even get thunder and lightning.
It’s a little bit like our emotions. Often, we’re feeling good for days, weeks, or even months. All of a sudden, the pitter-patter of rain starts. Unlike the weather, we can change whether we decide we would like these emotions to manifest, and develop into a full rainstorm, or whether we put up our umbrella until it passes and let the sunshine through the clouds.
I am not talking about depression, or other mental health disorders, because we are well aware that these are sicknesses which you can’t cure by telling it to get better. If you said to your broken leg ‘it’s ok, you can be better now’ would it? No. It needs time to heal and regain strength.
What I am talking about is our reaction to situations, and how we respond to external influences on our lives, and in particular, negative ones.
You are at work on a Friday afternoon, and your boss forwards you across a bunch of work to your inbox.
Crack on with it, get it done, and embrace the weekend with open arms at 5:00 PM or
Let it get you down and substantially affect your mindset over the weekend. Spend the whole weekend thinking about getting yourself a new job because you are so sick of your boss, only to return to work Monday as nothing happened.
For a lot of people, subconsciously they will be option B. Like rainclouds, followed by thunder and lightning, they will allow the feelings to manifest inside of them and enter into a cycle of negative emotions.
The difference for person A is that they understand that they can have no control over the negative influence, but what they can control is the way they react to it. They understand that if they enable the feelings to manifest, the only person they are affecting on is themselves, and therefore they can pop up their brolly and wave goodbye to the rain clouds.
Here are my top tips to avoid an emotional raincloud:
1) Reduce the fear by rationalising. Our minds often play tricks on us and tell us that things are a lot worse than what they are. This leads to us catastrophising the situation and therefore adding to the cycle of emotion. A good way to rationalise is by telling a friend or family member and chatting through the situation. Often you will realise that it is not all doom and gloom and you can pop up the brolly and crack on!
2) It’s nothing personal. In addition to catastrophising things, a lot of people take stuff personally. The likelihood is, your boss dumping the work on your desk at 4 PM on a Friday is nothing personal. Your boss has time pressures that they have to keep to, and you are employed to help meet those goals. Your boss is not picking on you, likelihood is they just need something done. This can often be explained through colours and miscommunication. You can read about the DISC colours in my book, Secrets of Successful Sales.
3) The disparity of Balls. In our business, we use ‘ALISON EDGAR’S BIG BALLS’ and I’ve taught the methodology around the globe. Everybody loves it. It’s a simple alternative to Stephen Covey’s Quadrant of Time Management, and we bring it to life by using Trello.
Basket Balls – Things that are very important and need doing straight away
Tennis Balls – Less important Tasks, but if not done soon will turn into a basketball
Ping Pong Balls – Small tasks than are longer-term, can develop into bigger balls if left too long.
If the whole company can talk in balls, it makes it a lot easier for everyone to comprehend what is urgent. If your boss dumped the work on your desk at 4 PM and said, ‘it’s a tennis ball’, you would understand that it didn’t need to be done immediately, and therefore the raincloud of emotions to follow wasn’t necessary.
4) Preparation is key! It’s hard to talk too much around this point without delving deep into my methodology, but if you are aware of the colours of your colleagues, how they act and how they behave, it’s far easier to prepare and understand what you are going to be up against. For me, I am a high red and I hadn’t been in the office all week this week. Rebecca came into the office to see me yesterday during my first day back, she knew I would want to get straight to the point and so had written down all of the tasks we needed to discuss. I can’t emphasise enough how important it is to adapt to the people around you, and when you do you will see how much easier the rainstorms are to fight off.
“People buy people, and they buy people who are like them”
What are your best ways to fight off the rainclouds of emotion? Let me know in the comment section below.