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Develpoment Learning

Emotions and Their Power: Do We Need Positivity?

Photo by Tengyart on Unsplash

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

Ever heard someone say this for you to go, “What nonsense are you spewing?” Well, now is it total crap? Technically, not so much. 

Many psychological studies on emotions seem to emphasize this, albeit in a more scientific way (which most of us can’t understand). Psychologists often avoided studying emotions as they are hard to quantify or measure. Even when they eventually started studying them, their focus was on the negative emotions and in figuring out ways to treat them or reduce harm from these emotions (obviously, since they are almost constant in life).

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Martin Seligman, a well-known psychologist in the field of Positive Psychology, is the one who shed some light on how positive emotions shape human lives. Many others followed him and turned to these positive emotions in hopes of making lives better for us (I wonder if that is even possible at this point). 

Why not positive emotions, to begin with? 

Why did psychologists see negative emotions to be of much importance? Well, negative emotions prepare us for a particular set or range of actions. Let’s say you are scared of clowns. One day, you spot a clown at a circus or a birthday party. What would your immediate response be? You will look for safety—be it through fight or flight. 

Why do we need these actions? To survive— giving birth to offspring and generating generations upon generations is the only thing humans truly strive for (which is again debatable to an extent, or is it?). If you stand in front of an elephant that is running wild without acting in a fight or flight mode, you would, of course, be trampled to death. In short, negative emotions keep you alive. 

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Then what are positive emotions for? Do we even need them? 

I would say, not really; we don’t need them. We can have them if we want to (as ironic as it sounds)—“Be positive, be positive” might be a great mantra to tell yourself to feel positive. This Learned Optimism reduces stress levels and improves cardiovascular health, says Martin Seligman in his research on Authentic Happiness. However, is it good to be positive all the time? No. Sometimes it is dangerous to be positive. 

Let’s say you are facing a hungry lion. You are such a positive person that you think the lion would just walk away because you are not trying to harm it. Any animal would only harm us when it sees us as a danger, right? Well, guess what? The lion just pounced on you and tore you into pieces till it satiated its hunger. Damn, now you are not alive to feel positive anymore. Meaning, being positive tend to get you killed.

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Does this mean we should only cultivate negative emotions? 

Do we eliminate our association with positive emotions? Apparently not. Barbara Frederickson, another well-known positive psychologist, puts forth the theory of Broaden and Build of Positive Emotions for this exact reason. This theory stresses that we need both types of emotions in dealing with life. 

As much as negative emotions are necessary for survival and immediate response, positive emotions give you a broader perspective or a big picture. Negative emotions let you choose between a limited number of options, while positive emotions let you find creative ways of tackling a situation. Therefore, positive emotions act as a way of building resources to cope with our negative feels. 

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How positivity aids the learning process?

Yes, I ranted about all of that to talk about learning. The play of emotions (negative and positive) is big in learning outcomes. Don’t believe me? Let me convince you. 

Have you ever wondered why learners often avoid studying a subject they don’t like? Or why don’t they seem to grasp the matter even when they give extra time to that particular subject? Well, it has to do with the fact that our brain is wired to invest its energy in things it likes. 

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Not liking a subject is linked to negative emotions, and as we have already discussed, we tend to either fight it or run away from it. We can reduce this kind of avoidance in learners by cultivating positive thoughts towards the subject learners dislike. Interpreting the subject differently and linking it with things the learners like is an effective way to push them towards that subject, little by little. 

Conclusion

To conclude, be negative to stay alive. However, if you want to extend your lifespan and the quality of your life, you better adopt some methods of positive intervention. 

(I feel this blog has become a rant at this point, but here it is anyway. Stop controlling others’ emotions. Let them decide what to feel and express when. Agree?) 

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Categories
Develpoment Lifestyle

Emotional development and 3 things you should know about it

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The theoretical viewpoint towards emotional development is a blend of functionalist and dynamical systems assumption. A child meeting with an environment is lively contact that engages numerous emotion-related components. These components modify over time as the child matures and in reaction to varying environmental relations. Emotional development imitates social experience, taking into account the cultural context too.

1. The Development of Emotional Capability

Understanding the Stages of Emotional Development in Children

A way to look at emotional operation is the extent to which it serves the individual’s adaptive and self-efficient ambitions. The construct emotional capability is projected as affect-oriented behavioral, cognitive, and rigid skills. These skills surface eventually as a person expands in a social context. Individual factors, for instance, cognitive development and temper, do certainly influence the development of emotional capabilities.

Though, the skills of emotional capability are also subjective to precedent social incidents and learnings. Also to a person’s relationship record, plus the system of way of life and values in which the person lives. Therefore, we vigorously produce our emotional experience, through the mutual control of our cognitive-developmental composition. Also through our social experience to emotional communication. During this process, we discover what it means to feel something and to do something about it.

2. Skills of Emotional Capability

  • Understanding of one’s emotional situation. Also, understanding that one is experiencing several emotions. An even more mature understanding that one might not be conscious of one’s feelings.

  • Skills in discriminating and accepting others’ emotions, based on situational and meaningful cues that have some harmony as to their emotional meaning.

  • Skill in using the terminology of emotion and expression in provisions usually available in one’s subculture and at a more mature rank to obtain cultural scripts that connect emotion with social roles.

  • The capability of empathic and sympathetic participation in others’ emotional incidents.

  • Skill in comprehending that inside emotional status need not relate to outer appearance, equally in oneself and others, and at a more mature altitude the ability to recognize that one’s emotional-expressive actions may impact another and take this into account in one’s self-presentation approach.

  • The ability for adaptive coping with stressful emotions utilizing self-regulatory approaches that improve the amount or duration of such emotional states.

  • Knowledge of the structure or nature of relations is in part defined by both the point of emotional immediacy or authenticity of communicative display and by the point of reciprocity or balance within the bond.

3. Positive Development and Emotional Competence

Different Emotions faced by individuals

Capable children and youth do not experience lives free of problems, but they have equally individual and environmental resources that assist them in handling a range of life events.

To know more about Behavioral Disorders in Children Click Here.

The skills of emotional capability are a bunch of resources that juveniles bring to their life’s varied challenges. Like development in other spheres, mastery of early skills is correlated to emotional development, such as effective parameters, which affect a child’s ability to steer future developmental challenges.

How Emotional Development can help your child

Different aspects that lead to Emotional Development in a Child

Potency in the area of emotional capability may assist children and adolescents handle efficiently particular situations. It promotes individuality associated with constructive developmental outcomes, with a sense of self-efficacy, pro-social behaviour, and compassionate relations with family and peers. Moreover, emotional capability serves as a shielding factor that diminishes the impact of a variety of risk factors.


Studies have isolated a person’s trait that may exert a defending influence. Some of which replicate core elements of emotional capability. Skills associated with interpreting interpersonal cues, solving troubles, performing goal-oriented behaviour in interpersonal circumstances. Skills associated with taking behavioural choices from both an influential and an affective perspective.

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General

Barriers in Effective Communication

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Communication is an exchange of message/code/signal or any other sign or expression that conveys one’s feelings, emotions, or thoughts.

This follows a step by step process including five important elements:

  1. Sender – the one who sends the message
  2. Message – the content which is being delivered
  3. Medium – the channel of the communication
  4. Receiver – to whom the message is being delivered
  5. Feedback – response from the receiver

Effective communication and barriers in communication

Communication always includes two parties – the sender and the receiver. The cycle of communication completes only when the receiver responds to the message of the sender. Now there comes one more concept called Effective Communication.

Communication is said to be effective when the receiver interprets the message in the exact way as to what the sender meant to say. It simply means eliminating miscommunication and misunderstandings.

However, some common barriers affect communication between individuals. Let’s understand what they are:

  • Cultural Barrier – Cultural gap or difference acts as a barrier to effective communication. People coming from different cultures find it difficult to communicate because of differences in the social backdrop, opinion, place of origin, language, and habits.
  • Language Barrier- Explaining and understanding is the biggest challenge in communication. The language barrier happens to be the most when you are in a foreign place. Also, words matter a lot while communicating. For a region or community, it may have a good meaning but the same word could be indecent in other languages.
  • Perceptual Barrier – We all see the world differently and hence have different perceptions. When a person is not able to understand the way others are communicating due to a difference in opinion and perceptions, it is called perceptual barrier. 
  • Emotional Barrier – Many people hold back from communicating their thoughts and feelings to others due to fear, mistrust, and suspicion. Some common examples of emotional barriers could be – the communication between parents and an adolescent/teenage child, communication between boss and employee, etc.
  • Technical Barrier – With the involvement of technology in communication, technical barriers have also become a major issue that breaks the chain of communication. Technical barriers are the network or internet issues that occur when communicating through an electronic device like mobile phones, computers, laptops, etc.

Learn more about barriers of communication here.