Manage Your Emotions

'How are you getting on?' the older salesman asked the beginner.

'Rotten, I got nothing but insults everywhere I called.'

'That's funny,' the older man mused. I've been on the road 40 years. I've had doors slammed in my face, my samples dumped in the street. I've been tossed down the stairs, manhandled by caretakers – but insulted? Never!'

Efficiency, at home and at work, is achieved by controlling your emotions.

We should be very careful about h we deal with our emotions. If taste is the mark of an educated man, emotional balance is the token of a mature man.

Dr. Joseph Collins says, 'By starving emotions we become humorless, rigid and stereotyped; by repressing them we become literal, reformatory and holier-than-you; encouraged, they perfume life; discourage, they poison it.

Emotions are not bad as some people think. But their results can be bad if they are not controlled, for then they can work much harm to oneself and to others. And this very much detracts from personal efficiency.

Well used, emotions are an asset to personal efficiency. They do everything for it, beginning with setting goals for us to efficiently guiding one way and finally arriving at the result.

The emotions are meant to add tone and color, light and shade, to what would otherwise be the drab experiences of daily life. They are normally what makes life enjoyable: the love of friendship or marriage, the surprise at the unexpected gift, the happiness we feel when things are going right. All

these experiences that make life bearable would be quite impossible without that sensitive ability to respond to the different situations of life. 'The emotions can make us very happy or very sad depending on whether we are masters of them or they are masters of us.

Emotional maturity

Emotional maturity means the ability to gauge the emotional expression to the needs of the situation, to express the right emotion at the right time.

'The attainment of such maturity or control comes only slowly and after much patient work, but it is one of the most vital goals of the years of development.'

A man is called emotionally mature if he has learnt and practices the art of using his emotions in ways which make him genuinely happy. Then his emotions help him in every field of life, in work, in family life, in social relations, in his adjustment to himself and to the world in general.

In work it trains him to stick to a job and to struggle through until it is finished; to endure unpleasantness, discomfort and frustration; to give more than is asked for or required; to size things up and make independent decisions; to work under authority and to cooperate with others; to defer to time, other persons and circumstances.

In family life it teaches him to play his proper role with love and efficiency. It snuffs out unnecessary quarrels and bickering, it makes his family members happy. It makes him give respect where respect is due, to be firm where firmness is needed and to wink at things which are best winked at. It teaches him to deal with people efficiently with all the tact, gentleness and understanding needed. It makes him docile, trusting, flexible. He becomes open to new experiences, willing to be involved, ready to make peace between what is and what might be. And since what is learnt at home is carried out in society an emotionally mature man is at his best everywhere.

He has the insight to understand himself as he is, so that he neither overestimates nor underestimates himself. He knows what is good in him and is gracious about it. He knows what is bad in him and tries to overcome it, serenely, unhurriedly. He is said to be well adjusted.

Keep a mental wastepaper basket

In offices of big business so much correspondence comes and goes, so many files pile up, therefore much of it has to be thrown away. Imagine how frustrating it would be to work in offices where the walls, shelves, windows and tables are cluttered with piles and piles of unnecessary, disposable material. It obstructs sunshine and ventilation, it hampers movement, it reduces efficiency with the uncomfortable feeling of the dusty stuffiness it gives. This is one reason why people are inefficient in some of our government offices.

So great is the need to keep records to a minimum that it has become a specialized branch of study in efficiency engineering.

Our minds are like offices of big business. In daily living we are constantly bombarded with sensations, pleasant and unpleasant, and we get the the consequent pleasant and unpleasant feelings. If we were to keep record of every minor thing that happens to us soon we should be so weighed down by their volume that instead of running in the way of efficiency we should be forced to drag our weight along.

So we have to keep a mental wastepaper basket for all the memories and feelings that keep down our efficiency.


Another emotion responsible for many casualties and which affects health - the heart, the glands, the whole nervous system - is worry.

Worry induces organic . disease and devours man's energy in unproductive ways, renders life miserable and shortens it by years.

Worry lies in our mind, therefore it can be cured if we control our process of thoughts.

Worry is a pastime of the idle mind. One who does not like to work likes to worry.

Worry is not only a peculiarity of the weak, the defeated or the failures, but It can be a sign of potential strength, a proof that a man cares about life and wants to make something worthwhile of his career.

A. J. Cronin writes, 'We should look on worry as a manifestation of nervous intensity, and therefore a potential source of good. Only when this latent force exhausts itself fruitlessly on unreal problems does it harm us. The remedy is to accept worries as part of our life and learn to handle them by redirecting the energy we are misusing into productive channels.

'This is easier if we make a list of the tangible things that worry us. When they are down on paper we realize how many of them are vague, indefinite and futile. An estimate of what most people worry about runs as follows: Things that never happen: 40%; things over and past that can’t be changed by all the worry in the world: 30%; needless health worries: 12% ; petty miscellaneous worries: 10%. Real, legitimate worries: 8%.


Au occasional bout of tension and anxiety is normal. They are normal functions of living, just as hunger and thirst. They are aimed at protecting ourselves when we are confronted with threats to safety, well-being, efficiency and happiness.

The time to be watchful is when this emotion upsets us frequently, shakes us severely and fails to wear off after a while.

People suffer a great deal of trouble in providing against dangers that never come and sacrificing present comfort and enjoyment in guarding against the future wants they may never live to see.

Fear creates what It fears

Fear is another emotion that nips efficiency in the bud.

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt was afraid of being afraid, because, she said, she might be influenced in her actions by fear rather than by honest convictions.

Blaise Pascal wrote, 'There is a virtuous fear which is the effect of faith, and a vicious fear which is the product of doubt and distrust. The former leads to hope as relying on God, in whom we believe; the latter inclines to despair as not relying upon God, in whom we do not believe. Persons of the one character fear to lose God; those of the other character fear to find him.'

Fear as a destructive emotion is the fruit of suggestion which implants all kinds of stubborn and absorb fear in the hearts of even most intelligent and courageous men.

Writes psychologist Paul Tournier, 'Fear send them hurrying to the palmist; and some foolish remark by the palmist inoculates them with a fear which falsifies all their reactions: “You will come to a tragic and horrible end.”

'I cannot of course enumerate all the fears which beset men and women and dominate them to such an extent that they are afraid to acknowledge them. They range from a vague anxiety which is all the more persistent because It has no precise object, and involves a hopeless struggle against an invisible enemy to those more specific fears which derive from an association of ideas which may or may not be conscious.'

When we feel the pinch

The Los Angeles Times reported, 'A man of about 55 and his wife quarreled with another driver over parking space. Bystander convinced the police that the other driver didn't strike a blow…that the 55-year-older punched the other driver twice. He allegedly slugged his wife twice when she urged him to calm down. Then he walked ten steps and dropped dead.'

We become angry when we are not ready to give in. We become angry with people because we feel threatened, or because we think they let us down. We become angry over side issues, or at the wrong person or for the wrong reason.

Remember that anger is always associated with confusion and the real issue is always clouded.

An Indian proverb says that, 'Anger is a stone cast into a wasp's nest.' Just recall the red, distorted face, the wild, bloodshot eyes, the choked words, the stamping feet, all the insults, curses, vain threats and absurd demands.

Getting angry at people or at anything hinders our work, keeps us from efficiency, and turns the very things meant to help us into weapons against us.

Envy and jealousy

The first crime was committed out of envy. Cain murdered his brother Abel. And since then, almost all crimes have sprung from envy. Envy is a feeling of ill-will at seeing another's superiority or success, or feeling sad over the goods of others which we ourselves do not have.

Jealousy is rather the fear that others will get hold of what we possess. It is a love that is at once exclusive, uneasy, monopolizing and egoistic.

Envy and jealousy extend to everything: conjugal love, family affection, riches, beauty, talent, power, honor and happiness.

In many instances they are real sicknesses. And the pity of it is that when we try to destroy the other person we end up destroying ourselves.

Use your complexes positively

Whatever a man does, he is led to do it by instincts and tendencies which carry an emotional force in them. The tendencies can form in the unconscious a network or a knot in a given area which psychologists call complex.

Every man has many complexes, some negative and some positive. They interact with each other and the result of their interaction makes an important part of our personality.

Every genius and every superior person all have their complexes which make them more active and more original in their work.

The fact that a person has one kind of complex rather than another depends on his individual disposition and also on the family background and surroundings.

The Oedipus complex

The Oedipus complex is the one most talked about. This complex takes the name from Oedipus, the young man who by accident killed his father and married his mother. This complex makes a man love his mother and hate his father as a rival. It exists surely in families where there is a gave lack of understanding between husband and Wife. Frequently such complex is hereditary.

The passionate attachment of the little boys to their mother and in the same way, of the daughters to their father the little jealousy or even hostility toward the other parent, reveals a complexity which if uncontrolled, militates against efficiency.

When this complex implies the child's or the grown-up's absolute dependence on the opposite sex parent it shows that he has not developed healthily. It is impossible for such a person to undertake any enterprise, particularly to marry, without the approbation of the parent who is the object of his fixation. And if he marries, his unconscious will be looking for a mother's love rather than a wife and lover.

The ego complex

The ego complex or will to power plays an important role in the life of every man. The subject of the complex has an exaggerated idea of himself, of his own worth. He acts and lives for prestige and shrinks from nothing in an effort to assert his dominion over others. He frequently humiliates others bullying others without apparent reason, particularly those who are closer to him. He is incapable of a real communion with partners, associates. Both in the family and at work he is excessively authoritarian and easily alienates the love and affection and cooperation of those around him. He demands a submission and respect that he himself is in no way inclined to give in return.

The man who scolds and frets and fumes and lets his temper get the better of him little realizes that he is a victim of the complex, and how it is breaking down his own health and shortening his life.

The complex in the neurotic state is generally a means of protecting oneself against one's own shyness or insignificance, against the weakness one faces in one's own unconscious mind. Self-pity is the root of many worries and miseries.

The subject of the complex must effect a revolution in his life by which instead of seeing himself as the center of existence, he turns his thoughts toward others and thus comes to realize his true place as a member of a family and community.

The will to power or the need to assert oneself serves to achieve higher goals in life and serves ends that are socially and objectively good. The subject of the complex needs only to exercise control so that he may pursue his goal with less harshness and thus secure more love and cooperation.

Inferiority complex

This complex is probably one of the most encountered in men from every walk of life.

The subject can be both timid and surly. He is afraid of others' opinion, unable to face the realities of life and likes to withdraw from it. He can adapt only with difficulty to new works, new situations and succeeds rather poorly in life.

Some people start building castles in the air. In their dreaming they make heroes of themselves and thus in the world of imagination they try to live self-confidently.

Others withdraw into their own selves and try to be away from the stream of social life as much as they can.

The victim is possessed by feelings of inferiority though consciously he does not believe he is the least bit inferior to others. He may even have an excellent opinion of himself and believe that he is superior.

He depends heavily on superstition, stars and horoscopes in his work and business thus missing good opportunities that he can hardly afford to lose. He is not in a position to determine what is the result of external circumstances and what is really the result of his own inefficiency.

A few questions may reveal how you stand with feelings of inferiority and how realistically you face your life.

1. Are you boastful?

2. Do you strive to be uncommon?

3. Do you try to impress others by speaking very loudly?

4. Does it make you uncomfortable to see others succeed?

5. Do you plan to 'get even' when you can't have your own way?

6. Do you get angry when the joke is on you?

7. Do you like to say things to hurt others' feelings?

8. Does a compliment satisfy you more than real achievement?

9. Does your ambition to succeed make you unhappy?

10. Do you resent suggestions aimed at helping you?

11. Do you walk with your eyes looking down at the ground?

12. Do you run to others to seek advice about everyday problems?

If you cannot liquidate all the complexes in their negative aspect, you can surely use them to add something to your personality, originality and charm.

Society | Self-Help

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