You Can’t Manage Emotions Without Knowing What They Really Are

by Art Markman

At this point, everybody knows emotional intelligence matters in the workplace. Yet there are two aspects of emotions that make it hard for people to exercise their emotional intelligence. First, most people are still not completely clear about what emotions actually are. Second, even when we understand emotions conceptually, it can still be hard to deal with our own emotional states.

To tackle the first problem: While in everyday speech, emotion and feeling are often used interchangeably, psychologists distinguish between them. Emotions are interpretations of feelings.

The feelings you have (what psychologists call affect) emerge from your motivational system. ...

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