How much emotion is too much?

When I talk about The Language of Emotions, one of the central ideas I share is that all emotions are useful. If you can approach them with care and ask them the right questions, there aren’t any “negative” emotions. Every emotion has a specific function, and all of them are important and instructive Some emotions (such as hatred and panic), need to be handled with care, … Read More

The Myth of Second-Hand Emotions

It’s normal for emotions to work together One big misunderstanding happens regularly with anger – which many people misidentify as a “second-hand emotion.” People have a lot of mistaken ideas about anger, but this is one of the most unfortunate. This second-hand mistake is a very easy one to make if you don’t understand how anger will arise to protect you and your other emotions (and … Read More

The third key to emotional genius

Each emotion arises at many different levels of intensity  Working with emotions empathically means learning how they work and how to work with them respectfully. One very important key to developing emotional skills is to learn how to identify emotions at many different levels.  This is especially important if you only become aware of your emotions when they’re very intense. Learning about their nuanced states can … Read More

The importance of healthy boundaries

How to define your boundaries Boundaries can be confusing to people. Are boundaries rules? Statements? Guidelines? Borders? When we set boundaries with people, what are we doing? When we set boundaries with children, are we disciplining them, or are we guiding them? Boundaries seem to mean many things, so let’s define what we mean by boundaries. Setting boundaries around boundaries Simply put, a boundary is a … Read More

The second key to emotional genius

There is a middle path for your emotions In my work, Dynamic Emotional Integration®, I’ve organized the emotions into four families, and I’ve also developed four keys to help people learn how to work with their emotions in new and healing ways. The first key is to unvalence your emotions (because there is no such thing as positive or negative emotions), and the second key is … Read More

Course: Befriending Anger at Empathy Academy

Anger is an essential emotion Anger has a terrible reputation, because so many people use anger to hurt themselves or others. But this isn’t anger’s fault! This is not anger’s true nature. Anger is an essential emotion that helps you in every area of your life, and when you know what anger is and how to work with it, you can change your life. Your anger … Read More

Two Big Emotional Mistakes (and how to fix them)

Your emotions aren’t the problem  As I was writing my 2020 book, Embracing Anxiety: How to Access the Genius of This Vital Emotion I thought a lot about two emotional mistakes that almost everyone makes: We blame emotions for causing problems, when in fact, emotions arise to help us deal with problems We blame emotions for people’s lack of emotional skills  I call these the emotional … Read More

Workshop: Developing Empathic Boundaries

Developing Empathic Boundaries Setting Flexible Boundaries in an Often-Rigid World A live 2-hour Zoom workshop with Karla McLaren, M.Ed.   Many of us have been taught that boundaries should be rigid and wall-like, and this rigidity tends to reduce empathy (which is sometimes a good idea). But healthy boundaries can also be living, flexible agreements that can shift and change with changing circumstances. Rigid boundaries can … Read More

What’s new in the Anger Family?

Welcoming the new Language of Emotions People are asking me what has changed in the newly updated Language of Emotions. A lot! A lot has changed! In this video, I talk about the changes I’ve made to the Anger Family. The emotions in this family are Anger, Apathy, Shame, and Hatred, and these emotions are involved with helping you understand and uphold boundaries, rules, and behavioral … Read More

Ingenious stagnation — Understanding depression

Situational depression arises when some aspect of your life is unworkable or dysfunctional; this emotion stops you for a vital reason, and there are many ways to support yourself when depression is present. Depression has a vital message for you When we looked at the gifts of sadness, I wrote about what I call the emotional attribution mistake that I see with many emotions — which is … Read More

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