Emotional or Not Emotional – That is the question!

We enter this world alone and depart alone, sharing the interim with people who either grow dearer or less dear with time. The departure of certain individuals from our lives may bring pain, while others bring relief. Each person wields a unique influence on our lives and decisions, contributing to our process of personality development. Although we may wish to avoid unpleasant lessons and encounters with challenging individuals, everything unfolds for a reason. The crucial term is ‘endure.’ The ultimate goal is to preserve dignity and inner peace, achieving satisfaction through harmony with oneself. True happiness is found in a personal micro-universe tailored to one’s desires, necessitating a deep understanding of oneself.

In this paradoxical age of abundant opportunities for connectivity, loneliness prevails in society. Insecurity and disappointment, both personal and professional, lead to bad moods, withdrawal, and self-centeredness. Contacts diminish, and desocialization sets in as disillusionment takes hold, giving rise to various reactions. Some endure insults in silence, continuing to feel miserable, while others seek refuge in isolation or addictive behaviors. Some attempt a change of environment but find themselves trapped in a cycle of disappointment. A select few opt to establish a small circle of reliable friends, embodying independence and maturity.

While I recommend the latter option, acknowledging that it may not be universally adopted, it’s often challenging or impossible to make such a change. Work environments, for instance, may bind individuals to obligations, making each day unbearable and causing inner suffering. Despite the prevalent HR thesis of detaching emotions from work, the reality is that humans are not robots; emotions naturally intertwine with work. The notion of separating emotions from work is often a facade, especially in corporations obsessed with ruthless ambition. Displaying loyalty through forced socialization becomes a trend for personal and company promotion. The consequences of the ‘cancel culture’ reveal a sad reality, where employees’ emotions are overlooked, and the company prioritizes the attainment of goals.

Facing rejection and navigating through corporate politics can be emotionally challenging, leading some to deep depression. However, companies tend to neglect employee emotions in pursuit of set goals. Instead of seeking satisfaction in the eventual repercussions, it’s advisable to explore alternative solutions. If one is compelled to remain in an unsuitable environment, the quest for a more fitting opportunity should persist. Meanwhile, self-preservation becomes paramount, as collapsing internally due to toxic surroundings and negative influences renders external accomplishments meaningless. The slow and insidious impact of negative vibes from toxic individuals can become so ingrained that genuine laughter becomes a distant memory.

I am particularly attuned to individuals who radiate negative energy and dampen optimism, whether knowingly or unknowingly. In childhood, such situations made me fidget, creating a strong desire to leave, yet out of a sense of decency, I would stay. As adults, we often endure these situations not just out of politeness but also out of necessity. Listening to and enduring negative stories and actions that drain energy is both pointless and detrimental to the psyche. However, sometimes, it becomes inevitable. Everything begins to unravel when encounters with sources of dissatisfaction start causing physical pain. In these instances, bravery becomes essential, and it’s imperative to break away. Nothing should hold you back, except for fear. Always remember, there is another, better way.

Depression is said to be focusing on past events one wishes to change, while anxiety fixates on future events beyond control. Rather than resorting to artificial mood enhancers, try avoiding environments that mentally drain, sap energy, and demotivate. Take charge of managing your problems because only you can do it best.

Consider the following steps:

  1. Document what’s bothering you (describe the problem – illness, person, job…).
  2. Identify the emotions involved (fear, anger, dissatisfaction, depression, disappointment…).
  3. Ponder three possible scenarios (optimistic, realistic, pessimistic) and analyze each separately.
  4. Propose solutions and be mindful of the risks for each scenario.
  5. Make a choice without fear of making a mistake because every choice is yours.

Each person’s uniqueness and authenticity stem from their distinct life path. Whether you become a diamond or graphite (both made of carbon) depends on how you are shaped. A diamond forms under high temperature and pressure, existing only at a depth of about one hundred and sixty kilometers. It is incredibly robust and impervious to damage. On the contrary, graphite is soft and pliable (akin to being spineless and slimy). Pressure molds you into a gem. During challenging times, remember it is temporary and can be magnificent if you survive. No pressure, no diamonds. Everything in life, both good and bad, passes, and if you endure, you become as strong as a diamond—what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Move forward boldly and avoid looking back, unless you just want to smile.

Life is a journey of ups and downs. The amplitude of life demonstrates that you are alive and taking risks. Falling in and out of love, starting and failing in business, experiencing the sickness and recovery of loved ones—all are part of the normal course. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger (until it finally does, but that’s just the inevitable cycle of life).


Author: Dobra Odlučić