What are Emotions?

EMOTIONS are an extremely significant aspect of one’s interpersonal style.

Three important questions which need to be addressed, in order to use emotion-knowledge for improved interpersonal relationships are:

  • What is your attitude toward emotions?
  • Can you recognize your own as well other people’s emotions?
  • Are you able to use emotions for effective interpersonal relating?

Emotions Defined

EMOTIONS are human reaction to some stimulus which inherently involves:

  • A feeling
  • Thoughts about the feeling
  • Physiological state accompanying the   feeling
  • A propensity to act according to the feeling

Nine Basic Emotions

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Sadness
  • Happiness
  • Surprise
  • Disgust
  • Interest
  • Shame
  • Contempt

Reason for Negative Attitude towards Emotions

  • Cultural Attitude
  • Family/Socialization
  • Gender Stereotype
  • Personal Experience

Positive Attitude towards Emotions

  • A major barrier to human growth is the assumption that emotions come in the way of growth and success
  • This attitude toward emotions must change!
  • As long as one has a negative attitude toward emotions/emotionality, no amount of logic, rationality, appeal or skill training can help one to use emotions for healthy and effective interpersonal relationship

Reason for Developing a Positive Attitude towards Emotions

  • Emotions are the primary medium of social communication
  • Emotions underlie social control (External/Internal)
  • Emotions bind people together and ensure social order

What is Emotional Intelligence?

  • Emotional intelligence is a person’s ability to understand their own emotions, the emotions of others, and to act appropriately using these emotions
  • Emotional intelligence never stops growing
  • Because we are always evolving as people, EQ is something that must be nurtured

Emotional intelligence is a measure of how successful you are at interacting with others. Including how well you manage your own emotions (especially during times of stress) and how well you are able to help others manage their emotions.


  • Self-Awareness – the ability to recognize how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way and the impact your behavior has on others
  • Assertiveness – the ability to clearly express your thoughts and feelings, stand your ground and defend a position
  • Independence – the ability to be self-directed and self-controlled, to stand on your own two feet
  • Self-Regard – the ability to recognize your strengths and weaknesses and to feel good about yourself despite your weaknesses
  • Self-Actualization – the ability to realize your potential and feel comfortable with what you achieve at work and in your personal life


  • Empathy – the ability to understand what others might be feeling or thinking, viewing the world through another person’s eyes
  • Social Responsibility – the ability to be a cooperative and contributing of your social group
  • Interpersonal Relationships – the ability to forge and maintain relationships that are mutually beneficial and marked by give and take and a sense of emotional closeness


  • Reality Testing – the ability to see things as they actually are, rather than the way you wish or fear they might be
  • Flexibility – the ability to adjust your feelings, thoughts, and actions to changing conditions

Problem Solving – the ability to define problems, then move to generate and implement effective, appropriate solutions