"...in navigating our lives, it is our fears and envies, our rages and depressions, our worries and anxieties that steer us day to day. Even the most academically brilliant among us are vulnerable to being undone by unruly emotions."
-Daniel Goleman

In 1st Person

Emotional Insight: Generally I have been out of touch with my emotions, and have failed to identify my feelings. I feel them physiologically but haven't verbalized them or conceptualize them well. I have had problems pinpointing the underlying reasons for my actions, which lead to miscommunication. I have always lacked the ability to make myself feel better when I become angry or sad. I'm told this breeds low self esteem, but, ironically, I think it's fair to say that I don't suffer from low self-esteem. Being out of touch, like this, can also be cause for a lack of self-control.

Social Insight and Empathy:
I have difficulty identifying other people's emotions and I don't respond well enough. Sincere but inadequate, thus misunderstanding the underlying motives behind people's actions has hindered my social interactions. I respond to the face value of behavior well but misread and react to the wrong interpretations. This draws on a lack of appreciating other perspectives and sows a narrow-minded mentality. Which lacks empathy and disrupts the making of meaningful human connections. When I think that some reactions come from nowhere, and they actually don't an adverse reaction is triggered right on the spot.

The Pathway to Progress
  • Question your beliefs; ignoring your emotions wont make them go away.
  • Remember: Emotion is just a whirlwind of activity passing through your body and mind, that you help create. How you react is important to its outcome.
  • Get to know yourself better. Make a list of your strengths and limitations. The more in touch you are with who you are, the better you'll be able to handle your emotions.
  • Take small steps; start expressing emotions that are least intimidating and you will find that it is not as bad as you think. Begin with genuine compliments and take it further to expessions of appreciation. When you need to communicate a negative feeling, write it.
  • Choose your battles wisely; you obviously can't express everything you feel or throw all your strongest emotions at someone at the same time. It is healthier to pace yourself and express yourself evenly.
  • Distinguish between what you think and what you feel.
  • Build meaningful relationships that teach you about human nature
  • If you're not sure how someone is feeling ask for clarification: "Could you explain your perspective to me?" might do the trick.
  • In every situation, there are several perspectives. Try to identify at least 2 or 3 different ways to look at someone's situation.
  • Put empathy into action: Get involved helping people in some way. The closer you get to a situation the more you'll realize the difficulties others facing.


Excerpt From a Waiting Room

"Friends shouldn't indulge your whimpering about flakiness, [instead] they ought to help you see ambivalence for what it is. Otherwise they're a part of the problem."
-Amy Sohn, The New Yorker


re: is....

overlooked i am born
your current is cruel
your tide; cold, unwarm
risque howls stew

stinging my eyes
lashing my face
i'd never change
that beauty or grace

it's what i beckoned
breaking the rules
rarely i decieve
what i get in return

my eyes in a trance
i can't shoot a flare
or capture a glance
why did i dare?!

lulled in a dream
of unspoken chance
i crashed as you set
then i tempted the glare

you stroked my shell
so ablaze is my frame
with a coal from hell
so what did i gain?

a journey to embark
sail upon joy
awash in the dark
gutted and wrecked

for those sweets
from that stranger
i'd gladly risk it all
the further we go

the harder i fall
into your waves
mist splashed masts
now it's obvious

the depths i missed
not even embraced
when we locked in a kiss
our encounter was a fall

you were great then
but greater with no face
i thought i had trust
but i laid it to waste

our encounter was a fall
blinded by lust
then life was breathed
from which i've grown

unforgiven and so done
because you were right
i needed this love
to give birth to my life


Exchange Change

"To expect harm and to see attack gets your running legs going, which sets you up for less disappointment. You grow and still react to people as hurtful. Freedom comes from not seeing malicious intention where none is intended.

Hold back on concluding the presence of malicious intent. Doubt your supposition and before you draw a conclusion, find out the facts of motivation. Use outside information and underplay your predilection for injury.

We are afraid of change and repeat behaviors that wreck our lives. Sameness to sameness. If we try to change, we do so at a snail's pace that never arrives or move so hurriedly that little change occurs. Lightning speed protects us from being snared, cornered and hurt. We are afraid to hear the cry of what was left behind, an expectation from our hypersensitive parents who overreacted to our changes. We learn from this that all we do is hurtful... We worry more when we are changing a known habit. Will we lose our friends? We look for and find responses of pain. We hurry past our feelings, so fraught with anxiety, guilt and grief.

In change, there is losing and gaining. We need to mourn our losses and to grow from the rotting wood of renounced ways. The additional pain we feel is what we inflict on ourselves in anticipation of the critical reactions..."
-Elan Golomb

To Not

I spent the afternoon with Luba. She is such a wonderful woman! She has always captured my imagination, quite the perfect, immaculately brilliant! Everything she has ever said to me and everything she has done demonstrates to just how classy someone can be. I know due to the way she has treasured our little friendship, our mutual lulls and has been able to nurture it into something meaningful.

I have always been intrigued by this random, bright Brillo box that sits upright on an end table in her apartment. After some deliberation in my head, I determined that this is not just a Brillo box; it just sits there... Luba just doesn't keep articles like this lying around. After a glass or two I finally had to see the contents. A portfolio, upon these brilliant silver lamenated fold out pages wherein, half way through, a qoute:

"The most exciting thing is not doing it.
If you fall in love with someone and never do it, it's much more exciting."
-Andy Warhol


My Challenge,

How can I promote harmony and still allow healthy conflict? Idealists go out of their way to promote harmony, I can make peace and take it upon myself to mediate disputes. But when it's possible, and that's seldom, I try to avoid them.

Conflict doesn't have to be destructive. Yes there is such a thing, it's called healthy conflict. Even heated exchanges have proven to be useful when we play fairly. Part of my challenge as a human being is learning to tolerate uncertainty and being disliked. As someone who espouses a small dose of creativity, I know that my best ideas come from long periods of frustration and being blocked. I also know that some of my relationships are blocked and require a creative conflict to move forward.

I can be an approval junkie. I want others to recognize and appreciate my accomplishments and sacrifices I can make for them. Unfortunately most people either ignore or take for granted what I give. It sounds cliche, but the truth is the only one that can satisfy this need is me. I need to try taking time each day to feel pride in the things I have done.

Getting close to people is difficult. People are wary about letting others into their lives. I tend to be too sesitive to the walls that people put up around themselves. I worry that they dont really love me or that they will abandon me. The key is to take relationships slowly and try to sort out when my worries are grounded and when I am simply just assuming the worse.

I am a people pleaser. I can be so focused on keeping other people happy that I sometimes lose sight of taking care of myself and my own needs. Again it may sound cliche but the only one that can satisfy my own need for approval is myself.