In the past few weeks I’ve had the opportunity to lend a listening ear to friends. As a classic introvert, it’s easier to listen to people talk and offer some feedback than to be on the other side. One thing that I’ve thought about is how different life would be if we had an “off” switch for emotions. Let’s face it,emotions can be annoying and affect the way you act. It’s interesting how much of our lives can be ruled by emotions. We leave relationships because our feelings changed and pursue different courses of action because we just aren’t “feeling” it anymore. Life tends to require you to take action and make decisions in spite of how you feel. I’m all for acknowledging emotions but not letting them run your life. Science tells us that 69% of conflict in a marriage isn’t resolvable. What if it’s the same thing with emotions? What if we learned to manage anger,fear,sadness,or guilt without the expectation that these emotions would be completely gone?
It’s definitely very easy to get caught up in emotions, particularly in the heat of the moment. An off switch would be an amazing adaptation. That statistic really caught me off guard. It would be interesting to see the relationship between unresolved emotions and unsuccessful marriages. It can be a difficult balancing act between confronting situations head on and not allowing emotions to get the better.
In couples I’ve worked with, many times each partner criticizes the emotions of the other partner which in turn alienates them from each other. I think a study like that would be interesting.