On a link from The Nub, I found this short report Expressing yourself isn’t always ideal Research shows that psychological health is not about always expressing your feelings but being flexible about what you show and what you keep to yourself.

Not exactly rocket science. But still worth stating. Some people think that being “authentic” is a licence to let rip with whatever you’re feeling at the time. This can be used as cover for all manner of potentially destructive behaviour.

In reality if we stop to notice, we are experiencing all sorts of emotions moment-to-moment and we couldn’t find time to articulate our total experience, even if we wanted to. It seems to me that emotional intelligence is partly our ability to make wise choices of what we share and what we don’t.

Some people, in some contexts, need to do better at containing their emotions; others need to be more willing to express them.

There is no one-size fits all prescription but in the world of organisations I find a people suppress an awful lot and that ain’t healthy. But finding the way to “speak our truth” is not something for which we can write the rule book. What I like to think I do, when facilitating, is create a climate in which people find it a bit easier – and that’s partly by being more open myself and partly by helping people be more careful and specific in giving appreciations and making complaints.

1 thought on “Flexibility

  1. Tim

    Dead right.

    That’s why in this highly competitive, globalised, mind-intensive time a proper self-assertiveness is more important than ever before.

    A self-assertiveness that says, “My ideas, my thoughts, my decisions, my emotions and my choices are just as valid and important as yours”. No more and no less.

    Imagine how much happier the world would be if more people had that mindset?


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