Emotional Confab: New study looks at the benefits of consulting feelings

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A recent study by PsychTests.com reveals that people who are in touch with their feelings enjoy a number of emotional, psychological, and social advantages.

When people don’t consult their feelings, they are suppressing a major aspect of their human nature.

People who don’t consult their feelings tend to have self-esteem issues, to lack resilience, and to be unhappy with their lives.

When you consult your feelings, you gain access to information that cannot be accessed by your logical mind.

For the sake of professionalism, diplomacy, and decorum, people are often required to compartmentalize their emotions. A work meeting, a negotiation, or even just a trip to the grocery store are not good venues for the release of anger, tears, or even a joyous outburst, as it can be seen as, at best, a lack of decorum, and at worst, a lack of maturity. The fact that logic is often exalted and emotion vilified as unstable certainly doesn’t help. This has created generations of individuals who rarely consult their emotions to understand how they feel about a situation, who have dulled their gut instinct, and who are only living a half-life, where part of themselves is missing. But there are many benefits to getting in touch with one’s emotions, as revealed by a study conducted by PsychTests.

Analyzing data collected from 12,259 people who took the Emotional Intelligence Test, PsychTests’ researchers compared people who never consult their feelings (Emotion-deniers) to those who do so regularly (Emotion-users). Here’s where they differed:

> 57% of Emotion-deniers are afraid to be emotionally vulnerable with someone (compared to 30% of Emotion-users).
> 50% feel ill-at-ease around people who are overtly emotional (compared to 23% of Emotion-users).
> 51% postpone or entirely avoid talking about touchy subjects (compared to 27% of Emotion-users).
> 37% admit that they don’t know how to deal with someone who is upset or angry (compared to 16% of Emotion-users).
> 49% try to ignore or suppress negative emotions (compared to 29% of Emotion-users).
> 41% are uncomfortable offering appreciation or displaying affection (compared to 19% of Emotion-users).
> 64% will do whatever they can to keep themselves from crying (compared to 38% of Emotion-users).
> 58% find it hard to express what they are feeling (compared to 23% of Emotion-users).
> 24% find it difficult to develop a bond with others (compared to 10% of Emotion-users).

> 35% said that they feel as though they are “just going through the motions” in life (compared to 23% of Emotion-users).
> 54% find it hard to motivate themselves, especially when they need to do something they don’t like doing (compared to 42% of Emotion-users).
> 39% hate change and will try to avoid it (compared to 25% of Emotion-users).
> 12% are dissatisfied with their personal relationships (compared to 6% of Emotion-users).

> 40% frequently experience bouts of self-doubt (compared to 30% of Emotion-users).
> 32% insult themselves when they make a mistake or fail (compared to 26% of Emotion-users).
> 59% feel awkward in social situations (compared to 47% of Emotion-users).

> 27% have difficulty finding the silver lining in difficult situations (compared to 12% of Emotion-users).
> 24% struggle to calm themselves down when they are feeling anxious (compared to 10% of Emotion-users).
> 28% repress their worries (compared to 9% of Emotion-users).
> 36% have difficulty getting over a bad mood (compared to 26% of Emotion-users).
> 44% are conflict-avoidant (compared to 32% of Emotion-users).
> 51% are pessimists who assume the worst of people and situations (compared to 34% of Emotion-users).

“Emotions are always, always, a message - to be careful, to pay attention, to do or not do something. Such messages should not be ignored,” explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of PsychTests. “Most importantly, when you consult your feelings, you gain access to information that cannot be accessed by your logical mind. The problem is that we often override what our emotions are telling us and dismiss it as irrational, and there is a great danger in that. Imagine conducting an interview with someone who looks amazing on paper - great education, lots of awards, plenty of experience, has all the skills you’re looking for. But when you sit down with a potential business partner, something feels off: you get this sinking feeling in your stomach, a mixture of fear, aversion, and discomfort. You can’t put your finger on it, but there is something wrong, and your feelings are raising a red flag. This is the purpose of emotions. They are a built-in alert mechanism to help you navigate the world, to understand others, and to understand yourself. And our study has shown that people greatly benefit from consulting their feelings.”

“Denying emotions doesn’t make us rational … suppressed emotions have a way of coming to the surface at the most unfortunate moments, resulting in outbursts of anger, sadness, panic or burnout. Even in people who pride themselves to be logical thinkers, emotions play a role in their decision-making; they just don’t realize it. It is wise to allow emotions rise to the surface, extract the information they carry along, and use your rational mind to analyze it. Acknowledging our emotions also makes us better equipped to manage them and to respond rationally instead of losing it.”

Want to assess your EQ? Check out the Emotional Intelligence Test by visiting: https://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3979

Professional users, such as HR managers, coaches, and therapists, can request a free demo for this or other assessments from ARCH Profile’s extensive battery: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/testdrive_gen_1

To learn more about psychological testing, download this free eBook: http://hrtests.archprofile.com/personality-tests-in-hr

About PsychTests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists and coaches, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts (see ARCHProfile.com).

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Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D
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