Conflicting emotions don’t cancel out.

October 26, 2015 by Joshua
in Awareness, Perception

If you earn $10 and then have to pay $3 to taxes, you net $7.

Emotions don’t work that way. Many people think they do, which leads them to miss out some of the most interesting parts of life.

Say you like a friend and they also annoy you. If you net out that you kind of like them you miss out that you have a complex relationship with them. The emotions you feel to them don’t cancel or net out. Without recognizing the range of emotions you feel with them, you might spend time with them as much as someone you’re tepid with. With recognizing it, you might, say, figure out how to get the best of the parts you like and avoid the parts you don’t. You might make someone one of your best friends.

If you fear taking on a challenge and also feel excited by the prospect of succeeding at it, you might not do it.

I avoided learning acting and performance for decades because of anxiety like that. In my thirties I learned I loved performing on stage when I did the class play in business school. Don’t make my mistake. You don’t get the thirty years back because you weren’t paying attention to the best parts because you netted them out.

It’s a matter of awareness and sensitivity to your emotions, which comes with skill and experience.

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