This is the final post in a six-part series overviewing How to Become an Emotional Detective.
A private eye is an apt metaphor for becoming more introspective.
To develop your private eye you must understand how your emotions work and turn your attention inward to start collecting clues. It is important to understand your personal history and existing biases about emotions. To identify your biases, it helps to recognize which emotions are difficult for you to experience, recognize, and express.
Your early memories hold clues that can clarify your emotional confusion.
How to know if you are likely to misperceive certain emotions with your private eye?
Among the five basic emotions (anger, sorrow, fear, disgust and joy):
- Which emotions do you have most frequently (Are you more prone to anger or sorrow, joy or fear?)
- Which emotions do you have rarely? (Do you never get mad, are you rarely scared?)
- Which emotions have made you most uncomfortable? (Does it scare you to feel anger?)
- Which emotions make you feel ashamed or confused? (Are you ashamed to be anxious or afraid?)
Think back on your earliest memories of experiencing those emotions that are difficult, uncomfortable, or shameful for you:
- How did it feel when other people displayed these emotions when you were a child?
- How did it feel to you when you showed adults these emotions?
- How did others respond to you when you expressed these challenging emotions?
Answers are within your reach, but you must choose to look for them.
The other five posts in this series are: Becoming an Emotional Detective, The Right Attitude, Could David Brooks be an Emotional Detective?, Special Challenges for An Emotional Detective, Collecting Clues