By: Indlovukazi Mapule

Esigodlweni SeziNdlovukazi

It’s not always easy to know what to do with your emotions. Sometimes this confusion happens when you first feel the emotion or after the emotion has been expressed, and you wonder if you have expressed the right emotion.

What leads to emotional confusion?

If you believe that emotions are strictly positive or negative, you’ll tend to focus on the allegedly positive ones and avoid the allegedly negative ones, and you won’t develop a full range of emotional or empathetic skills. You might be able to work skilfully with the emotions you identify as positive, but you might be clueless about the emotions you identify as negative.

Emotional boundaries are crucial in helping us to enjoy healthy and avoid unhealthy or dysfunctional relationships. They also identify a healthy and unhealthy relationship.

A successful relationship is composed of two individuals, each with a clearly defined sense of their own identity. Without our own understanding of self, of whom we are and what makes us unique, it is difficult to engage in the process of an on-going relationship in a way that is functional; that generally enhances each of the partners.

The similarities between two people may bring them together, but in an ideal partnership, sometimes called interdependent, their differences are respected and contribute to the growth of their relationship which aids in the growth of the individuals in that relationship.

Personal boundaries are limits we set in a relationship that allow us to protect ourselves from being manipulated by, or enmeshed with, emotionally needy others. Such boundaries come from having a good sense of self-worth.

Here are a few guidelines you can practice to enjoy functional relationships:

  1. It starts with self-awareness

– recognize the relationship between thoughts and feelings

– be cognizant of your beliefs, values and goals

  1. Accurate self -evaluation

– be aware of your strengths

– recognize and accept weaknesses

– be open to on-going growth and development; learning from mistakes and experiences

– be introspective

– be open to constructive feedback and new possibilities.

  1. Self-confidence /self esteem

– be assured, know your self-worth

– present yourself and views authentically and powerfully

– respectfully stand up for your views and truths even when doing so is so unpopular

– make decisions and follow up with appropriate action.

– be open and respectful of other’s opinions even in the face of disagreement.

To be continued…