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Chapter Outline

  1. Emotions are made up of several components.

    1. Physiological changes. Bodily changes such as an increased heartbeat, a rise in blood pressure, feeling “warm all over” can occur when a person has strong emotions.
    2. Nonverbal reactions include blushing, perspiring, and behavior such as posture, gestures, or different vocal tone and rate.
    3. Cognitive interpretations affect emotions, as the mind plays an important role in determining how we feel.
      1. Reappraisal — rethinking meaning of events to alter emotional impact.

    4. Verbal expressions are used to display emotions.

      1. We use specific emotion words to represent degrees of intensity.
  2. There are many influences on emotional expression; we are all born with the ability to reveal emotions, but over time one develops differences in emotional expression.

    1. Personality—There is a clear relationship between personality and the way people experience and communicate emotions.

      1. Personality can be a powerful force, but doesn’t have to govern communication satisfaction.
      2. Shy people can communicate comfortably and effectively online

    2. Culture plays a role in the way we interpret others’ emotions of others and the way we express our own.
    3. Gender roles often shape the ways in which men and women experience and express their emotions.
      1. There’s some truth to cultural stereotype of inexpressive male and demonstrative female.
      2. Men and women experience same emotions, but there are differences in the ways they read and express them.

    4. Social conventions and roles affect the expression of direct emotions and emotional labor, which involves managing and suppressing emotions and is sometimes appropriate.
    5. Social media – Communicators express more emotions online than in person
      1. Can feed emotional responses
      2. Both senders and receivers experience emotions more intensely online

    6. Emotional contagion is the process by which emotions are transferred from one person to another.
  3. There are several guidelines for the healthy expression of emotions.

    1. Recognize your feelings. One must be aware of one’s feelings and able to identify emotions.
    2. Chose the best language. Many suffer from impoverished emotional vocabularies.
    3. Share multiple feelings. While it is common to experience more than one emotion at a time, we usually express only one emotion at a time.
    4. Recognize the difference between feeling and acting. Just because you feel a certain way doesn’t mean you must always act on it.
    5. Accept responsibility for your feelings by not blaming others for how you feel.
    6. Choose the best time and place to express your feelings. Usually it is better to delay expressing feelings or even never express feelings, depending on the situation.
  4. Managing emotions.

    1. Facilitative emotions contribute to effective functioning, while debilitative emotions hinder or prevent effective performance.

      1. Debilitative emotions are more intense than facilitative emotions.
      2. Debilitative feelings also have an extended duration.
      3. Rumination is recurrent thoughts not demanded by the immediate environment.

    2. Thoughts cause feelings; a rational emotive approach to changing feelings is to change unproductive interpretations. The key to understanding and changing feelings lies in reappraising event through self-talk, the nonvocal, internal monologue that is our process of thinking.
    3. Irrational thinking and debilitative emotions come from accepting irrational thoughts or fallacies.
      1. The fallacy of perfection is the thought that a competent communicator should be able to handle any situation with complete confidence and skill.
      2. The fallacy of approval is the mistaken belief that it is vital to obtain everyone’s approval.
      3. The fallacy of should is the inability to distinguish between what is and what should be.
      4. The fallacy of overgeneralization occurs when a person bases a belief on a limited amount of evidence.
      5. The fallacy of causation is the belief that one should not do anything that will cause harm or inconvenience to others because it will cause undesirable feelings.
      6. The fallacy of helplessness suggests that forces beyond our control determine life satisfaction.
      7. The fallacy of catastrophic expectations occurs when one assumes that if something bad can happen then it will.
    4. Minimizing debilitative emotions can be achieved to defeat the self-defeating thinking that leads to debilitative emotions.

      1. Monitoring emotional reactions. The first step is to recognize when you’re having debilitating emotions.
      2. Note the activating event so that you are aware of the trigger, which may be specific people, types of individuals, settings, or topics of conversation.
      3. Record your self-talk so that you are able to analyze the thoughts that link the trigger and your feelings.
      4. Dispute your irrational beliefs by choosing an alternate belief that is more sensible.
    5. Maximizing facilitative emotions.

      1. Leave room to enjoy and savor positive emotional experiences.
      2. Regard challenging situations as opportunities for growth.
      3. Choose compassion over contempt.


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