Vivek Mehrotra
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Role of Emotions in Communication

"First impression is the last impression" is a good old maxim that keeps human beings striving for searching ways that help them create lasting impressions on others, especially those who matter to them the most. Right from wearing costly apparels to accessories and imported perfumes; from villas to cars people try everything, which can help them create a distinct impression for themselves. I know a friend of mine who runs classes wherein she teaches how to make lasting impressions; the institution name itself is 'Impression'. Her clientele includes teenage children, house wives and of course young executives. Even the corporate clients are inviting her to teach business etiquette to their senior executives. No doubt, all the above-mentioned paraphernalia help people create an impression that they want to project about themselves. However, little they realize that even before they try to create an impression people make opinion about them. Apart from these physical attributes the basis of these opinions are their own feelings about others and also people's feeling about themselves.

Now the question arises what are feelings. It is our feelings that decide our approach, our outlook, the way we think and behave. Our feelings decides not only our thought processes i.e. the mind-set but are also responsible for our reactions, responses, mood, frame of mind in nut shell our overall attitude. This is the attitude that instills passion in human beings, which give rise to excitement, enthusiasm, and zeal to excel. Hence, these are our feelings that help us to create the right impression of ourselves. Another word to describe our feelings or the sentiments is emotions. Yes! These are the emotions that help human beings communicate their real inner self, which gets reflected through their actions and behavior.

Paul Ekman who studied human emotions, discovered six facial expressions that almost everyone recognizes world-wide. These are happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and surprise. These expressions communicate the real inner self of an individual to others. However, there are variety of emotions created by the mixing, blending, and overlapping of these basic ones. During the course of life, human beings experience various emotions, such as genuine love and empathy, which are most valuable to an individual. On the other hand, there are emotions such as anger, pride and jealousy, which disturb the mental peace and lead the individual to act in ways that not only hurt others but him as well. Emotions even affect individual’s health. It is rightly said, “A healthy body has a healthy mind”. The moment someone try to repress his emotions it gets manifested as diseases such as, depression, anxieties, panic, and eating disorders to name a few.

Ability to recognize and share emotions with others is truly an art. Those of us, who are able to master it, learn how to manage and maintain healthy relationships. If you listen to other's feelings and try to understand the emotions they are experiencing or expressing; your communication will become a meaningful exchange for both of you. This will help you to avoid unnecessary conflicts in your life. You will become flexible and be in a position to adjust with others easily. In order to do so you need to learn and practice communicating your emotions to others..

(Excerpts from the book, 'Why My Horse Doesn't Listen - Learn to communicate effectively)

Vivek Mehrotra

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