One of the adages of NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) is that “you cannot not communicate”. In other words, we are all constantly “on stage”. Like it or not, we are constantly broadcasting our belief systems. Our actions (and inaction), our words (or silence when words should be spoken), our body language, our choice of topics, our tone of voice, all teach our values and reveal our character.
Just like a boat going through water, each of us leaves an “emotional wake” everywhere we go; sometimes ripples of good feeling or gentle swells of acceptance and positivity, perhaps at other times heavy waves of drama, white caps of anger. Are you proud of your emotional presence? Do you leave others the better, the happier, the more relaxed for having met you? Does your emotional presence serve you? Advance you or hinder you? Build trust and fellowship? Open doors and create opportunities? Leave the world a better place?
Want a richer, more fulfilling life? Increase your level of self-awareness; become more aware of your impact on others. While we are not responsible for the feelings of others, at the same time, as enlightened beings, it behooves us to be aware of our impact on others. Take a few minutes at the end of the day to ponder the emotional wake you created, to pause and reflect, perhaps to journal on how you impacted your fellow humans. How you might have added a few more smiles, complimented a few more souls, lifted others’ spirits.
“We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel.” – Marshall B. Rosenberg, 1934-2015
“An emotional wake is what you remember after I’m gone. What you feel. The aftermath, aftertaste, or afterglow.” – Susan Scott, Fierce Conversations
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” – Daniel Goleman
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier