This Friday I have volunteered to teach at the children’s school. It is a yearly event where parents sign up to teach about subjects like diversity, acceptance, conflicts, respect and giving.
This year I am teaching about conflict management, using the movie “Inside Out” as the basis of the teaching. You know the one about the girl who’s dealing with her surroundings while being dictated by her feelings of joy, sadness, fear, anger and disgust. It is a comic take on things but shows how in most of us, our emotions affect interpersonal relationships and can be significantly moderated by them.
In recent years, I have become more and more aware of how I am guided by my emotions. And I am, a lot. Often I find myself in a situation where I put meaning on things where the probably is none. Like when I write a message to a friend and she doesn’t answer back? Did I say something wrong? The thing is that we are often guided and influenced with what we think others think of us. It is something that we occupy ourselves with a lot (too much!) and makes us spend a lot of time and energy in places where we shouldn’t.
With my eldest who us in the fourth grade, I see it a lot as well. Many conflicts that she is having, in school for example, could be easily avoided if emotions weren’t put where they sometimes shouldn’t. Fortunately for us, she is quite good at sharing what she goes through and likes to have long talks with us on quarrels she had with different girlfriends. Normally, it helps her a lot to see it from another point of view and get a different perspective.
That actually seems to be a good solution; looking at a certain situation from as many points of view as possible, whether by ourselves or with the help of others. That can take the focus off our feelings and the presumptions about ourselves and others, making things seem more balanced and proportionate.
The right kind of perspective goes a long way!