©Arlene R. Taylor PhD


Managing emotions optimally is a learned skill. Many didn’t learn that skill growing up because their caregivers and role
rmodels didn’t have that skill (and human beings
can only teach what they know).

Children learn their first skills related to identifying, using, and managing emotions by observing their caregivers and role models. If yours were highly functional in terms of managing their emotions, you may have gotten a jump-start on the process. If that was not the case, there is work to do! It may even involve some reparenting.

Following are examples of the way in which individuals might approach emotions based on innate brain bent.

Prioritizing Division



Individuals with their energy advantage in this division tend to be somewhat oblivious to emotion in both the self and in others and may:

  • Fail to read nonverbals well (may lack easy access to the Harmonizing division)
  • Perceive emotion as a potential loss of control so may be threatened by them
  • Express anger easily when stressed, when attempts at goal attainment is thwarted, or when they cannot be in charge and make decisions
  • May express emotion through criticism, biting wit, and blowing up


Individuals with their energy advantage in this division tend to perceive emotion in the self but may not read nonverbals easily in others and may:

  • Gravitate toward fand are comfortable with change so are less likely to be threatened by emotions
  • Express frustration and anger when opportunity for variety and innovation is lacking or when they are forced to follow detailed rules and regulations
  • Express emotion through gestures (e.g., tears, large motor movements, gestures, laughter), whole body position, prosody, humor, drama, stories


Maintaining alt

altHarmonizing Division


Individuals with their energy advantage in this division tend to avoid emotions when possible and may:

  • Fail to read nonverbals well
  • Perceive emotions as potentially disruptive to the status quo and are uncomfortable with change (lack easy access to the Envisioning division)
  • Learn to maintain an emotion out of habit or the emotion most often experienced
  • Express emotion habitually and minimally


Individuals with their energy advantage in this division tend to perceives emotion in the self and in others and may:

  • Be sensitive to emotions in others and in nature; less pragmatic (lack easy access to the Prioritizing division)
  • Read nonverbal body language easily in others and in nature
  • Mirror emotions back to others
  • Express emotion through affective speech, tonality, drama, stories, nonverbals (e.g., touch, body position, small motor gestures, facial expressions)


Managing Emotions and Feelings

According to Candace Pert PhD, the molecules of emotion are designed to connect the consious with the subconscious and provide valuable information. Other studies have shown that emotions and feelings follow separate pathways in the brain (refer to Brain References).

You are in a much better position to make conscious choices about the way in which you want to manage your emotions and feelings, the actions you decide to take, and the behaviors you choose to exhibit when you:

  • Have identified your emotional history, including the emotional atmosphere(s) experienced during childhood and adolescence
  • Are able to differentiate between emotions and feelings, theoretically and practically
  • Understand some of the factors that have contributed to your present emotional tone

With practice, you can learn to identify and experience all emotions, choose appropriate actions—sometimes the appropriate action is to do nothing—and talk him/herself through the process of moving back to joy. You can hone the skill of processing an event with an emotional component, especially one that involves an overreaction, quickly and consciously. You can talk yourself through the process; you can teach the strategy to young children. And it can be fun!