Facing your feelings and those of others and being your authentic self in the moment appropriately can bring success and fulfillment to work. What does the research tell us?

First of all, what does it mean to face your emotional self, to be your real self in the moment? Being your true self entails the expression of the skills inherent in making business relationships – empathic accuracy prior to presentation being the most important, followed by managing emotional expression. This includes knowing that you do indeed have the skills of self-awareness prior to presentation and that you feel comfortable using those skills. Being your authentic self means allowing the awareness of your emotions to be shared with the world as you deem appropriate. That’s where self-presentation and empathy come into play. So, before asking if this leads to success and fulfillment, let’s see if it leads to better coping skills.

By testing self-reported emotional awareness against a scale of coping, it has been found that those experiencing higher awareness were better at seeking social and emotional support and had better coping skills. Facing what’s going on in yourself and in others serves you well in getting the requisite support to succeed.

Studies have shown that self-perceived emotional awareness is associated with level of happiness, percent of time spent being happy, more frequent positive effect, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. It was inversely related to general anxiety and social anxiety. In other words, facing yourself and others and the self-perceived awareness of such skills was highly associated with higher self-esteem, general life satisfaction, and greater happiness experienced more frequently and over long periods of time. It was negatively associated with anxiety. Therefore, the greater the awareness, the less anxious the individual.

It has been speculated that those who are happy find it easier to be familiar with their emotions; or that they make better decisions and better social judgments allowing them to be more comfortable being aware of their positive emotions; or that a third variable, such as self-confidence or self-esteem, may account for both the happiness and the awareness of positive emotions. In true scientific manner, all possibilities are up for consideration. But the bottom line is that those who experience a higher degree of awareness also experience more happiness.


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