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Emotional Openness Key to Happiness

negative emotions
20 May 2014, by Dr. S. Ramesh in Blog

Nobody wants to be a follower, but everybody wants to be a leader because of emotional satisfaction derived being a leader. Emotional openness is a fundamental attribute in satisfaction; hence satisfaction should be inclusive of emotion and not just cognitive. Negative emotions have stronger effect on satisfaction than positive emotions. i.e., Mr. Rahul and Ms. Anjali were executives who were working very smart and hard on equity research, aspiring to be leaders to lead a team as fund manager on promotion.  Mr. Rahul was denied the promotion, even though his performance was more effective, by his superiors and had no option other than being a follower and that to forced follower. At this point in time it is quiet natural for a human being to generate negative emotions which have stronger effect of dissatisfaction than effect of positive emotions of satisfaction on becoming a leader. Positive emotions make leaders to stay and continue with positive behavior and negative emotions make forced followers with strong complaining behavior and  one may have to struggle with highly distressing emotions, such as extreme anger or suicidal thoughts.

Emotional Openness and Negativity

In recent years it is noticed that an increase in the number of people who feel guilty or ashamed about what they perceive to be negativity. Such reactions undoubtedly stem from one’s culture’s overriding bias toward positive thinking.  Although positive emotions are worth cultivating, problems arise when people start believing they must be upbeat all the time. Positive thoughts and emotions surely benefit mental health and make a person to feel happy and satisfied.  Per contra, any absence of negative emotions on all actions of life is a sign of mental illness.

Emotional feelings are instinct in nature and a factor of genes, DNA and RNA and studies have proved anger and sadness are important part of life to be experienced and such emotions are vital to our mental health.  Attempt made to suppress such emotions can backfire and even diminish once sense of contentment. Hence, negative emotions may be Positive.

It is a real challenge for B Schools and corporate to train human beings not to develop such negative emotions, rather to learn to acknowledge and express a full range of emotions.

About The Author

s_rameshProf. S. Ramesh is a professor at IBA and has over 30 years of rich experience in industry and academics. His goal is to transit his enthusiasm, creativity and experience into a position where he continues to provide strategic leadership in areas of strategy, finance and commercial functions of management. He is currently engaged in study of investor’s perception analysis of securities and related instruments. He has published few articles in venture capital and angel financing. He has published few books in finance and accounting. He was Executive Director -Cochin Stock Exchange Ltd. His other industrial stint was in BPL, 3M, Zenith Computers, ILI Technologies and KAPL in different capacities. His academic exposure was in BMS College of Engineering as Professor, MBA studies and Principal, M.S.Ramaiah College – Bangalore.

  • I totally agree that many negative emotions happen without once knowledge, hence one has to balance for healthy living.

    Dr. Gourish – Practicing Doctor.


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