What I write about my own personal journey is intended as just that—my personal journey. If you are having serious trouble, get help from a professional. Envy helped me realize that I was afraid that my social standing was at risk (because of wobbly financials) & helped me do something about it (edit
Hello Kent! I'm glad you were able to take some bits and pieces from my tome! It also works as a door stop.
I've got a great 2-page cheat chart, and an 88 page workbook that simplifies the heck out of everything, but I can't upload the emotions chart in this platform, gah.
Here's the workbook: https://karlamclaren.com/product/the-dei-workbook/
I want to call out the fuzziness around "Despair - a stronger form of sadness"
I think this is a mischaracterization, and the clue is that it's not sufficiently distinguished from other emotions. I'll offer my perspective in case it clarifies things.
Despair isn't a stronger form of sadness. Despair is is the emotional state of being compelled to stop waiting and take action. This is what it means to "be desperate". Etymologically, the word comes from Latin "esperare" (to wait or to hope) modified with the prefix "des" (negation), so the original meaning of the word is almost literally "stop waiting".
Despair doesn't feel like sadness. If it does, it's not despair, it's just even deeper sadness. The pit of sadness is quite a deep one and you can keep going further and further down without finding an exit. Despair is the exit. Despair is how you feel when you can't stand it anymore and start climbing out of the pit, whatever it takes. Despair feels like a cousin of anger, but not so hot and loud. It's the source of motivation of last resort. The existential need to change one's circumstances by direct action, because passively waiting (hoping) for a change to happen on it's own is no longer tolerable. It feels like an itch that must be scratched. It's persistent and insistent and won't go away until it's dealt with directly and on it's own terms.
Like the book and ideas. I think emotions is part of being human. I think sharing is a good catharsis and valuable to others. As a gay autistic (Asperger) nerd with many scars, I can relate to the need for EQ. Looking forward to reading the new book, I was one of the very early adopters of XP and now or still involved with DevSecOps and everything techie.
I think these messages are great practical advice, thanks for writing this. The framing feels a little strange to me though since the meaning of an emotion and strategies to deal with it seem a bit different.
Thanks a lot for your post, and the reference to The Language of Emotions. This reminds me a lot of the practice of Non Violent Communication, in which discovering the need behind our and others' emotions is a central activity.
It also connects a lot with a workshop I run. I call it the Slow Code Retreat, and a key part is that while people mob, I ask them to fill a mini-retro every 5 minutes by answering a few questions. Some of the questions are: What did I feel? What do I need? What will I decide? It has helped me to get awareness of the emotions I go through while coding, and to decide to act accordingly. Many participants have expressed similar feedback as well. I'm sure coding can be a practice of self-actualisation.
Thanks again for everything you did, and good luck for Tidy First!
I really appreciate this list as a software person often overwhelmed by encounters with my emotions. Thank you.
Codifying emotional states and being able to pull them out as principles to situations is super demanding work... but it's so funny that once you do it, there's only like 400+ scenarios total. I did this a few years ago and the world seemed so finite and constrained after I did it.
Sorry for being harsh but this is pseudoscience. The most researched approach - CBT - says this: we can change our thoughts and it will change our emotions. Something happens, first we experience neutral arousal, our fast automatic thoughts color it and then we experience emotions.
For example, we interpret this neutral arousal as anger if we think that another person did something intentionally, not by mistake/accident/because of tiredness... If we think that it was our mistake - we experience sadness.
You thoughts are lines of code that cause your emotions and actions. You can rewrite your thoughts. I recommend counseling and reading the primary source - CBT Basics and Beyond by Beck - it’s very readable and simple.
You’ll change your nonadaptive unhelpful thoughts to the adaptive helpful ones.
P.S. Please, at least remove the line about suicidal thoughts. You should never say “change” to a suicidal person.
Man, I really needed this kind of overview from someone I admire.
I'm on the verge of a pivoting position after being fired two months ago, after a decade working with software dev. I'm used to fail on various scales, but the big ones were only on external systems (the software I deliver or I take care of), not with my inner self.
The confusion on how to deal with different emotions is real.
Basically I made my hacker/geek spirit silent for long long time, fully suppressing it, including spending time on things I don't believe, specially learning technologies, or believing influential people that are telling things from safe positions.
So thanks! I will build my own based on these ideas, thanks for sharing your point of view.
Kent thank you for sharing the resource and especially your personal findings in long term practice.
This approach is very close to the principles of nonviolent communication - and the book with the same name.
Basically, emotions are the lights on the dashboard, indicating what our needs are and whether they are met.
Universal human needs are the driving forces behind all of our behaviors.
All our actions are strategies to meet one or more needs.
It’s a compassionate, powerful framework of understanding oneself and others. Highly recommended.
Great sheet! I love how it changes reactions from fighting back unpleasant emotions (jealousy/boredom …) towards listening to them to understand the subconscious. Wondering if you have a complementary sheet for positive emotions?
This is great insight -- and something that "software people" don't talk about often enough! Thank you!
It's nice. The list is pretty big to go over with. Never did this kind of exercise, i mean resolving the map (emotion->action). I imagine to be able to do it better keep a paper piece in the pocket to be easily accessible check for the mapping to build some kind of habbit. Yet, what I like as a approach about this topic is look basically in single state, the unconscious one - that basically includes all those emotions that drives us. And to look at, it requires to be in so-called mindful self-aware state. Basically meditative state, being able to took at yourself from another self. That's easier to say than done. Usually ppl have to sit and do some breath exercises, to develop a habit to do it in principle only then (for most of us) is possible to be mindful about our unconscious self, when emotions take over, the habbit of mindulnes kicks in, like big brother..but in good way. Still I am trying to be technical here, not too much spiritual. I know some person who has "anger issues", he just counts to 10 immediately after he detects it, then everything else. But usually he been asked to do so before he detects it himself, because detecting is already being mindful and self-aware, that a skill by itself that not that easy to gain.
Didn't mean to be that long.
How about positive emotions?