Constructive and Destructive Expressions

When certain events occur in our lives; could be the loss of a loved one, a career change or something as traumatic as a near death experience, they ignite emotions within us and we seek to address these feelings by taking action (provided we are not numbed by the event). How we take action, however, can either be constructive or destructive.

Just over 3 years ago, I lost my father. His death was sudden and difficult for me to process. Shortly after his passing, I quit my job and moved out of my mother’s home. As you can imagine, that did not end well; with no job (and consequently no shekels in my coin purse), I had to move back home with mom and two younger brothers. I also had to start from scratch in finding a means of making a living for myself. I was 26 at the time and in an economy where the unemployment rate is in double digits (approx. 15% by this year’s end per the ‘trading economist’), it took me well over a year and half to find a new job. At Alistair logistics, I quickly discovered something that made me happy; I was good at my job. The fast paced industry called for speed and accuracy; traits that came natural to me. Unfortunately and without realizing, I grew an unhealthy attachment to the work. The loss I had suffered when dad died, was replaced by the joy I found from the success at my job. So much so, that when changes to the organization (in the form of our new Head of Operations and his new rules) came, my response (to be brutally honest here) was violent. I did not embrace his move to re-distribute my tasks among team members and actively fought to stop his changes. The result was detrimental to myself, I was ostracized from the organization, and most importantly the work I had grown to love, deteriorated. In response and just as the human body builds white blood cells when infected by a foreign substance/ ailment, the organization built up a series of defense mechanisms (i.e. performance improvement plans, talks of the day during our weekly morning meetings, and my personal favorite, a mentorship program) to correct behavior that could easily become a plague to the organization. Needless to say, this week’s events and realizations were a BITTER PILL to swallow….yeah; I am crazy!

His Imperial Majesty Haile Selassie 1st
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Any who….I’m also only human and according to a one Mr. Roland Bal….our responses, which are directly related to our emotions aren’t necessarily destructive; provided we process them in a healthy manner. In his article ‘Destructive and Constructive Expressions of Self (you’ll note the title of this post is similar….don’t sue!) he lists 5 responses, their emotive causes, and the healthy ways of expressing them. I’ve summarized the information in a table below for ya'll; but if like me you find yourself having ‘a not so healthy’ response to an emotion, I urge you to click the link (also below) and read the full article.

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