TELEMENTAL HEALTH IS AVAILABLE.

Bob: I need you to add more information to this report and focus on the new service we’re offering to clients instead of describing the history of it.

Rob: mmm…what do you mean by that? I did everything you asked me to do, and it’s still not good enough. I feel that nothing I do is good enough.

Have you ever had a situation like the one described above? A manager, supervisor, colleague, or co-worker gives you feedback or criticism about a task you completed and in a fraction of a second you feel attacked, disrespected, frustrated, and all you can think of is how to defend yourself? Pause for a moment before responding.; we all have moments like this from time to time. It hurts to hear that our work wasn’t good enough, even though we gave our best, but there’s a difference between having that emotional turmoil from time to time versus almost all the time.

Have you ever been told by your co-workers that you’re too sensitive? Have your supervisors given you feedback about how you seem defensive when receiving feedback? Have your colleagues told you that you wear your emotions in your sleeve? Do you find yourself solving one problem after another with every problem feeling as intense as the last one?

If you answered yes to any of the questions, chances are that you’re a super-feeler. Super-feelers are people that are just wired to “feel too much, too quickly, and tend to act to soon;” it’s as if instead of having an emotional dial, they have an emotional switch that quickly turns on their emotion machinery. Let’s take a peek at one of Matt’s struggles at work.

A year ago, Matt got really upset because the bouncing ball he liked to sit on for meetings wasn’t hard enough; so he abruptly ended the meeting with other co-founders, complained to his assistant, and requested that she buy 3 bouncing balls immediately before having any other meeting; of course, the meeting with the co-founders got re-scheduled, but the atmosphere wasn’t as cozy or friendly, as you can imagine. When discussing this event with Matt, here is what I learned: He got frustrated because he had told his assistant four times how important it was for him for the bouncing ball to have a specific level of air, so he can relax his body, manage his back problems, and think clearly during meetings; it makes total sense right? If a person has back problems and a bouncing ball helps to ameliorate that physical discomfort, most of us would go out of our way to make sure we had a bouncing ball at all times, with the right level of pressure, especially during meetings. The challenge is that while it absolutely made sense how frustrated Matt felt, he didn’t realize that his emotion machinery got turned on sooooo quickly that in that precise moment, he had a values-based conflict: taking care of his back, and taking care of his start up. Matt did the best he could, given what he knew about handling troublesome situations; the challenge is that he didn’t check in with his values or the context in which he was operating in before going into action by ending the meeting, and fundamentally, he didn’t know other skills he could use in that moment.

Super-feelers are people that are just wired to “feel too much, too quickly, and tend to act to soon;” it’s as if instead of having an emotional dial, they have an emotional switch that quickly turns on their emotion machinery. Click To Tweet

Here is the take-home message from Matt’s story: Whether you’re a successful lawyer, a passionate investor, a dedicated entrepreneur, a software engineer, or a dedicated perfectionist in any field, if you’re a super-feeler, your natural strengths, talents, and decision-making capacities get hindered by the emotional roller coasters you go through day by day. Think about it for a moment. Are you really performing at your best when your emotions get activated so quickly?

There are hundreds of written materials and podcasts about how to develop emotional intelligence, but some of them are based on opinions or preferences. There is also material that is based exclusively on science or empirically-supported treatments, which show us what works and what’s effective.

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT and pronounced as a single word), has over 200 randomized clinical trials, the gold standard for conducting research in any field, and it has been applied to a broad range of clinical and nonclinical problems, such as reducing burnout at organizations, increasing job performance, decreasing stigma, and promoting psychological flexibility in the end.

Super-feelers can learn core ACT skills to tame their emotion machinery and learn to manage high stake situations that come along with high stress and high emotional arousal.

Here is how ACT can create a different behavioral path for super-feelers: first, ACT invites super-feelers to identify their personal values, career values, or relationship values; values define what kind of coworker, manager, employee, friend, or partner a person wants to be, and second, like a compass, values guide every step, action, or response a person has day and night, 24/7.

ACT has been applied to a broad range of clinical and nonclinical problems, such as reducing burnout at organizations, increasing job performance, decreasing stigma, and promoting psychological flexibility in the end. Click To Tweet

Within ACT, values are not goals, feelings, wants, or needs, but rather life principles that a super-feeler wants to stand for, and by linking values to specific behaviors, especially when the emotion machinery is on, super-feelers learn other core five ACT skills to manage the emotional roller coasters they go through, such as:

(1) noticing and naming the different emotional states their emotion machinery comes up with, the different mind noise that shows up as well (e.g., they don’t like me; he’s better than me; I’m not good enough; what’s wrong with her?); their different body states, go-to tactic fights, and chronic interpersonal patterns.
(2) Check their go-to actions when their emotion machinery gets activated
(3) Check the workability of those go-to actions
(4) Check what’s truly important for them in that particular situation
(5) Choose a values-based behavior.

ACT skills are the skills that we all need sometimes, but super-feelers need them more often because of their vulnerability to feeling emotions too intensely. There is nothing wrong with super-feelers; it’s actually courageous to be in their shoes; they’re just wired to feel a lot.

GET YOUR AUDIO GUIDE TO HARNESS THE POWER OF PERFECTIONISM

 Are you ready to do what you deeply care about and

- Ditch other people’s definition of success to pursue your own?

- Bring all your expertise to what you do without dealing with negative costs to your wellbeing?

- Develop a new mindset to do what you deeply care about without negatively affecting other areas of your life in the long run?

CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR AUDIO GUIDE! 

I hope you enjoy!