So, you've heard that you need to be more emotionally available but feel as confused as a chicken in a library? No worries, you're not alone! I’ve been there too.
First, let's not jump to conclusions just because someone says you need to be more emotionally available.
People tend to give unsolicited advice as a defense mechanism to cope with their insecurities, just like how the co-worker who thinks everyone else is a "know-it-all" but is kind of a "know-it-all" himself.
Now, before you go on a self-discovery journey, it's important to understand what being emotionally available means.
So, why not ask the person who told you to be more emotionally available to give concrete examples of what they mean?
If they can give clear examples without getting defensive, it's a good sign that they genuinely care.
But if they can't articulate what they want or get defensive, you may want to reconsider this emotionally available journey and even ask them if they know what they are talking about.
So, what does it mean to be emotionally available?
Think of it as being open to your emotions and the emotions of others.
When appropriate and useful, you should be able to talk about your emotions honestly, like saying, "I felt disappointed when you forgot our anniversary," or "I'm feeling really afraid and a little angry after the meeting."
And when it comes to others' emotions, don't try to avoid or "fix" them; instead, acknowledge and validate them.
For example, when someone you work with is upset, say, "Yeah, I can see why you're feeling angry," or when someone is sad, say, "It seems like you're pretty frustrated with your work."
And going a little further, when you are feeling any of these emotions yourself, dare to open up and share with others as well.
In my humble opinion, when people ask for more emotional availability, they look for more emotional vulnerability and validation of their emotions.
So, next time someone tells you to be more emotionally available, remember, just ask for more details about what that means to this person.
Then reflect on what you can do, open yourself up a bit more, and with empathy, show interest in what is happening with them.
I help brilliant minds lead with heart and empathy.
Good to go? Click here.