Founding director of the Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence and Psychologist Marc Brackett begs the question: when did you last ask someone how they felt and wanted a truthful answer? Further, when did you last give a truthful answer? We ask this question multiple times a day as a common courtesy rather than a genuinely inquisitive query.
Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for us to interact in a way that emphasizes the inconvenient nature of feelings. According to Brackett, “feelings can be messy, inconvenient, confusing, even addictive. They leave us vulnerable, exposed, naked to the world… we do our best to deny them or hide them – even from ourselves. Our attitudes about them get passed along to our children, who learn by taking their cues from us, their parents and teachers – their role models. Our kids receive the message loud and clear, so that before long, they, too, have learned to suppress even the most urgent messages from deep inside their beings. Just as we learned to do.”
“[W]hen we deny ourselves the permission to feel, a long list of unwanted outcomes ensues. We lose the ability to even identify what we’re feeling… when that happens, we’re unable to understand why we’re experiencing an emotion or what’s happening in our lives that’s causing it… And when we can’t recognize, understand, or put into words what we feel, it’s impossible for us to do anything about it; to master our feelings – not deny them but to accept them all, even embrace them – and learn to make our emotions work for us not against us”. - Marc Brackett
We keep hearing that we are in the middle of a mental health crisis, yet few resources are guiding us toward practical solutions. Fortunately, Marc Brackett offers tools that we can use to begin decoding the complexity of our emotions and teach this way of interacting with our feelings to our children and students. In an illuminating podcast, Marc Brackett is interviewed by Brené Brown, an American author, professor, and researcher of shame, vulnerability, and leadership. He shares key points from his book “Permission to Feel: The Power of Emotional Intelligence to Achieve Well-Being and Success” such as RULER, an evidence-based approach to social-emotional learning.
To learn more about how you can embark on your journey by checking out the podcast titled “Unlocking us with Brené Brown: Dr. Marc Brackett and Brené on “Permission to Feel” below, or by clicking here. If you are interested in reading further, Marc Brackett’s book will be available in our library in the coming weeks which can be checked out through your child’s account.
About the Author
Ms. Lindsay Oniel B.A./B.Ed., MACP Candidate
Social Emotional Counselor
Lindsay is passionate about building our capacity for investigating and exploring our emotions. Starting with the simple question “how are you?” and truly reflecting on what we are feeling is a great way to start the investigative process.