1. Emotions are made up of several components.
    1. Physiological changes such as a churning stomach or tense jaw can occur when a person has strong emotions.
    2. Nonverbal reactions include blushing, perspiring, and behavior such as posture, gestures, or different vocal tone and rate.
    3. Cognitive interpretations affect emotions, as the mind plays an important role in determining how we feel.
    4. Verbal expressions are used to display emotions.
  2. There are many influences on emotional expression; we are all born with the ability to reveal emotions, but over time one develops differences in emotional expression.
    1. Personality—There is a clear relationship between personality and the way people experience and communicate emotions.
    2. Culture plays a role in the way we express emotion and in how we interpret the emotions of others.
    3. Gender roles often shape the ways in which men and women experience and express their emotions.
    4. Social conventions and roles affect the expression of direct emotions and emotional labor, which involves managing and suppressing emotions and is sometimes appropriate.
    5. Fear of self-disclosure exists because there are risks involved with self-disclosing, and unpleasant consequences may occur.
    6. Emotional contagion is the process by which emotions are transferred from one person to another.
  3. There are several guidelines for the healthy expression of emotions.
    1. Recognize your feelings. One must be able to distinguish and label one”s emotions.
    2. Chose the best language to truly be expressive about emotions.
    3. Share multiple feelings. While it is common to experience more than one emotion at a time, we usually express only one emotion at a time.
    4. Recognize the difference between feeling and acting.
    5. Accept responsibility for your feelings by not blaming others for how you feel.
    6. Choose the best time and place to express your feelings. Usually it is better to delay expressing feelings or even never express feelings, depending on the situation.
  4. Managing difficult emotions is difficult. Distorted self-perceptions can generate emotions that interfere with effective communication.
    1. Facilitative emotions contribute to effective functioning, while debilitative emotions hinder or prevent effective performance. For example, in communication apprehension is the feelings of anxiety that some people experience at the prospect of communicating in unfamiliar contexts.
      1. Debilitative emotions are more intense than facilitative emotions.
      2. Debilitative feelings also have an extended duration.
      3. Rumination is recurrent thoughts not demanded by the immediate environment.
    2. Thoughts cause feelings; a rational emotive approach to changing feelings is to change unproductive thinking, which lies in the pattern of thought that manifests itself through self-talk, the nonvocal internal monologue that is our process of thinking.
    3. Irrational thinking and debilitative emotions come from accepting irrational thoughts or fallacies.
      1. The fallacy of perfection is the thought that a competent communicator should be able to handle any situation with complete confidence and skill.
      2. The fallacy of approval is the mistaken belief that it is vital to obtain everyone’s approval.
      3. The fallacy of should is the inability to distinguish between what is and what should be.
      4. The fallacy of overgeneralization occurs when a person bases a belief on a limited amount of evidence.
      5. The fallacy of causation is the belief that one should not do anything that will cause harm or inconvenience to others because it will cause undesirable feelings.
      6. The fallacy of helplessness suggests that forces beyond our control determine life satisfaction.
      7. The fallacy of catastrophic expectations occurs when one assumes that if something bad can happen then it will; catastrophic thinking often takes the form of rumination, which is the presence of recurrent thoughts not demanded by the immediate environment.
    4. Minimizing debilitative emotions can be achieved to defeat the self-defeating thinking that leads to debilitative emotions.
      1. Monitoring emotional reactions allows for debilitating feelings to be noticed.
      2. Note the activating event so that you are aware of the trigger, which may be specific people, types of individuals, settings, or topics of conversation.
      3. Record your self-talk so that you are able to analyze the thoughts that link the trigger and your feelings.
      4. Dispute your irrational beliefs by choosing an alternate belief that is more sensible.