The chemical engineer, University of Navarre’s doctor of psychology and 25-year psychology practitioner, Dr Job Watene, was no doubt the right speaker to clear mist in the all-too-trending topic of emotional competence. Having served in South Sudan, Somalia, and Rwanda on psychological counselling missions, Job Watene’s authority in this matter is nothing short of unquestionable. Now in his seventies, he counsels trauma victims and marriage cases.
Dr. Watene’s definition was very short and simple, reflective of the clear understanding of his stuff. “Emotions are impulses to action”. Anger for instance is an impulse to attack or correct an injustice. Fear is an impulse to get away from a superior power. Emotions occur on the spur of the moment, they are impulses. They are not pre-planned. They instinctive so much so that even in the mother’s womb, a baby already has emotions.
How does attain emotional competence?
He gave a few steps to take in attaining emotional competence:
One, describe your emotion like for example saying, “I feel sad”, or “I feel angry.”
Secondly, manage the emotion through self-control, adaptability, innovativeness, conscientiousness, and trustworthiness.
Three, motivating the management of the emotion. That is, having reasons, good reasons, to control our emotions.
Four, being concerned about others and their emotions, which will only be effective if we have worked on our emotional maturity.
And lastly, managing relationships that come from emotional outbursts.
“Maturity is facing the situation, ‘this is happening to me’ “, Job would say.
Emotional challenges and possible solutions
Dr. Watene described the perils that come with emotional immaturity: withdrawal from society, anxiety, and depression, attention and thinking problems, and difficulty in achieving ordinary things. Before helping others to be emotionally mature we have to work on ourselves first. We just can’t give what we don’t have.
Dr. Watene, responding to a question, remarked that teenage and early adulthood years are very tough years. Incidentally, he added that today the same age bracket is even more difficult than it was back then in his teenage years. Justifying his supposition is that: today, life is very much complicated. There are just too many things to worry about.
He further gave pieces of advice addressing depression victims. He advised that highly demotivated and depressed people should be made to discover their self-worth. He also mentioned that for victims, the conviction that “I have a genuine friend”, who values them, often gives them a purpose in life. “They should start recognizing their self-value”.
By Tony Mogoa.