We’re all human, and so we all have feelings, but we tend not to be very good at understanding them. Very few of us know where they come from, or what to do when they arrive. Let’s model our feelings like an API and see if it tells us anything. Hint: it does.
Imagine you have a public API endpoint which, when called, makes you feel angry. Imagine also that there are thousands of aliases that redirect there. People and situations call any one of those endpoints at any time. It’s up to us to decide what response to send.
Why would we want to delve into this messy and uncomfortable world? Because doing so makes us better developers. Even small increases in emotional mastery can have huge impacts on our careers and productivity:
- Difficult family situations
- Problematic team mates
- Impostor syndrome
- Hiring, firing and job interviews
The emotions and stresses associated with these situations and others actually destroy our ability to do our jobs. In addition to distracting us and making it harder to maintain our confidence, they actually effect cognition negatively. We literally cannot think as well.
With a better grasp of your emotions, and tools to appropriately process them, we can think better, handle stress better and communicate our ideas better. And it’s not just in the context of work: if we know our own feelings, we can understand the feelings of others. By doing that, we make our relationships, our families and our communities better.