The One Question That Reveals How You Really Process Your Emotions

Are you allowing yourself to feel your emotions?

pensive woman thinking Max kegfire / Shutterstock

In recent times, the term "emotional intelligence" has been tossed around frequently. The world is becoming more aware of the importance of processing one’s emotions in a healthy way.

Emotional intelligence is described as the capacity to be aware of, control, and express your emotions. It allows you to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

But how do you know if you are processing your emotions in a way that leads to successful outcomes in your life?


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A personal development coach on TikTok named Amy Millie explains that there's a quick test you can take that determines how you process emotions.

Your answer to this question reveals your instinctual response.



The test to determine how you really process your emotions is quite simple, consisting of just one question. The answer should be the very first thing that comes to mind.


Ask yourself how you would feel if a truck were speeding in your direction, and you just happened to be standing in the middle of the road. Answer quickly and see what your response means.

1. If your response was to feel terrified

If your instinctual and honest response was that you would be terrified with a truck barreling down on you, you are on the right track. You analyzed and expressed the emotions you would hope to feel.

2. If your response was to jump out of the way

If, on the other hand, your answer was to run out of the way of danger, you have failed to answer the question. Instead of telling yourself how you would feel, you are thinking about what actions you would take.

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What Your Answer Means

If you were in the group of people that would be scared, you are in touch with your emotions. You know how to evaluate yourself and interpret your feelings so they are understood.

Feeling fearful does not mean that you won’t act. It just means that you are self-aware and allow yourself to work through your emotions about situations before taking decisive action.

If you fell into the latter group of folks whose first instinct is to fix the problem or avoid the risk, you may tend to intellectualize your emotions. This means that you rely on logic or reason as a method of avoiding any emotions that make you uncomfortable or anxious.

Intellectualization of your emotions can be helpful when you need to explain or understand how an event happened, but to be most effective you need to be able to first feel your emotions.


If you have discovered that you skip over processing your emotions in favor of logical resolution, maybe it’s time you learned how to process them.

Start by taking notice of how you feel in the moment. Consider what you are thinking, feeling, and the physical effects on your body.

Next, you get a small opportunity to dissect the situation, so your intellectualization skills do come in handy. View it from different perspectives and contexts, and understand the potential risks and benefits.


Finally, give yourself permission to grieve and feel. Your emotions are relevant and critical to dealing with things that are bound to happen in your life. Save enough grace for yourself.

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NyRee Ausler is a writer from Seattle, Washington, and author of seven books. She covers lifestyle and entertainment and news, as well as navigating the workplace and social issues.