I define Emotional energy as the effect that people meet when interacting with another person. Often, as a result of this interaction, both people leave the interaction, one feeling energised (the sink) and the other drained or exhausted (the source). In my simplistic way, I liken this situation to the world of sinks and sources. Sinks absorb energy, using it to build our personal value and esteem. We draw on the energy coming from others who, at that particular point in time, act as sources, giving off the energy needed by us, the sinks.

We all know people who leave us bubbling like a glass of sparkling wine when we interact with them. I can think of many of my friends who regularly boost my energy and self-esteem, particularly when I need it. Further, we all know people who leave us exhausted when we end interaction with them.

To reassure you, everybody seems to have times when they act as both sinks and sources, although seldom simultaneously. All of us go through periods where we are either one or the other form of person – those who need, and those who give, energy.

Why do I refer to this as energy? Well, because that is exactly what it is. It does not follow the physical rules applicable to energy but for both giver and receiver, it causes a change in the levels of energy (enthusiasm) exhibited by these people just as much as a recharge does to a battery.

Why is this phenomenon important? “Needing it” is a simple human requirement. We are complex organisms and the more complex we are the more we need to be reminded that we are an important part of our society and our place is needed to make the lives of others complete.  This applies at all levels of our relationships from friends to lovers and from children to oldies. Without knowing that we are valued and needed we lose all sense of self-worth and esteem.

We “get it” from others and, more importantly, we give it to others, thereby reinforcing their self-esteem and image. Because we do it they know we value them and their influence on society.


 


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What has it to do with retirement? Well, as we enter retirement – after the large, joyous retirement function at which we are told we, no longer, are of sufficient value to remain employed- we are most likely in need of a large dose of energy to reinforce our own self-image and to bolster ourselves from the danger of depression. The most effective cure is to reinforce the understanding of our strengths and limitations. This is best administered by those who assure us of our continued worth and value in their lives. The more people who act in this manner, the less is the likelihood we will succumb to depression.

Remembering that we act as both sink and source, it is important that we strive to share our energy with others. By doing this, we will receive the satisfaction of knowing we are truly helping others and are making their lives easier and more fulfilled.