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How Emotions Affect Performance and Communication (2022)

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

And What Effects this can have on Your Life

Do you want support to develop emotional intelligence?

I want to support you.

Book a Free No Obligation Mindset Meeting here Home | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach if:

You are open to coaching

You want support to develop self-control skills

You want to improve personal and/or professional relationships


In the following article, I will discuss how emotion affects performance and communication. The regularity at which we perform and communicate can mean that we will form habits that could hinder us personally and professionally. Here I discuss these effects to promote self-awareness.

I myself am committed to my own personal development and want to support you with yours. With a BSc Honours Psychology Degree and six + years’ experience coaching in the UK Justice Sector, I have learned much about human behaviour, self-control, and consequential thinking.


When do you perform at your optimum?

When you wake up?

Before you slip into slumber?

There is a level of peak performance. It is within us all. It is where we perform at our optimum. It may vary between individuals, but for many, this is the in-between.

Generally, we can perform poorly when we are tired, or when our emotions are too intense. Be it through anger, upset, embarrassment, fear, jealousy, excitement, or any emotion. This includes both popularly perceived negative and positive emotions. Whichever way we interpret our emotional reactions is subjective.

However, we do have a choice. It is our choice. Would you react instantaneously to an intense emotion? Or would you respond in a calmer state after considering the situation that prompted the intense emotion?

There are numerous ways in which we can increase or decrease our emotional intensity. Everyone will have different methods that work for them. These methods provide us with the opportunity to adjust our emotive state before reacting. In my experience when we interact in a highly emotive state, we can make decisions, comments, or react in ways we later regret. Regret as mentioned in my previous article The Benefits of Developing Self-Control Skills ( can have significant consequences.

Emotional Management

For the purposes of this article, I will mention the top three methods that I have found the majority of people generally benefit from for managing their emotions.

The first is music. This works on both levels. Elevating music can optimise your performance. I, for instance, enjoy listening to motivational music in the mornings before I start work. Whilst more mellow sounds can serve to decrease your emotional intensity. Whatever type of music will be dependant upon the person. However, generally high-tempo music will motivate, and lower-tempo relaxes emotions.

The second method is exercise. Exercise can be an amazing way to boost energy levels. I tend to perform more optimally when I have exercised first thing in the morning. I find it sets me up for the day. Exercise can also burn off excess negative energy such as stress, anxiety, or low mood. It also supports building resilience to future problematic emotive states.

The third is our own thoughts. Our internal monologue plays a significant role in our level of emotional intensity. We can use our thoughts to challenge any negative thought patterns we may get caught up in. Likewise, we can challenge excitable thoughts that may cause us to do something we may regret later.

The trick is catching the thought patterns that may be problematic for us. It is a skill and the same as with all skills, the more we practice, the easier it becomes. If anyone wants support with challenging their internal dialogue, please don’t hesitate to book a Free No Obligation Mindset Meeting here Home | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach.

The most effective methods of managing your emotions will be personal to you. I believe it is important for us to discover as many methods that work for us as possible. This way we will have tools at our disposal should the need arise. It can vary from moment to moment what is appropriate to use, and what will be effective in that moment. Therefore, if we have a range to select from, we will have more control over ourselves and our reactions. To read more on the benefits of self-control please read The Benefits of Developing Self-Control Skills (

I have discussed how emotions affect our ability to perform, and this is to perform in practically everything we do. I will now discuss how emotions can affect our ability to communicate.


I used to be a people pleaser. I would say yes to everyone and everything for what I thought would be a quieter life. This is known as passive communication. For the purposes of this article, I will discuss four different types of communication styles. These are known as passive, passive-aggressive, aggressive, and assertive. I could also at times slip into being passive-aggressive, mostly through body language such as eye-rolling and silent treatment. However, I was then trained in the art of assertive behaviour which is the more preferable of the four different styles.

We will all fall into one of the four categories predominantly. However, our emotions can affect our ability to communicate effectively. It is also important to remember that how we believe we are communicating is not necessarily how we are perceived by the other person as interacting. And everyone is different. What is acceptable for one person, may not be acceptable for someone else.

A passive communication style is often characterised by submitting to the other person.

The problem with this is it can lead to a build-up of resentment. Resentment can then manifest in a variety of ways. The most likely is an accumulation of negative emotions which will need to be expressed at some point. Be it internally or externally.

If resentment is expressed externally it could result in an aggressive outburst, and not necessarily at the source of the resentment. It could be a small conflict of opinion with someone close to you. If resentment is expressed internally, you could suffer from stress and shame, neither of which will result in any positive emotions or behaviours see The Benefits of Developing Self-Control Skills ( for more information. It is also possible others may notice this pattern of behaviour and take advantage of it. Again, this can lead to more resentment.

A passive-aggressive style is generally characterised by sarcasm. Be it through verbal or non-verbal communication. Body language such as eye rolling, tense facial expressions, and slamming doors are examples of passive-aggressive communication.

Passive aggression is aimed at the other person(s) in the interaction. So, it could be anything that you would know or think you know makes them feel uncomfortable. What would that do to your and the other person’s emotions? It will likely again bring about regret, shame, and remorse for the communicator see The Benefits of Developing Self-Control Skills ( for more detail on this. For the recipient, it will not do the relationship any favours and it may have the effect of making the other person uncomfortable at the least.

An aggressive communication style is often used to intimidate other people to get what you want. It does not have to involve physical violence but can in some instances.

Intimidation can be verbal or non-verbal. Body language such as invading someone’s personal space, staring, and exaggerated limb movements might indicate aggressive communication. The tone of voice will likely be raised, and words used to wound. Again, this style will often lead the communicator to feel regret, shame, and remorse. For the recipient, it could potentially traumatise them.

Assertive communication is characterised by confidence, consideration, and responding rather than reacting. When we react, we are letting our emotions control our behaviours. When we respond, we are taking back control of our emotions.

An assertive communicator will be interested in what is appropriate for all parties involved. It may involve skills such as perspective-taking, self-control skills, and negotiation. Negotiation means that cooperation is key. It is the most effective way to prevent elevated negative emotions on both sides.

Whilst I have mentioned that we will all fall predominantly into one of these categories, our circumstances, and the situation itself can affect how we communicate. If our emotions are elevated, we can slip into aggressive or passive-aggressive behaviours. In these instances, it will likely provoke an even more intense emotion of shame for our actions, see The Benefits of Developing Self-Control Skills ( An unintentional reaction or reaction that is out of the norm for us will likely elevate that feeling of shame.

It might not be verbal communication either, it might be an email or text message. The majority of communication is body language. Without that, misinterpretations are increasingly likely. How often have you sent an electronic message in an emotive state, only to wish later that you had waited?

Managing our emotions affects all components of our life. Communication is a key example. It could be communicating with friends, family, colleagues, or anyone we interact with, such as professionals. My recommendation would be to monitor your emotional cues, take a step back, and at least one deep breath before communicating. Many times, it may even be wise to wait on the interaction until you have de-escalated your emotions.

Please feel free to comment below with your thoughts on how emotion, performance, and communication are linked.

Do you want support developing your communication skills?

I want to support you.

Book a Free No Obligation Mindset Meeting here Home | Chloe Mepham BSc Certified Life Coach if:

You are open to coaching

You want support to develop self-control skills

You want to improve personal and professional relationships

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