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6 Dimensions of Your Emotional Style

Every individual has a unique emotional style that affects how they react to their reality. Each individual’s emotional style consists of six dimensions. Each dimension manifests in varying intensity, from one extreme of the spectrum to the other. The six dimensions are:

  1. Resilience

  2. Outlook

  3. Social Intuition

  4. Self-awareness

  5. Sensitivity to Context

  6. Attention.

Let’s talk about what each dimension means.


Resilience is your ability to bounce back from adversity. Essentially this is your ability to recover from hardship, painful learning experiences, and/or adverse situations, any situation that sets you back. This individual’s ability varies from person to person and it also varies based on the event’s severity. For instance, adverse situations like getting a speeding ticket are not the same strengths as adverse situations like the death of a loved one. The time needed to recover from adversity defines where an individual lies on the resiliency spectrum. Those who recover faster are near the resilient end of the spectrum. Those who take longer to recover may be agitated all day without realizing they are still disturbed by an argument they had a day ago.


Your outlook on one end of the spectrum is positive and on the other end of the spectrum is negative. Someone with a positive outlook is usually outgoing, optimistic, genuinely happy, clear, and maintains a grateful attitude no matter what life throws at them. They keep a positive outlook and fall on the positive outlook side of the continuum. On the other side, those who cannot maintain a sense of happiness and positive outlook for long tend to fall closer to the negative outlook side of the continuum.

Social Intuition

Social intuition is your ability to read other's nonverbal cues and body language. Someone who is socially intuitive is able to read the nonverbals of others during an encounter and able to determine whether they want to engage or not. Someone who is not socially intuitive is oblivious to other's nonverbals. For example, you just finished your lunch and are in a hurry to get back to work. You run into a friend at the cafeteria as you are walking out; they see you are in a hurry. Someone who is not socially intuitive would start talking to you and telling you a long detailed story remaining oblivious to the fact that you are in a hurry and on your way out the door. Someone who is socially intuitive would be able to identify you are in a hurry and know it is not the right time to tell you a long detailed story. Instead, they may ask you when you have time to talk.


Self-awareness is your level of awareness of your own feelings. Highly aware individuals are able to connect their frustrations at home with the frustrations of other parts of their life like work, traffic, kids, family, etc. Those who are self opaque may need days to recognize they are frustrated and have been acting out as a result of their frustrations. Those who fall toward the high end of the self-awareness dimension may experience high burnout because they are naturally empathetic they are inclined to place themselves in other's shoes and feel their pain.

Sensitivity to Context

Sensitivity to context is your ability to understand and initiate appropriate behavior in different situations. Someone who is highly sensitive to context is able to carry an effective conversation when frustrated at someone in a work setting. On the other end, someone who has low context-sensitivity may start screaming at someone while they are at work.


Attention is your ability to stay focused even when life is a mess. Someone who is attentive is not easily distracted and can stay focused on whatever they are doing. Someone who is not attentive is easily distracted and find it hard to stay focused.

Emotions are merely neurochemical reactions from a stimulus. When you assign this neurochemical reaction a meaning based on your emotional experience it becomes a feeling. As you see there is a connection between your body and your mind. Feelings are your mind’s interpretation of your body’s state based on your emotional experience.

Understanding where you lie on the 6 emotional dimensions is important during your path to growth. It provides you guidance on what skills you need to practice to reshape your emotional style and establish virtuosity.

This information is from the book The Emotional Life of Your Brain by Richard J. Davidson and Sharon Begley


About Sam Nabil

Sam Nabil is the founder of Naya Clinics and is a Boston therapist and a Boston Marriage Counselor.

Sam offers therapy in Boston and Boston Marriage Counseling for adults suffering from relationship challenges, life transitions and anxiety. Sam Nabil was featured in many prestigious publications. Check out his interview with Aljazeera English, The Washington post, The Boston Globe, Fatherly magazine, Women's health magazine, Cornell university, Yahoo News, USA Today,

Naya Clinics is a top-rated Marriage Counseling, therapy and Life coaching practice.

Naya Clinics offers Marriage Counselors near me, individual therapy near me, and life coaching near me in various locations across the USA and the world. Naya Clinics also offers Online marriage counseling, online therapy, and online life coaching.

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