Emily Marsh April 19 2023

How to embrace your Emotionality

In light of Stress Awareness Month, Emily Marsh explores why high Emotionality scores have such an impact on Facet5 profiles...

It might be because I’m a Virgo. It might be because I’m a big sister. It might very well be because I like to fill my free time with grisly true crime stories. Whatever the reason, I am a natural-born worrier. So when I received my Facet5 feedback and saw my Emotionality score of 10, it wasn’t a surprise at all. How could something that forms such an integral part of the way I look at the world not filter across into the way I present myself at work?

As part of Stress Awareness Month, I wanted to take a deeper look at why High Emotionality scores have such an impact on Facet5 profiles, not only how you can manage this but also make the most of it. Whilst it might not always feel like it, high Emotionality can be a real superpower when you know how to utilise it. Heightened awareness and reactiveness can also mean a brain that is constantly coming up with new ideas, and an approach that’s seen as passionate and emotionally invested, as opposed to being happy to go with the flow.

Also referred to as ‘Stress Tolerance,’ Emotionality can be broken down into two slightly more specific sub-factors:

Tension – The general level of stress or tension an individual has on an everyday basis.

Apprehension – The degree to which you are cautious or not overly optimistic.

(Proud to report that I’m a 10 on both sub-factors too. Go hard or go home, right?)

The way that High Emotionality plays out will look very different based on the rest of your profile scores – it tends to amplify both the strengths and risks associated with the other factors. Here’s a breakdown of what others around you might experience, based on the following factor combinations:


For those with high Affection, high Emotionality will heighten the tendency to be vulnerable to criticism. For those with low Affection, it might mean you seem more defensive and protective of your position within a team or organisation.


High Emotionality and high Control can display as being quite obsessive about sticking to plans or guidelines, whereas in combination with low Control, high Emotionality could emphasise your spontaneous nature.


Individuals with high Energy might find their distractable nature heightened if they also have high Emotionality, with a tendency to want to surround themselves with others. A combination of high Emotionality and low Energy might mean your desire to process things internally and work independently is exaggerated.


High Will can lead people to be very rigid in their beliefs, and this is something that can be reinforced when combined with high Emotionality. Low Will and High Emotionality can lead a person to overlook their own thoughts and opinions so as to avoid being judged by others.

Now, it’s not always so straightforward in real life. But by being aware of your high Emotionality, you can more effectively self-regulate any behaviour that might be causing your stress levels to rise.

Do I really need to manage every single aspect of this project myself, or is it my high Control and high Emotionality coming together to make me afraid of letting go, for fear of dropping the ball somewhere?

Would I benefit from working in a group and having people to bounce ideas off, rather than shutting myself away and internalising all my worries, as my high Emotionality and low Energy want me to?

Recognising these traits and making behavioural choices to counteract them is important, but so too are the stress-reducing tactics that can help you to break away from the descent into anxiety. These will be highly personal but might help you to take a step back and gain a moment’s clarity so you can make more clear-headed choices. For some, it might be a run or a 20-minute yoga flow. It might be a cuddle with your dog, or meditation. For me, it’s music – I like to listen to it as loud as my ears will let me for a few minutes, just to get me out of my overthinking head. (Bear in mind my Emotionality score – this happens a lot. And I work from home…my neighbours must love me!)

Finally, embrace all the positives that come with a high Emotionality score. Our brains are constantly whirring, so jot down all those great ideas that arrive throughout the day – some of them will be gold dust. Trust that the work you deliver will be amazing because you’ve thought about every little detail and are passionate about doing a great job. Know that the extra sensitivity you have to the feelings of others could mean you can pick up on someone who is struggling and reach out to them before others have even noticed. Your drive for self-improvement means you’re a great learner and always working to better yourself, but just remember not to push yourself too hard, and to celebrate the skills that come naturally.

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