Confusion and anger, calmness and trust –the emotional profile of our network during the covid-19 crisis


In these moments of uncertainty, we often act on an autopilot. Our emotions, our guts, are kicking in when the rational mind is occupied with other thoughts. This is due to the structure of our brains. Emotions live in our limbic system, and this system is constructed to act fast and automatically, sending reactions to the pre-frontal cortex, which is the home of so called highly functions - logical thinking, creativity and language abilities. The problem is that in crisis the limbic system is acting strong and fast. Our control mechanism, the slower system, cannot cope fast enough to control this information. That's why in the crisis situation, the emotions play extremely important role, and we should definitely understand them better.

The case is similar in our usual, everyday life, emotions do affect are behavior more than anything, but now, our mind does not even have the time and capacity to rationalize our doings.

However, even when the situation is what it is, it is important to understand why are we feeling the way we are. And this is important not only for our own psychological wellbeing, but to understand the experience, whether it is an employee, customer or a citizen experience, in this case.

And even in crazy times - it is not all bad! This is what we found out in our survey that we conducted within our network. We asked how do you feel during this covid-19 situation - and you answered.

If we start with the obvious, the emotional profile is quite negative.

73% of you chose a negative emotion to represent the overall feeling about the situation. The most common emotion was confusions. 23% chose that specific emotion and altogether 42% chose the emotion within the same emotional group, such as scared and stressed.

Second large group of chosen emotions was calmness, with 19% of answers.

The overall emotional profile of the survey.

The reasons behind confusion and anger was largely uncertainty, fear of the wellbeing and health of the loved ones, the amount of panic and fear for the economic consequences. But what makes us feel calmness and tranquility? Despite of all social distancing, it is the surrounding of the loved ones. Being home, having faith in the future and trusting the actions of authorities.

It was surprising for us, that employees (60% of all respondents) had a slightly more negative emotional profile, comparing to entrepreneurs (28% of all respondents) or others (retirees, students, doctors etc. 12% of all the respondents). Employees felt 76% of negative emotions, while the percentage was 69 with entrepreneurs and 63 within the others. 

Emotional profiles of different groups

The reasons within these groups are similar, entrepreneurs worry a bit more about their income and the economic situations, but all in all the reasons are the same.

One of the reasons behind the anger emotions was the amount and the conflict information that is out there. On the other hand, the unawareness makes us feel anxious and uncertain, even scared, but on the other, too much information and untrustworthy one, makes us angry. On the other hand, trusting the authorities creates peacefulness. Nobody has the crystal ball to see the future and tell us where will this all lead us to, but being open about it helps already.

This is somewhat different than our typical Employee or Customer Experience survey case, where we can easily suggest what and how we should improve to make the experience better. But if something, the results outlines that, we need to be open and connected with each other, even if we cannot interact the way we are used to. Feeling connected and being a part of something is important, maybe even more important in the middle of social distancing than ever. It is the people that matters. Our loved ones are the ones that are making us feel better. And this is something that give us hope, that everything will, eventually, be alright.

Let's stay open and connected - no matter on what side of the planet we are. Take care <3