Dealing with “Emotional Complexity”

Does Your Boss or Significant Other Have “Emotionally


Interview Colleen Cira:

Dr. Colleen Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Trauma, so she has worked with hundreds of people struggling in their relationships.

If your boss or significant other is dealing with this, you need to learn about it so you can be best equipped with dealing/working with them.

  • Emotionally complexity can mean a lot of things, but generally, I think it can be understood as someone who is difficult to predict how they will feel, think, behave or react.  Your partner may be emotionally complex if:
  • They experience frequent mood changes. If you feel like you never know what kind of mood your partner will be in, this speaks to emotional complexity.  Your partner may be easily triggered by things that happen in their day-to-day life, which means what starts out as a perfectly good day can change quickly.
  • Feel things deeply. Someone who is emotionally complex is likely also very sensitive.  About 15-20% of the population meets the criteria for being a Highly Sensitive Person (  When people are highly sensitive, not only do they experience a wider range of emotions than folks who are NOT highly sensitive, they also experience their emotions more fully.
  • Are very empathy toward others. If your partner can easily take someone else’s perspective or really feels what someone else is experiencing, chances are your partner is highly empathic.  And folks who are highly empathic, again about 20% of the population ( can often quickly and frequently change mood states because they can very easily feel the energy of people around them.
  • Have a trauma history. Does your partner have a trauma history?  Were they abused or neglected as a child/teen?  Did they have a parent or caregiver who was really incapacitated in some way, due to substance abuse, a mental illness or a major medical issue?  If so, then this is likely a sign that your partner may be emotionally complex.
  • People who have experienced subpar parenting or any very stressful event during childhood often go on to become adults who are emotionally complex, for a variety of reasons.

Available for Interviews: Dr. Colleen Cira

Dr. Colleen D. Cira, Psy.D. received both her Masters and Doctorate from the Illinois School of Professional Psychology and has been practicing in the field since 2001. Dr. Cira is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and the Founder and Executive Director of Cira Center for Behavioral Health, PC a boutique group practice with locations in Chicago and Oak Park that specializes in Women’s Issues/Health and Trauma. Dr. Cira is a trauma and anxiety expert, clinical supervisor, writer, speaker, consultant, activist, wife, and Mommy to two little ones.


Jo Allison
Success In Media

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