Emotional Germs

Additional Information for Chapter 4, page 47

The term “emotional germs” is a phrase that is used in The Compatibility Code to indicate present issues emerging from past traumatic situations that we have experienced.  An equivalent term is “baggage”.  When someone says “I don’t want to marry their baggage,” this would be the same as saying “I don’t want to marry anyone with emotional germs.”

Emotional germs are the produce of past traumatic life events.  However, just because anyone has experienced past trauma this does not necessarily mean that they have emotional germs. Many (hopefully most) people are able to recover from traumatic events without residual negative effects and without scarring.  In fact, looking at the opposite side of the coin, Business people thrive on past mistakes.  The progressive model in business suggests that if you make a mistake or experience failure, the response should always be the same: Get up, dust yourself off, carefully examine what you can learn from the mistake, then go out and do it better next time.  With this model, a businessman does not experience set backs, he or she experiences learning opportunities.  Past mistakes are often considered a critical part of growing and are viewed as something positive when considered in the context of present reality.

This model fits a text in the Bible to a tee: In Romans, Paul says, “And we know that God causes all things  to work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.”  Strip the verse of its spiritual context and you have the business model: All things are NOT good, but all things can work together to greater success in the future when viewed correctly and acted upon.

We have just explored a perspective in which traumatic situations do NOT produce emotional germs.

There are many settings, however, in which emotional germs, or baggage, is the result of past trauma.

If you want a single sentence description of why emotional germs, note the following:

Emotional germs are the result of past trauma not adequately processed.

There are two subsets of this situation that identify why the situation has not been “processed.”

1) Not enough time has passed. If you experience a broken romantic relationship, a divorce, the death of a loved one—or any other major loss for that matter—there is a certain “grieving period” that must be traversed before recovery is possible.  How long depends on the person and the situation.  Correctly processed, the grieving period will run its natural course and normal life will emerge without residual trauma.  If it is NOT processed correctly, then the sense of loss or trauma may continue for a very long time, indeed, sometimes for the remainder of one’s life.  This leads us to the second  reason:

2) The trauma has not been processed correctly or adequately and thus vestiges of the trauma remain to poison future activities or relationships.

In either situation, emotional germs exist.  In the first case, a therapist would suggest that you get beyond the trauma before you begin dating.  For situation number 2, they would suggest that you process these issues before you get into a relationship.

Chapter 4 of The Compatibility Code Provides descriptions of several different types of emotional germs, and in several instances explains how to deal with them

How to process anger or traumatic situations is described in some detail on pages 49 and 50 of the book. Further, many of the Chapter 4 icons go into greater detail than the book.  Whatever problem you address, it is likely that you will find information in the book or on this web site about how to deal with it. If not, you are free to e-mail us your concern in the “Ask the Expert” portion of our website.  Either Elizabeth or I will answer as soon as possible.

Following are links to each component of emotional germs.

Explore our speaking, training and coaching solutions, or browse our store for relationship, love and marriage compatibility resources.

Additional Resources

About the Authors

Backed by in-depth research, relationship compatibility experts Eliabeth George and Darren George have cracked the code to building forever love, relationship and marriage compatibility.

Pastors' Resources

We understand the pressures your marriage must endure and we’re your go-to resource for your own marriage counseling, congregation retreats, conferences, small group sessions and singles ministries.

Elizabeth's Blog

Browse Elizabeth's blog for the latest research, articles, tips, advice and stories of relationship, love and marriage compatibility.

Ask the Expert

Get free online relationship, love and marriage advice from relationship compatibility expert Elizabeth E. George and Compatibility Solutions Inc.