This evening my friend and I attended an emotional intelligence seminar hosted at the university. First, in case some are not familiar with the idea of emotional intelligence, I will explain the basic concept. Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ – emotional quotient) is essentially recognizing your own emotions as well as others . The ability to differentiate between them an act accordingly. While this may sound like a very basic concept, it’s surprising to learn how many people are not emotionally intelligent or even conscious of trying to be so. A lot of our every day conflicts with others is simply based on the fact that we are not acting emotionally intelligent. It became apparent to me very quickly in my therapy sessions that I was confusing emotions very often in relationships, whether it was friendships, work environments or intimate relationships. EI or EQ is becoming aware of yourself, self realization. When experiencing a conflict, I was taught how to – instead of reacting to situations – to respond to them. I was shown how to identify emotions properly, and in turn approach conflict properly. Instead of becoming defensive, apprehensive or aggressive in a situation, I began to explain to myself what I was actually feeling and where it was stemming from. Again, in turn, I was able to explain these feelings and ideas to the people involved, thus finding a resolution efficiently and calmly. No more of this “arguments going no where” feeling. I can tell you right now, that a lot of it came directly from fear. Fear turned into anger. It wasn’t long before I realized that my angry persona was just fear protecting itself. The emotional intelligence seminar this evening reiterated the fact that I realized just last week, that I need to become more conscious of my emotions again and practice what I learned during my therapy sessions once more.
To move onto the act of becoming more emotionally intelligent, these are some things I took away from the seminar:
- Become socially aware. Be involved in events or things in your environment and community. Think of how it makes you feel.
- Manage your stress by acknowledging that it exists. No one is perfect and stress will get the better of us all at times, but try to actively be aware of triggers and ways to cope with stressful situations.
- If you are someone who needs new connections, go out there and make them.
- If you are someone who needs alone time, make time for you.
- Have courage. Courage can be big or small, some days are more courageous than others.
- Do the right thing. Most times, you’ll feel it in your gut.
- Move forward. Don’t stay stagnant, or your situations will too.
- Care about something bigger than yourself.
- Look at the big picture. Sometimes we tend to focus in on small points of the picture and can get somewhat lost, take a step back and find what is ultimately important to you.
- Be aware of how you come across to others, be approachable but don’t be a door mat.
- Listen to hear – not to reply.
- Find your best qualities and strengths.
- Be authentically you.
- Grow by experiencing new things.
- Love yourself, but stay humble. No one respects arrogance.
- Don’t be defensive. If you’ve encountered a difficult situation with someone or something, identify the situation, address the problem without simply pointing fingers, find out what your common goal is and work towards that common goal.
- Lastly, give yourself permission to not take it all on at once.
The concept of emotional intelligence is to use this every day to communicate with the world around you. Communication is so vital, but so many of us are doing it wrong. We may not know this, and it is not always malicious, but it’s true. So if you are struggling with emotions, mental illness or relationships of any kind, please take into consideration exploring your own emotional intelligence. It may just open more doors and make your life a lot easier.
Talk tomorrow, friends.
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