Emotional intelligence is an integral part of mind balance in action. A mind in balance is a mind that can flow with what is in each moment in a mindful and effective ways. This involves emotional regulation skills that are crucial for emotional self-control. Even more so, in tandem with those skills, for those actively engaged in on-going personal growth and development your conscious awareness of, and focus on, your emotional intelligence is vital to every aspect of your relational success in life.
Emotional intelligence includes the spheres of self-control, self-confidence, accurate self-assessment, emotional self-awareness, accurate sense of your own individual influence in any given interaction/situation, as well as empathy, self-assertion skills, identified boundaries and the ability to articulate them confidently but without explaining yourself or becoming engaged in anyone else’s conflict or drama if they are unable to handle stated boundaries effectively.
You’ve likely heard the term “emotional intelligence,” which was first used in 1990. Emotional intelligence is best described as the ability to perceive, evaluate, and manage emotions in others and ourselves. It is considered by many professionals to be a better indicator for success than someone’s Intelligence Quotient (IQ). Your ability to manage yourself and others is dependent on your emotional intelligence. It is dependent upon your ability to intelligently cope effectively with anything and everything that may push your emotional buttons. The more you master your emotional intelligence, the less you will react to your emotions or react to the emotions others may project on to you or try to elicit from you consciously or subconsciously.
Please consider these 7 techniques to develop and increase your emotional intelligence:
Accept responsibility for your emotions and actions. Be mindful and aware that outside influences do not determine (or cause) your emotions or your behaviour. Using your emotional intelligence and remembering to be congruent with your values, morals, code of conduct and who you are and how you want others to know and see you will keep you focused on your own perspective (mind balance) and give you time to effectively choose how you will respond. You may also choose to communicate that you need a few minutes to think over what you’ve just heard. Or you may choose to not respond at all depending upon the interaction, dynamic, or situation.
- Work on your listening skills. Be patient, actively listen to the other person. Stay calm, Breath deeply. Hear the other person out without any reaction, change in body posture or mood confident that you will be able to effectively respond or not as the situation calls for in due time. It is often not easy to hide your emotions. However, it is important to still pay attention to the person communicating to you whether they are emotionally driven at the time or not. The more you listen, the more information you will gather. The more information you have the better you can form your response. Using your emotional intelligence to be effective in this type of situation means going with the flow and not allowing yourself to be emotionally aroused. Do not worry about what your response will be. Keep your focus on what the other person is saying until such time they have finished and you can then form your response. Go with the flow calmly. Others’ emotions do not have to emotionally effect you in terms of using your emotional intelligence and self-control.
- Develop self-awareness. Each individual is constantly aware of his or her finances or weight or any number of things. Why is it so few individuals monitor their thoughts, emotions, and behaviour? Check-in with yourself throughout each day. Know what you are feeling. Know where you are coming from. What are you feeling? Are you dealing with whatever you are feeling about other aspects or areas of your life at any given moment so that those feelings don’t leak into a here-now-moment where it won’t be helpful to you for those emotions to enter many a situation with others. Be aware of how you are feeling and ask yourself if the way you are feeling could in anyway be negatively affecting your choices? Are you choosing your behaviors in an intelligent manner or allowing others to push your buttons?
- Learn to effectively deal with your impulses. Impulsiveness is a common cause of personal turmoil. You will not be nearly as effective in responding to someone if you impulsively emotionally do so. This impulsive emotional reactivity to others leaves each person who reacts feeling badly about his or herself. We individuals feel bad, they may, for example, order a pizza even after already having had dinner. Or you may grab a credit card and purchase something unnecessary. This type of behavior moves you further away from your objectives. It is more emotional behaviour and reactivity which his less effective than using your emotional intelligence instead – being self-aware and exercising self-control. It is so important to be self-aware enough to notice when you’re behaving in a counterproductive manner and strive to make a more mindful, skilled, practiced and effective choice. Being successful and happy can be challenging enough on its own. Avoid sabotaging yourself.
Volunteer with those less fortunate. Spending time with those in more need will increase your sensitivity for others. It will give you a more mind-balanced perspective on what you, yourself, have every opportunity to choose. After witnessing very obvious emotions, you’ll become more skilled at picking up on more subtle cues. You’re also likely to develop greater mindfulness and over-all effective skills when you recognize the sensitivity that many other people may be communicating to you from. Remember, the emotions of others do not need to change how you feel or your self-confident, aware, self-control.
Keep the focus on responding. Those with lower levels of emotional intelligence react, rather than respond. Responding requires thought and consideration. When you respond, you’re making a decision. Reacting is more like a reflex. There’s no thought involved when one reflexively just reacts from an emotional place inside. Emotional responses do not allow you to be the real authentic you and adhere to your values. Have you ever regretted saying or doing something without thinking it through? How would you have handled the situation differently? What can you do to give yourself the mental space to respond more effectively in the future? Avoid lashing out when someone hurts your feelings. Your reaction can make the situation better or worse. And, more importantly, the better you handle situations and interactions the better you will feel about yourself. If you react from your emotions or too quickly you may end up feeling less than okay with yourself. It can negatively impact your self-esteem and self-confidence. Remember, practicing your emotional intelligence skills will mean more mind-balance and more effective relating and feeling much better about yourself
Work at increasing your empathy. Individuals with high levels of emotional intelligence are skilled at recognizing and relating to the emotions of others. By being more empathic, even if you have to put aside your own emotions for a time will give you the capacity to show the other person empathy even they are not being appropriate or in anyway aware of their effect upon you. Do not let them know they are having any emotional effect on you. Recognizing that someone is upset will allow you to have a more effective response with empathy. Ask yourself how you would like to be treated if you were feeling the same emotions. You will often be challenged by many to engage their emotions from your own, but if you choose self-awareness, mindfulness, self-control, and to not react from your emotions exercising your emotional intelligence you will be more effective and aligned with the fact that you are only responsible for your own emotions (unless dealing with a child) so that you don’t have to take on or react to other people’s emotions. Many people will try to engage us in ways that are less than emotionally honest, manipulating ways, wanting to gain control of you because they feel out of control, just to name a couple of examples and reasons why it is so important to maintain your mind-balance by exercising emotional intelligence and not emotional reactivity.
You probably know someone highly skilled at managing their emotions. Their emphasis is on finding solutions. They refrain from getting angry or defensive. These individuals make intelligent decisions and can view themselves objectively.
Emotional intelligence is an important component of healthy relationships, both at home and work and in all other areas of your life as well. Your life will be more successful if you can effectively learn how to manage the emotions of yourself and others. The ability to avoid or de-escalate interpersonal conflict is an extremely valuable skill. And, it’s a skill that many need to seek consciously to develop and practice through personal development, personal growth and sometimes even by working with myself as your Counselor or Life Coach.
© A.J. Mahari, March 21, 2015 – All rights reserved.