Want to be Emotionally Intelligent? Stop Making These Common 8 Mistakes
Displaying your negative emotions out there.
Expecting anyone (be it your romantic partner, your colleague, your friend, your family) to receive you in open arms when you are not in control of your emotions is like buying something from the supermarket and putting it in your bag and expecting something else in your bag when you reach home.
Whenever you scream at me and tell me whatever you are telling me in that tone of voice, all I want to do is get away from you. I do not hear what you are saying to me. I see only anger. Whenever you are venting and speaking at the same time and you expect that I will hear what you are saying, let me tell you that I won’t. I don’t hear the words. I hear shouting.
That kind of situation makes me want to be anywhere but there.
It is not cool to be around such kind of a person. It is not healthy.
Yes, emotions are real and they must be managed — not by expecting it from the other person but from you.
When I tell you my worst fear, I am expecting you to listen to me without judgment. I am expecting you to empathize with my situation even though you have never been in my situation.
I do not want to be given advice. I don’t want to be shown in a different direction. I do not want to be guided. I just want to know that someone is with me feeling what I am feeling at the moment.
I just want you to feel what I am feeling (regardless of what I am feeling).
I want to feel that I am not alone in the world when I am sharing my hurt or disappointment to you.
Not knowing your stressors
Oh, I tell you this because I care about you: you have to know what stresses you. Otherwise, you will be a punching bag for all those things that are out there that are waiting for you to make you their stress relievers.
We all know that we are not perfect. After all, we are human beings. But, not knowing our stressors will make us victims of our own emotions and it will be our own doing.
If there is a person in your family or a person in your workplace who is likely to make you lose your cool, knowing that person or that situation ahead consciously is the greatest gift you could give to yourself.
Have you ever felt like you have been in the same fight over and over again? I have. Realizing that you are doing this to yourself is like a wake-up call.
Just like any war is fought with thorough preparedness, sometimes the only thing you can do for yourself to be better emotionally is to know what stresses you the most.
Lacking self-awareness and self-regulation
If I am feeling blue, irritated, anxious, tired or angry, I must take responsibility for my own emotions.
Whenever I am filled with too pent up emotions, it is not the fault of the other person who is making my emotions to rise up. Whenever I am tempted to give in more verbal wars in return than I was given, it is not the fault of the other person who is making me angrier than I have ever been.
I am the common denominator in all of these scenarios.
If I could be the regulator of my own emotions, I would not depend on others to make me feel good. If I become self-aware, I would be able to catch any negative emotions and abort them before they become fully-grown self-made enemies inside me.
Not bouncing back from adversity
Feeling this victim mentality has not served me and yet I continuously kneel down and see any kind of failure as a final destination.
Take failures as lessons that are teaching you something. Take them as an essential part of your life and you would not be as strong as you are now without them.
I had a mentor once who told me that he had failed many times before he was able to speak in front of many people. He told me that he was stuttering so much at the beginning of his career as a public speaker that he has lost count of how many times he has failed. He did not give up. If you could see him now speaking in front of a large audience, you would not believe that he was once a stutter.
The same is true for everybody who doesn’t give up. That includes you and me. We have failed many times in the past and we will fail again in the future. Our emotional strength is tested on how quickly we bounce back from every kind of failure.
C. S. Lewis was right when he said:
“Failures are fingerprints on the road to achievement.”
Not having the ability to be assertive and expressing difficult emotions when necessary
I do not like passive aggressiveness. If you want to tell me something, tell me by talking to me in a clear and unveiled manner. I don’t want to expend my energy trying to find out what you really mean when you could simply tell me directly.
I am not being intelligent if I am using silence or sarcasm to communicate. If I am extremely hurt by what you said, or did or didn’t do and I am expressing my hurt silently by crying silent tears, is it fair that I am expecting you to understand exactly what I am feeling when I have not expressed my feelings?
It is not intelligent to use silence as a way of communication. It is not intelligent to use sarcasm as a way to communicate. It is not intelligent to use aggressiveness to communicate.
None of these things can ever replace the value of communicating clearly.
Being reactive in the face of a difficult person
I once worked in a place where the boss was critical of all her employees 24/7. My God, how I hated that job. Not the job per se but the environment.
Years later I am thankful that I had the opportunity to work with a difficult person. Yes, I say opportunity because I have learned a lot from dealing with a difficult and intolerable person on an everyday basis.
If not for that experience, I would not have learned the value of pro-activeness. Now, I am a person who is not easily angered or provoked. I do not get pulled into other people’s emotions. I do not react.
Crying whenever she (my boss in this context) insulted me, taught me that my tears are too precious to just flow freely just because someone is making me choked up with tight emotions.
When she made me feel completely inadequate, I learned to own and rely on myself.
Tell me, who owns addressing how she made me feel? Her, or me? Is me feeling like I’m lacking something due to her outbursts, her shortcomings, her problem, her battle, or mine?
I decided then and there that I am the only one who decides the way I feel and how I will feel. I decided that any external things will not diminish me but inspire me.
Let us all remember that we cannot adjust the outside world to address our inner battles. You cannot blame any external thing for your inner battles.
Not having social skills
Are you bringing your ego to your social conversations? This enemy called ego is the same as bringing a third person into an intimate conversation between two people who love each other.
It doesn’t belong.
Throw it out. Let it go. Say ‘ No’ to your ego.
It is the one that is making you not listen to your friend and feel what he is feeling when he is pouring out his emotions. It is the one that is making you interrupt that person because it always says ‘ me, me, me’. It is the one that is making you a person with the intention of making everything about you.
You can do better than that. Give it a try today.
Originally published at https://banchiinspirations.com on April 16, 2019.