7 Magical Things That Happen When You Are Emotionally Intelligent
“If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far.” — Daniel Goleman
When everything is not going according to plan, there is only one thing that is going to make you stay on the ground. Not losing your foot.
Or, perhaps, help you find even higher ground on the other side.
One of the most empowering things I have recently realized is I may face many things that make me want to crawl back to bed and never rise.
But as long as I am emotionally resilient, I can surpass every difficulty. And even come out a better person on the other side.
You can fret all day about the possibility of a failure on your new project or disagreement you are having with your colleague or a thousand uncontrollable emotions that you don’t want to feel.
How on Earth am I going to present my presentations? How am I going to be able to control the anger I have towards my co-worker who doesn’t seem to take his responsibilities seriously? How am I going to recover from this loss?
The day you turn these questions on yourself, you will gather your heart and your things and you will realize that you are the light that is going to outlast every setback on your way.
Never underestimate the power of emotional intelligence.
1. You get to express difficult emotions when you are emotionally intelligent.
Yes, expressing emotions is difficult. But you get to heal yourself when you begin to speak up.
I can’t tell you how many times I have experienced an emotional reaction to something that leaves me feeling like I am coming undone.
My dad criticizes my love of writing. A person makes an insane, thoughtless comment and I cry for days. Someone in the office puts down my work and I spend nights awake questioning my competence.
Once I developed my emotional resilience, I gain a bit of perspective. I arrive at a place where I can calmly express my emotions. I arrive at a place where I can admit to myself something horrifying: suppressing emotions is saying goodbye to the intensity of love, loss and the whole gamut of human emotions in between.
It feels good. It feels right. You do it in small ways first and as you practice it regularly, you are able to express difficult emotions when necessary. And even find stable ground, perhaps higher ground on the other side.
You have had enough of suppressing yourself and your emotions. You push yourself through this fear.
As hard as this choice is you would rather be hated by your authenticity than be liked for a shell who cannot express real emotions.
You don’t want to go back to feeling lost, unable to express yourself, so empty and confused; not remembering what it’s like to stand up for yourself.
And that is how you know your emotional intelligence is saving you.
2. You become assertive as your emotional intelligence develops.
It is incredible to me, the things we justify and make excuses for in the name of communication.
I walk into an escalating disagreement between co-workers and feel the urge to become the winner of this fight. So, I become aggressive. I shout and offend everyone by my tactics to win the argument at all costs.
I text someone and he doesn’t text me back. I spin out. Why isn’t he texting? Does he not care? Does he not want me? Is he not interested? Is he with someone else? Why is this happening to me?
These are not signs of emotional intelligence. You are not communicating while you are being aggressive. You are not communicating while you are expecting the other person to read your mind when you have not said anything.
You become assertive when you realize that you would rather marvel in what someone is saying than expend energy trying to figure out what they really mean.
Saying what you mean — even if you might hurt the other person –is closely related to your emotional intelligence. Being afraid of opening up makes you bottle up your feelings and thoughts inside of you. Resulting in the depletion of your emotions.
And listening with all your heart without thinking of what you want to say next is the thread that pulls you into becoming an assertive person.
“When you listen with empathy to another person, you give that person psychological air.” Stephen R. Covey
3. You bounce back from adversity quickly when you are emotionally intelligent.
You start building your dreams and something bad happens to you.
Obstacles block your way.
There are two things you can do:
One, you are scared that you cannot keep up. You are scared that you will fail. So, you give up. Instead of fighting with all your power, which is in effect your life force, you turn your back on your life.
You convince yourself that you should give up on your quest to achieve your dreams. Because the setback has made you end up stranded, abandoned and alone. So, you create, conjure and bring to life all the things you fear the most.
Two, you become the responsible one for the change you create in yourself. By digging and finding the way out. Therein lies your emotional intelligence.
4. You become self-aware when you develop your emotional intelligence.
“Emotions can get in the way or get you on the way.” Mavis Mazhura
When I am angry with someone who makes me tremble with these uncontrollable feelings, I don’t fix it by denying the feeling.
I mean, don’t get me wrong — I try to. I try not to be angry.
But my feelings are too powerful. They don’t want to be denied. They don’t want to be contained. They don’t listen to me.
What I do instead is become aware of my feelings. Not by judging them. Not by suppressing them.
But by being aware of them.
I am angry with this person because of what he said to me. I am aware of it.
The main reason you get angry and keep on being provoked into becoming an angry person is because you are too passive, because you are letting your emotions control you.
Because you have not developed the ability to recognize feelings as they happen, you react and become your worst nightmare.
We get sucked back into anger and similar negative emotions repeatedly because we let others control us, because we do not take responsibilities for our emotions, because we do not uphold ourselves the way we should.
It’s not something on the outside that presents the greatest challenge to our anger, but only what’s inside that prevents us from managing and controlling our anger. Permanently.
In the famous words of Epictetus,
“Any person capable of angering you becomes your master.”
Unless you are self-aware, unless you develop the habit of becoming conscious of your emotions daily, you will never win over anger.
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5. You empathize when your emotional intelligence develops.
I didn’t realize I needed to be understood until I tried to understand someone I love. And saw them cry with their heart out on the table.
It was only when I left my thoughts inside my head and listen with an open heart that I found out I cannot empathize while I am remaining inside my head.
Without trying to know what someone else is feeling, you can’t empathize.
When you empathize, you become less judgmental of others. You don’t like it when others judge you. So, you give others the same gift that you want to be given in return.
You start communicating with others not to guide them somewhere but to better understand what they are saying and feeling.
6. You become pro-active instead of being reactive in the face of a difficult person/situation.
In his Emotional Intelligence book, Daniel Goleman describes handling your distressing emotions effectively is the only way you can be pro-active. That way your emotions will not cripple you. That way, they will not get in the way of what you are doing.
And furthermore, you tune to them to learn what you must. Because every emotion has a function.
7. Your social skills develop as a result of your emotional intelligence.
The difference between those who are interacting with others with their heart and those using their head is the thread that differentiates humans.
As Rasheed Ogunlaru said,
“The only way to change someone’s mind is to connect with them from the heart.”
When you and your partner communicate with your heart, you have a better chance of understanding each other. You pay attention better. You communicate better. You learn from each other better.
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