Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. … Social awareness – You have empathy.
So how does that play out in today’s society and how can it benefit you?
I like to break it down into two distinct categories
The ability to understand others and communicate effectively
Firstly, let’s talk about empathy. Lots of people call themselves an Empath these days, I am certainly one, but I am more and more careful about using that term. If you are too empathetic you can walk around as soggy as a wet weekend as you take on the woes and issues of everyone around you, even if you would rather not. Being an empath is powerful and a gift like no other, but managing your empathetic abilities is about setting up boundaries so that that others emotions do not affect ou in a negative way.
I am not dismissing the ability to be empathetic and for myself, I love it. Back in the day I used to take on everyone’s worries including the world. It did me no good. Nowadays I try and remain more detached and only help those who a) ask for my help or b) do not impinge on my own personal boundaries by being over familiar and bamboozling you into thinking they care as deeply about you as you do about them. That is rarely the case in my view.
Use your empathy with caution and you will find that it will create an amazing life, as you attract the right people into your life.
With regards to understanding others and communicating effectively. Wow! That is a whole can of worms isn’t it? How many times has someone spoken to you in a manner that you perceive to be ‘rude’? How many times has that rudeness affected you to the point it has ruined your day? In truth, many of us can communicate in a rather blunt manner, unaware of the damage we could do to the person we are communicating with.
There is no doubt about it, taking a breather before you speak or reply to someone on an email, will bear you in good stead. Reminding yourself that for many, communication is rather tricky will help you understand others better and know how to communicate with them more effectively.
The other day I encountered a woman who was quite ‘cross’. As she stood in front of me, I knew I had to use ‘emotional intelligence’ to work through this issue. So, what I did was put a smile on my face and said “I am sorry you feel like that, it was not my intention to cause you upset and in fact, you are one of my favourites’. As she digested the words, she started to smile and with that we parted as friends.
Just taking a second to question your response before shooting back with an acidic retort, could save the day and understanding yourself better is probably one of the best things you will ever do for yourself and, indeed, others.
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