I really enjoyed writing my last post about developing emotional intelligence and all the research that I did regarding the subject, that I decided to write another post about it. Today we'll be talking about practical ways to increase your emotional intelligence by approaching tense situations from a slightly different angle.
Emotional intelligence is about being aware of your emotions, measuring all the factors involved, and making an intelligent choice about how you are going to react to the stimuli. One great way to increase emotional intelligence is by approaching tense situations like an observer, rather than a participant.
This simply means being quiet and allowing whoever you're with to express how they feel without getting heated up or taking things personally. Whether someone is physically standing in front you or you've received bad news over text, you can reduce the emotional impact by detaching yourself from the situation for a while.
When you are able to momentarily detach yourself from the issue, you are able to think the situation through more carefully. You can mentally analyse questions such as: "What just happened?", "How is it naturally supposed to make me feel?", "What is the preferred response that I would like to see from myself?".
Another way to increase your emotional intelligence is to always keep an eye out for the most peaceful route out of conflict. Now, identifying the most peaceful route and sticking to it, is much easier said than done. But, if you're able to take this option and make it a habit, you'll develop a lot of resilience in the long run. Emotional intelligence means knowing when to back down even when you're certain that you are right.
We tend to like to take justice into our own hands, and serve out what we think someone deserves for being unreasonable. Often though, letting the situation be, and avoiding vengeance will calm things down considerably, save time and frustration and allow you to move onto something much more important.
I really like the above quote, because it is so so true. One way to increase your emotional intelligence and stay cool during emotionally tense moments is to realise that you don't have to react the way you feel. No matter how you feel at that moment, you can choose to leave negative feelings aside, with the knowledge that those negative feelings will produce negative actions on your part.
If something from a recent conversation is really bugging you, provide yourself with time to think things through logically to a point where you are satisfied - but later, never while it is happening.
Instead of letting negative feelings fester within you for days, (making them more likely to manifest in your actions), talk to yourself honestly and try and get to a point where you understand why things happened the way they did and what you can learn for the future. Always let the focus of such situations be on you - how you could better react, because you can't change others.
tdlr : leave the beef for later, and discuss with yourself rather than arguing on the spot.
Most times you'll find that when you avoid an argument and are able to honestly analyse the situation, you gain a lot of control.
The above quote captures the whole concept of emotional intelligence quite wonderfully. Let's be honest, we all know the ideal way of behaving. The fact is that it can be so hard to remember and motivate yourself to do it, when you're in the heat of the situation. But at the end of the day, increasing emotional intelligence is about constantly making the decision to rise above your emotions and use them to your benefit rather than to your detriment.
If you want to continually make emotionally smart decisions, then be sure to acknowledge every success, every time you've managed to be calm in a tense situation. It's a HUGE part of emotional intelligence, being emotionally aware of what you are feeling as well as how you've managed that emotion.
Give yourself a pat of the back whenever you're able to push away negative feelings, ignore ridicule and take positive action in a tense environment. Notice the good outcome that occurs when you display emotional intelligence, and you'll be able to repeat such behaviour again, and again, and again.
For more suggestions on ways to increase emotional intelligence, here's one of my favourite books on the subject.
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