Emotional Intelligence – the term coined by Peter Salavoy & john Mayer was later made popular by Daniel Goleman in his Book “Emotional Intelligence.” When I heard the term Emotional Intelligence, I found it very interesting and then I read the book by Daniel Goleman & I was thrilled by the importance of Emotional Intelligence. Today, here, I will just try to explain my understanding of Emotional Intelligence in simple words.
The Cambridge dictionary defines emotions as “a strong feeling such as love or anger or strong feelings in general.” Emotions is a strong word that every human being feels. These emotions make us a human. It is very important to understand our own emotions as well as emotions of others. The emotions have brought many changes to this world by many people. The emotions of love have brought peace to someone or the emotions of anger or jealousy have destroyed the world. Everything depends on how you handle these emotions.
Your Emotional Intelligence i.e. the capacity to recognize the emotions and handle them effectively, decides everything. One must learn to handle and use his or her emotions effectively. For example, one can use his or her anger at right place, that will help them to stay motivated. Let’s talk about youngsters and teenagers. These are the ones with high emotions. How youngsters and teenagers are handling emotions? We’ll see that later but first let’s talk about understanding the emotions.
Identify your Emotions
Let us start with a one simple question. What are you feeling right now? Are you happy? Sad? Angry? Worried? Frustrated? Disgusted? You must be feeling something. Identify what are you feeling and how do you want to deal with it? If you are feeling angry, where do you want to take out your anger? If you are feeling sad, what can cheer you up? Take a minute and think about it.
Identify the Reasons for your Emotions
Now that you have identified what you are feeling, the next thing is to think about why are you feeling like this. What is the reason for this? Is this feeling because of some person or some event that happened or something which you have done or were not able to do or anything else. It is very important to find out the correct reason. Don’t lie to yourself. Be honest. It is like identifying the exact disease for correct treatment.
Identify the Options Available
Now you know what and why you are feeling. The next step would be finding out what are the possible actions you can take or you want to take. For example, if you are feeling attracted towards someone, what options do you have? Option 1, go and confess your feeling to the person, or Option 2, do not confess and ignore the feelings. Think about all options and then move on to the next step.
You know what you are feeling, why you are feeling and what you can do. It’s time to take action. Now it is up to you, which option you want to choose. Your actions will decide the outcome and outcome will decide your future. You want to confess your feelings or crush them inside you. Both has its pros and cons.
Now, you might be wondering why I am speaking about this. Why it is necessary to identify what you feel, why do you feel and what are the options. The reason is simple. Your Emotions Affect your Decision-Making Ability. In a way it is like they decide your future. Now you will say how my emotions can decide my future. It’s simple. You feel something, and you react accordingly and which leads to various outcomes. Let me explain this to you with some examples.
You are a lazy person. You do not do productive stuff throughout the day, you either sleep or waste your time by playing games or watching movies, etc. and at night when you are going to bed, you regret about the day. You regret that you could have done something productive. You decide from tomorrow you will stop being lazy and do something productive.
Here, you identified that you are feeling lazy, let us assume you probably know the reason as well. Now you had two choices, one regret about being lazy and start working on your laziness by creating some action plan and implementing it. Or choice two, you just think about how can I stop being lazy and go to sleep.
If you choose the first choice, then you will stop being lazy, you will do something productive and will succeed in your life by achieving what you want. If you choose the second option, you will never succeed. You will always blame others for your failure. Or you will keep thinking about I want to be successful but you will never be successful.
You are an active person. You know what you want in your life and you know how to get it. You are always motivated. You are always focused. At some point of time you get an opportunity which might distract you from your goal, for example it can be that you spend time on web surfing which you know may distract you from your goal by wasting your time.
Here, you feel motivated because you want to achieve your goals. You do not waste your time in the things which you cannot control or things which are totally unrelated. And now you have a choice to spend time by surfing useless and irrelevant things on web and compromise with your goals or let these things not distract you. The outcomes of both choices are obvious.
So, it is you who need to understand your emotions and choose the correct option available, to decide your future. If you let your emotions control you then you will not make effective decisions. If you are feeling lazy and if you don’t do anything you will not be getting whatever you want. If you control your emotions for unwanted distractions, you will get what you want. It is quite obvious that your emotions impact your decision-making and your decisions make your future.
Think of more examples with different feelings, say fear, anger, sadness, etc. You might have said people saying, “Don’t promise anything when you are Happy, don’t decide anything when you are Sad, and Don’t Reply anything when you are Angry”. The reason for this is simple. You might promise or decide or say something which you will regret for your lifetime.
The point here is, to understand why emotions are important and why understanding and having control over them is necessary. Of course, you must express your emotions, but before that understand the exact meaning.
Youth & Emotions
Let us talk about how today’s youth deals with emotions. You often hear few of them saying “I don’t know how I Feel”. They don’t understand about their own feelings. So, expecting sympathy and empathy from such people is a long way to go. They are so confused and so stressed about emotions that they end up misunderstanding the emotions, and therefore making wrong decisions.
Now if you try to talk about emotions to youngsters, you will generally observe that girls are more sensitive, and they open up quickly. Boys, on the other hand, try to hide their feelings or try to run away from accepting the feelings. It’s not their fault I believe. It is what usually society talks.
Youngsters or youth face common emotional problems these days. Problems like Depression, Loneliness, Anxiety, Self-Doubt, phobia, stage fear, are very common. If you think about the obvious reason, they do not understand their emotions and therefore cannot handle it. This emotional imbalance does the most damage.
Not everyone is confused. Some people know that they are undergoing depression or emotional problems but they do not take any actions for that. They do not open up, they do not try to find the reason, they do not understand the implications. They have the fear of society. Having a mental illness means the person is mad – this is what society usually believes. People should understand mental illness treatment is just like your physical illness treatment.
Most people either do not have the courage to solve the problem or they do not understand how to solve the problem. We will tell you, how can you possibly overcome the emotional problems you are facing.
Identify the emotions and the reason
The first and the most important step is identifying what are you feeling and why are you feeling. It just like identifying whether you are in love or its just and attraction. Don’t let emotions confuse you. If you don’t understand your own emotions how can you understand others? We have already mentioned above how to identify the emotions and reasons.
Talk to someone you trust
Talk! Please talk about your feelings. The question is whom to talk. Talk to someone who you trust. Talk to someone who will not judge you or who will not laugh at your emotions. It can be your best friend, sibling, partner or anyone. Not necessary that the person you are going to talk has the solution for your problem but talking will definitely make you feel better. Its like as they say – happiness increases when you share and Sadness decreases when you share. Don’t be afraid to open up.
Understand how strong or mild your emotions are
Identify how strong or weak your emotions are. This will help you to evaluate how serious your problem is. If it is mild or the problem has just begun, you can quickly work on that and save the damage. If the emotions are very strong, you must not waste time further and start working on it by either talking to someone or consulting with the therapist.
Keep a track of what you are feeling
Another aspect would be keeping a track of your emotions. This might sound strange to some people but it works. You should know what triggers your emotions, what are the situations or things which increases or reduces your emotions. For example, if you see some person doing something which you don’t like, probably that is when you get angry or frustrated. So, you will know yourself that during so-and-so conditions I might get provoked. I should better try to keep calm.
Learn how to use emotions in your favour
Learn to use your emotions in your favour. Try to channelize the emotions at right place and right time. For example, if you are angry at someone, and you know you cannot take out your anger on that person, you better try to use that anger on something else. Maybe when you are at gym, you can take out your anger and do the intense workout. Or maybe you can use your anger as motivation for something you want to achieve.
As we discussed, controlling emotions is important. Controlling emotions does not mean not expressing your emotions. Please understand, we are not telling you to stop expressing yourself or be like a robot. Emotions are supposed to be expressed. That is what emotions are made for. These emotions are the one which keeps us alive. But what is important is having control on them.
The emotion management or emotional intelligence is important for your successful career, successful life and everything. You don’t want to regret your actions just because you reacted at wrong time, wrong place with wrong emotions. Excessive anger might give us a heart attack, not being to handle a sudden occurrence of event might worsen the situation.
So, don’t let your emotions control you. You control your emotions. Because your emotions decide your future by affecting your decision-making ability. Emotions indirectly affect your attitude towards various things in life. To control the emotions just remember –