So, three guys walk into a bar. Their names are Peter Salovey, John Mayer (not the singer) and Daniel Goleman. What do all of these guys have in common?
They are the experts on emotional intelligence.
Sorry, that wasn’t really a joke, but if you want to learn about emotional intelligence, then these are your guys.
If you did walk into a bar, after getting dumped, these are the guys you want to sit by when you drown your sorrows. Not that you would ever do that. (Wink, Wink).
While Peter Salovey and John Mayer developed the psychological theory behind emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman wrote a bunch of books about it. I added links to Amazon for his books at the bottom of this article for my book worms. 🙂
The problem is, a lot of these books will send you into a deep coma before you are actually able to absorb any of the information.
(No offense Daniel Goleman. You are super smart and awesome.)
We have talked a lot in my previous posts about self-awareness, stopping the negative self-talk and about finding happiness.
Emotional Intelligence is the next logical step.
I don’t care how smart you are, or if you graduated from an Ivy League school. If you aren’t emotionally intelligent, you will struggle as an adult in your personal relationships, and your career.
Of course, my focus is on personal relationships.
Sorry, but if you don’t know how to relate positively to other human beings, you may as well go live on planet Mars. Or you can go live in Arizona, where they too have giant dust storms.
If you truly are looking to better yourself and grow as a person, then the concept of emotional intelligence is so invaluable.
Like I said, when you read about it from an educational stand point it tends to be quite the snooze fest for some people, so I will try and use real life examples that I think make it fun!
So, smack your cheeks a bit, wake up, and get alert. Here goes…
What is emotional intelligence?
Peter and John define it as,
The ability to perceive emotions, to access and generate emotions so as to assist thought, to understand emotions and emotional knowledge, and to reflectively regulate emotions so as to promote emotional and intellectual growth.
Are you still here?
Okay what the heck does any of that mean?
Let’s say something really annoying or horrible happens. For instance, maybe you just got dumped by a guy or girl you’ve been seeing for a few months, and it completely takes you by surprise.
An emotionally mature person is able to understand exactly what they are feeling at the moment it happens (anger, sadness, frustration, relief). They are able to think about it rationally before acting, and most importantly, they are able to act in a manner that fosters healthy thoughts and actions.
So, basically you don’t tell the person that you never liked them anyway and they have really bad breath. (unless they do have bad breath, then you should definitely tell them for their own sake, of course. Just be nice about it.)
You don’t send them hate email, and start posting rude comments on their Facebook page. You don’t tell the person all of the things that are wrong with them in attempts to make yourself feel better. You certainly don’t go around bad mouthing them either.
That is not emotionally mature.
So, what do you do?
You accept that they are not feeling it for you anymore. Why? Who knows, and they probably don’t really know either, but the point is, they aren’t feeling it.
You can’t get mad at them for that. You can’t force love. Why the heck would you want to? Just be glad they had the decency to tell you, and they didn’t string you a long in the event they get bored one night.
You can’t force a feeling, so why fight it? Don’t beat yourself up about it either. It just wasn’t a good match. The end. There is nothing wrong with you. It doesn’t have to be anybody’s fault. There doesn’t have to be a bad guy.
(If someone is stringing you along, however, that is a totally different blog post)
There are five main components of emotional intelligence.
How do you line up with these?
- Self-awareness, which we touched on in a previous blog post.
- Internal Motivation
- Social Skills
For most of my adult life I failed miserably at these. Especially, after my divorce.
Empathy? Ha, no way! I was too busy feeling sorry for myself. There wasn’t any more of that to go around unfortunately.
Internal motivation? Yeah, maybe to the nearest pint of ice cream to gorge myself on. Mint chocolate chip anyone?
Self-Awareness is the first component.
We talked about this a lot in my previous blog post, but we all have different presets in our brain based on our life experiences. It’s like we’ve been conditioned to see things a certain way without even really knowing why. Our brain reacts based on these presets. Something happened somewhere in your life, and you associated a feeling with it.
It is just your perception based on a feeling. We all have different perceptions.
So, what was your perception of why it didn’t work out with that guy or gal?
If you immediately jump to the conclusion that they are an a-hole…well…maybe that is the case, but probably not.
The majority of people we go out with are not our soul mate, and therefore it won’t work out for all kinds of reasons.
Again, it’s all based on perception.
For lack of a better reason, it didn’t work out with that guy or gal because your perceptions didn’t align. That’s okay! Go out and find someone whose perceptions line up with yours. Need an example?
Maybe you went on a dinner date and you didn’t like how the person handled them self with the wait staff. Maybe you didn’t tip enough, or tipped too little. Maybe they see you as too liberal, or too conservative, and they saw this (or perceived this rather) by some minor action you took that you can’t even remember doing.
There are so many little nuances that can happen, not only on a date, but also while dating someone. It’s almost impossible to really know exactly why something doesn’t work out, or why the person simply isn’t feeling it for you anymore.
So, my advice is… go find someone that it works out with. Don’t analyze all day why you broke up, because you’re wasting your time.
Here are my recommendations for how long you should reflect…
If you only dated for a few months then only think about it for a few days. If it was only one date, and they never scheduled a second date, then I advise you not to think about it for more than a few minutes. It’s simply not worth your time. It’s okay, and great to reflect back on why it didn’t work out, but really at the end of the day, who cares!
You are able to move on and not obsess about it because you are self-aware. You know who you are, and you don’t need validation from some stranger that you are worth dating. You know your value.
There is someone better for you out there. I promise. It’s so amazing when you finally meet that person and your perceptions align. You literally sync up and that feeling of “fate” happens. Or that feeling you get when you finally meet “the one” and you can’t believe how much you think and act alike.
My husband and I are so in tune with teach other that he literally takes the words right out of my mouth. I never thought I would ever find a connection as deep as the one we have. I don’t say that to brag, or make you feel bad. I say that to give you hope. I truly believe that everyone can find this.
If you put in the work and wait patiently for the “right” person to show up. It will happen. There is someone just like you out there, waiting for you to show up. Someone who thinks like you, and when you finally meet each other, it just feels natural.
You do however, have you know yourself in and out, before you can truly connect with a person on a deeper level. The good, the bad, and the ugly. We all have ugly I promise.
It doesn’t just happen magically! When it does happen however, it sure does feel magical. It’s so worth the wait. Life is so much easier and the sex is really great too when you are aligned!
(Making sure you’re awake!)
Self-awareness means that you understand what drives you to feel a certain way, and are able to recognize when it’s happening. Channel that feeling into a positive action that fosters personal growth and brings you internal peace.
You also need to be able to laugh at yourself and be confident at the same time. Be comfortable with who you are, and what that looks like, and realize what works for you may not work for another person.
Our perceptions are different; therefore, we don’t always agree. That’s okay.
So, I know we only managed to get though the first component today. Self-awareness.
That’s because self-awareness is the most important and I believe that the other main components build off of this one. Self-awareness is key and is the first step to emotional intelligence.
If you made it to the end of this blog post, congrats! Thank you for not falling asleep and for hanging in there for your own well-being.
Stay tuned for Part Two, where I promise I will divulge the remaining four components of Emotional Intelligence, next week.
If you subscribe to receive my newsletter, I may even send it out earlier to my subscribers before I post it just for fun. 🙂
In fact, here is a little bit of next week’s post…
Self-regulation is the second component.
Can you control your impulses? Are you moody, or are you open to change? Can you handle uncertainty? The ability to appropriately and positively respond to something, that might not matchup with your thinking, is a part of self-regulation.
For example, the guy or girl you are dating, calls at the last minute and cancels your date. Where does your mind go? Do you lash out at them? Do you immediately call them a jerk?
I’m very excited to share the rest with you! (It’s actually up now and you can read it here)
On another note…it snowed in Texas today and my kiddos and I got to have an actual snow ball fight! First time both of my babies have seen snow. What a great day!
Have the best weekend ever and more from me next week!
As promised…(book link below)
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