Action and reactions always come with consequences. Weights and types of consequences are what make the difference here. I am a firm believer that the amount of thought and awareness you put into your actions and reactions in life determine the quality of delight. Emotional Intelligence (EI) as described by (Goleman 2001) is the ability to acknowledge and manage emotions well. It is therefore imperative to be in touch with our souls as this will enable us to acknowledge and admit to the existence of varied emotions in different circumstances. We need to consciously manage our emotions so that we can tip the scale towards favorable outcomes. Emotional intelligence is therefore a vital tool that brings about mutual benefit for you as an individual as well as for your neighbors.
We live in a world where human beings have the desire to just keep going with the flow of things. Yes! It is a fast paced world where we find it difficult to be in touch with ourselves and would rather live in denial than face reality because reality SUCKS! To be honest with you, reality sucks just because human beings are designed to be competitive in nature (we all want to thrive) but one important factor that we keep missing out is our individual sufficiency.
Individual sufficiency plays a mammoth role in the way we get things done. This is influenced both by our genes (Biological) and our environment (Social). For example: Some people can offer a reasoned case for unconventional courses of action without bias or prejudice while some other people are just completely ignorant of what prejudice is, let alone observing what others feel/think of what they say or do. You will agree with me that the individual who presents an unconventional case without bias is likely to have a good IQ and the act of being mindful of bias is a function of the social environment.
We are consciously or unconsciously wired differently and as a result we all cannot be doing things in the same ways. Some people will need more time to process things compared to others and that is ok. The truth is we cannot be aware of individual differences and still be hostile in life. You cannot be hostile if you invest a lot in your EI and learn to love yourself. I must admit that the role of reflection in developing EI is more implicit than explicit. Emotional intelligence can only be sharpened when we sit to reflect on our core values, norms and social relationships with others. Hence, we all need to consciously take stock of our lives.
I was having a chat with a very good friend some days ago and the funny thing is, he was doing my thinking for me. He kept interpreting the messages out of context and read ‘deeper’ meanings to what I typed out to him. A lot of times, we are sure we know what people are saying or trying to say to us (paranoia? maybe) even before they speak. Defensiveness is an understandable emotion that can unnecessarily come into play when EI is missing. The idea of EI is to embrace who we are and give others the same privilege. In life, we should learn to pause for a while and think, “what else can this mean?” rather than going for easier narrow minded interpretations that suit our ego. Don’t always think you know it all! Ask questions for the sake of clarity. Life is a journey and as we all walk through it, things evolve.
The person you spoke with a fortnight ago might now have a different opinion about your discussion. Give people the benefit of the doubt. Having all the answers, being defensive, does not equate strength. Strength comes when we are willing to be ourselves and we confront those racing thoughts by asking questions needed to reshape our minds which are filled with judgements of others, justifications and validation of our own self, forms of succor without which we might feel incomplete. Emotional intelligence guides our actions and reactions by instilling reflection. Being accountable to our own self is a valid route to reaping ‘positive’ consequences as long as you get your core values right!
Goleman D (2001) ‘An EI-based theory of performance’. In: Cherniss C, Goleman D (eds) The Emotionally Intelligent Workplace: How to select for, measure, and improve emotional intelligence in individuals, groups and organisations. Jossey- Bass, San Francisco