What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence, term coined by Daniel Goleman, is the ability we have to identify, understand and manage our own emotions. Causing that this type of intelligence is vital for our well-being; improving our social, labor relations and our own internal dialogue.
The purpose of a correct development of emotional intelligence is to direct the power of emotions towards constructive ends. Its goal is not to condemn any particular emotion, but to learn to control and channel them based on the objectives of each one.
This allows us to observe each of these emotions and evaluate the effect they have on us, both individually and as a whole. Because the presence or not of a particular emotion influences the interpretation or exaltation of others.
- 1 Emotional intelligence: Guide to manage your emotions
- 1.1 1. Observe, accept and manage your emotions
- 1.2 2. Identify negative emotions
- 1.2.1 9 negative emotions that you must learn to manage
- 1.2.2 3. Manage emotions naturally
- 1.2.3 Take a balance between naturalness and control
- 1.2.4 Live with a loving attitude
- 1.3 Wake up beauty: Creativity in the art of love
- 1.4 We live in poetry: Poems and thoughts in prose
- 1.5 4. Watch your emotions from outside
- 1.6 5. Manage your emotions with your social skills
Emotional intelligence: Guide to manage your emotions
1. Observe, accept and manage your emotions
The first thing we must do to improve our emotional intelligence is to adopt the habit of observing our own reactions and behaviors. For this it is essential to categorize in our mind some of the most common emotions. Especially those that we consider as negative or toxic. Always under the premise of not condemning or judging us for feeling them, since these do not have to be toxic in themselves. They can be considered as mere energy and it is in our hands to channel it so that we can manage our emotions positively.
Example using Emotional Intelligence
Watching our emotions
Juan has to make an exhibition in public, when in the first he did a while ago it was not too good. That makes you feel emotions like anxiety, anguish, or frustration. However, before the blood reaches the river, Juan stops for a moment. Take a deep breath to be more serene and observe those past experiences that are conditioning you to feel those emotions.
After his moment of reflection Juan realizes that it is normal for him to feel that way. The other times he had to exhibit in public, he did not feel prepared to do so because he had not prepared these exhibitions well. However, now he is going to talk about a subject that he likes and that dominates perfectly, which leads him to feel motivated to overcome his fears. Causing that these negative or toxic emotions be understood and accepted as part of a past that does not have to materialize in the present moment.
More about acceptance in: Accept yourself, progress and improve your self-esteem
Managing emotions towards positive ends
After observing and accepting his emotions Juan realizes all that energy is making him live a very intense moment. Which leads him to imagine how happy he will feel when he breaks down those barriers that until now were ballasting his successes. Transforming all that energy into enthusiasm. He is aware that the nerves will continue to have them, because he faces an important challenge. But accept those nerves in a positive way. Thinking they will help you be more alert to meet your goal.
What would have happened without emotional intelligence?
If in the previous example Juan had not managed his emotions, most likely he would have fallen into the grip of negative thoughts. Imagining all kinds of repercussions for a possible failure. Feeding that anxiety that was normal in itself. Maybe to a point that would have been unassuming for him. Which in turn could have materialized in an exhibition in public with an insecure nonverbal language, instead of one that conveyed enthusiasm. Being able to remain blank no matter how well the subject had been prepared.
2. Identify negative emotions
In this guide we will build on the book Toxic emotions from the psychologist Bernardo Stamateas. Identifying 9 emotions whose knowledge of their characteristics will help us control those emotions, since our mind will have the ability to synthesize them in smaller parts.
That is, the more we know about each emotion, the less we will see them as something gross and abstract, but as some steps we can face.
Think about this metaphor: surely a mathematical integral that occupies an entire page scared you when you saw it for the first time. But once they explained it to you and you saw that its resolution was part of a series of smaller continuous steps, that fear was disappearing. In other words, we are unable to climb a whole mountain at once. However, we are perfectly capable of walking several paths and climbing a few stretches of rock one after the other.
In this way we will go on, for example, to think that we are pissed off and out of control (raw result of emotions), to think that we feel anger because they have insulted us. Wondering if he deserves that we give so much value to that offense as to allow the present moment to bitter us. And it is that as the most spiritual authors defend, the consciousness heals on its own.
9 negative emotions that you must learn to manage
Frustration is one of the most important emotions to improve emotional intelligence. This makes us feel unsuccessful or disappointed by longings, desires or unfulfilled goals. That is, we feel frustrated when we are not in the situation in which we would like. Associating those feelings of emotional downturn to the circumstances that caused them. Their characteristics are:
- It causes anguish and can encourage us to avoid the situations that generated it.
- We tend to judge ourselves negatively by damaging our self-concept.
- We blame others for not being in the situation we would like as a result of our defense mechanism.
- We find it difficult to feel motivated by new situations or challenges, no matter how different they may be to those that generated frustration.
- Encourage the exaltation of emotions such as jealousy, anguish or shame.
More about frustration in: Emotional frustration: Face it and grow with your energy
Shame is an emotion that inhibits us, undermining the confidence we need to do what we want. It causes a kind of paralysis effect, being considered by emotional intelligence as a parasite in order to develop our full potential. Their characteristics are:
- Constant projection towards what they can think of us.
- Subject's beliefs that there is something wrong or deficient in him.
- Tendency to avoid giving opinions or making oneself known as it is.
- His constant repairs makes him lose sight of the opportunities.
- Acts conditioned by shame do not usually match the real talent or abilities of individuals.
- Severe tendency to postpone things They embarrass him, never realizing them.
- Inclinations to abandon what has been learned for fear of being ridiculed.
More about shame in: Free yourself from shame, your moment is now
Rejection becomes toxic when we become obsessed with seeking the acceptance of others. We need to control this emotion so that the value we give ourselves is not subject to the opinions of others. That is, we have to learn to value ourselves from the inside for who we really are. Let's see some of its features:
- Constantly seek the approval of others and depend on their support to assert themselves.
- Brag about what you have for fear of rejection.
- Try to keep the rest of the people under control.
- Easily offend against the negatives and can respond with anger to them.
- To overestimate the opinions of others by becoming susceptible to them.
- Do not enjoy what you have if you do not receive a social value from it.
- Tendency to reject others as a result of frustration.
More about rejection in: Rejection of love: What to do when you are rejected
Fear is a healthy and normal emotion that drives us away from danger. However, we often need to manage it so that this feeling of anguish does not prevent us face difficulties with confidence. According to Emotional Intelligence, fear becomes toxic when it paralyzes us, even having the necessary resources to overcome it. Turning this way irrational.
- Exaggerated and circular imagination of all kinds of possible negative consequences.
- It acts as an amplifier of all other emotions, both positive and negative.
- It paralyzes or accelerates and increases our abilities to remember those moments in which it acted.
- Forms patterns of behavior based on past experiences: "My ex-partner already cheated on me and now I don't trust anyone."
- It makes us focus too much on the past. We lose sight of the news of the present.
- It has a retroactive character: «If I'm afraid of having sex for any reason, I'm afraid to meet someone I like, I'm afraid to kiss another person for the first time, sexually connect with her, etc…". The phases before a future fear are conditioned by generating fear in them as well.
- Mentally reproduce traumatic experiences over and over again with great detail. Generating non-existent fears that may end up materializing in phobias.
Anger or anger
Getting angry is not always bad. Sometimes it can encourage our spirit of self-improvement and motivate us to change things. This increases our ability to face adverse situations (resilience). Other times it helps us realize our mistakes. The problem comes to us when those anger occur for reasons that are not relevant and without which we can extract anything positive in return. Or worse, when they make us destroy what we had.
- It usually occurs when our expectations are not met.
- It decreases our ability to be empathetic and assertive.
- It manifests itself at different levels, and can be managed differently. Some release it little by little as it arrives. Others contain it and end up exploding at the least opportune moments. Others are releasing it with forgiveness or meditation as it arrives ...
- It can become violent when the levels of frustration are high.
- It affects differently according to the personality type of each subject. It is usually more common in very competitive people or with a tendency to compare.
- Your verbal responses can be passive (when contained), assertive (when managed) or aggressive (when given free rein).
- It usually produces feelings of guilt. Aggravating the problem or raising the person to better manage this emotion. Even leading her to apologize.
One trick that I usually use when I feel that I am getting angry is asking myself questions that invite me to reflect. I usually ask myself: can getting angry about this can give me something or will it just make me feel bad? Will getting angry will encourage me to achieve something positive in the future? Can this anger help me somehow to enjoy my current or future now?
According to theories about emotional intelligence we produce jealousy when we are afraid of losing someone. It is commonly said that we can feel jealous of another person for what he has or how he is, but in those cases we would be talking about a different emotion: envy.
- They affect a relationship between two people until they become toxic if jealousy is high.
- They inhibit our feeling of feeling natural and free. What paradoxically encourages us to seek the adventure we wanted to avoid.
- They return to those who suffer excessively controllers or strategists.
- They create exalted and distorted images about what a desired person can provide.
- It can materialize in gender violence.
- It can prevent us from appreciating and enjoying the present moment with the other person.
- It generates dictatorial attitudes where the affected person interferes in everything and tries to direct it.
- Create illusory threats and can see things that have not occurred.
- It generates compensatory attitudes such as crying, asking for forgiveness, making gifts, etc.
The feeling of loss is what makes jealousy accentuate. Spiritual theories know how to combat this emotion very well by making us aware that we have nothing. The seduction It can also help. Giving us security in order to get ahead in case of losing a current relationship, or making us feel more confident if it helps us make a relationship work better.
Attachment or emotional dependence
Managing emotions such as attachment is vital in order to enjoy healthy relationships. The difficulty of controlling it lies in the lacks of the subject who suffers them, often difficult to solve. Since the fact that a person understands that it depends on another to be happy in a clear sign of low esteem. That's why your first step should be to work on improve your self esteem To learn to value yourself. Appreciating the richness of his life even when alone.
- You live with many fears and frustrations thinking how tragic life would be without the other.
- It feels that the other person is important, but oneself is not.
- Submission without compromise to what the other thinks or wants.
- It generates love obsessions difficult to cope with and accused of crying.
- Feelings of abandonment and excessive fear of being left or separated.
- Shyness and fear of losing the validation of the other.
- Loss of awareness and independence about one's own abilities and talents.
- Constant search for others to meet their expectations, also being met in reverse. Feeling the responsibility of solving the problems of others.
- Feeling that life is meaningless if something is not contributed to others.
Anxiety or anguish
Emotional intelligence understands anguish as an emotion that defends us from situations that our mind perceives as dangerous. That is to say, all those that it is difficult for him to face. Materializing more frequently as anxiety. Being this useful to charge us with energy in order to stand up to our challenges, but very harmful to health if it keeps us permanently in tension. Their characteristics are:
- Feelings of restlessness and fear, waiting for something bad to happen.
- Limit our ability to enjoy positive emotions such as joy or love.
- It feeds doubt and perpetuates it. Constantly asking us what to do, what to say or what choices to make.
- It causes us to escape or postpone situations that we should face.
- Tendency to calm this emotion with food, overwork, drugs or medication.
More about anxiety in: Free yourself from anxiety: 10 tips to apply today
Feelings of guilt can be circumstantial or dragged throughout life. Feeling guilty at a specific moment when we see that we have been wrong is healthy and normal. It is like a stop sign that indicates that this is not our way forward. However we must manage and have this emotion well controlled when we are conditioning negatively. That is, when it causes us to act in a way that does not favor our interests; Sometimes without realizing it.
- Agobia and prevents enjoy the present moment.
- Feel in permanent debt to something or someone.
- It torments and may these doubts be provoked by others to manipulate us.
- We feel that we are doing what we should.
- It generates that the one who blames himself also demands a lot from others, being able to generate states of dissatisfaction.
- Tendency to make accusations.
- Criticism and doubt towards the actions that have been undertaken.
- Torment for decisions or past experiences. Being able to bitter the present and avoiding that you can turn the page. Which in turn coerces the current freedom of action because of fear.
In my personal experience I like to think that I should not regret anything. That everything that has happened to me has been there to teach me something. Accepting the negative moments and mistakes so that they do not hurt my present enjoyment and my future development. And it is that those who accept life as they think they are changing at all times, are freer.
3. Manage emotions naturally
Bruce Lee gave us a valuable master key in that well-known interview where he told us to be like water. Be water my friend! In it he urged us to combine two parts in harmony: Naturalness and control. Learning to adapt to the context. Identifying when we can completely abandon ourselves at the moment and when we have to use our most logical, calculating and analytical mind to get what we want.
Take a balance between naturalness and control
This is something that many authors have always defended at all costs. Both psychologists and spiritual guides. Because we cannot forget that managing emotions is a way of encouraging control. A control that can harm our naturalness and prevent us from feeling emotions as fully and intensely as possible. Let's become emotional accountants is neither healthy nor satisfying! You always have to keep a balance ...
Live with a loving attitude
One way to control negative emotions in a conscious but natural way, without jeopardizing our sensitivity and spontaneity, is to manage them from a loving attitude. That is, predisposing to manage our negative emotions without abandoning the positive ones. From love, joy and love. Detaching ourselves as much as possible from the ego; the identification with the self.
I remember that when I met my partner for the first time, she didn't stop rejecting me harshly. Attacking my self-esteem since I approached to talk to her in a nightclub in my town. Later after our first dates he ended up telling me:
David, what I like most about you is that as hard as I was with you when we met and as much as I rejected you, you never got offended. I am surprised that you always stay in such a good mood and I don't feel that anything bad that happens to you can affect you very much. Besides, you don't stop spreading that state to me, and that makes me feel very happy when I'm with you.
4. Watch your emotions from outside
We all go through bad times and emotional imbalances. Sometimes those downturn situations are justified and indicate changes to be made in our lives. However, many of these emotional downturns have no justification. We simply feel discouraged for no apparent reason.
This is a reality that we must accept under the risk that if we do not do it, we can always end up riding a roller coaster. Encouraging emotional chaos fostered by constant self-sabotage. And the problem with self-sabotage is that it mixes a multitude of emotions in a chaotic way. Being able to feel guilt, fear, frustration, anxiety, etc. All at the same time according to where we are heading the maelstrom of our thoughts.
Dialogue and reflect with yourself
What I usually do is meditate seeing myself from outside in those kinds of situations. Sometimes combining it with a technique more than demonstrated and as simple as talking to yourself as if we were another person. What it would be to do autocoaching. I say to myself: «David, that you feel down now can be perfectly normal. Your life is well organized, you are fighting for your goals, you have people who love and value you, etc. You don't have to start rethinking your whole life simply because you are low-spirited, because being low in mood every once in a while is a natural thing. The bad drink passes and calm because in a few hours or in a few days you will surely be motivated again ».
More on this in: Keep calm: A brief and effective technique
It is not necessary to be a port of emotional intelligence to realize that the emotions we feel depend largely on our relationships with others. In this way, the more cultivated we have our social skills, the better we can manage our emotions.
Improving our empathy will help us to feel what others feel. Obtaining information about their emotions and feelings. Something that is very useful to adapt what we say to the emotional moment of others, avoiding misunderstandings and negative emotions derived from them: guilt, envy, jealousy, anxiety, fear, etc.
In turn, when we worry about putting ourselves in the place of others, we begin to understand from outside (with less implication) the emotions they are feeling. Cultivating in this way our abilities to observe and analyze the different emotions.
More on empathy in: Empathy: The best ability to seduce and fall in love
Assertiveness together with your most faithful ally, empathy, of which we have already spoken, is essential to control our emotions when we communicate. His approach is so clear that it prevents our mind from raving, motivated by the energy of emotions. It keeps us focused on not speaking passively, which causes frustration and anxiety. Not aggressively so as not to fill us with anger. But this skill is already discussed in depth in: Assertive communication: Guide with examples to be more assertive.
I am particularly fascinated by the great power of this way of communicating. Know how to express our feelings and emotions in a shocking way; generating empathy and understanding, makes us connect with others. Connections that cause our mind to expand according to a multitude of possibilities. Understanding each other in a very deep emotional way. You could say that even poetic, since emotional communication is widely used in poems.
Find out more in my article: Emotional communication: Express feelings and emotions, or find out everything in my book Wake up beauty.
6. Reinterpret your past through meditation
So important is to improve our emotional intelligence and learn to manage emotions such as healing the interpretations we have made of them in the past.
As Anthony de Mello said: «You do nothing to stop being free, you discard something. Then it is free ». To make way for the new, we must let go of the old, but it can only be released through forgiveness. He needs what psychologists call an objective reassessment of the facts. A technique that has been used within the spiritual currents for thousands of years through the practice of meditation.
This technique consists of sitting down to meditate so once the thoughts are calm, entering a state of acceptance and not judgment, let's begin to remember moments of our past. Especially those moments where we feel bad emotionally. The idea is to look for the consequences of our behavior patterns. That is, finding those past experiences that influence our current behavior. From there, once detected, we can reflect on them to give them a different approach to what we had assumed in our subconscious. Giving us motivating arguments that help us free ourselves from guilt, shame, shyness ... Depending on what each experience has generated and may be generating us today.
To this end you can also see my article: 9 tips to let go of your past and be happy
Get rid of the ballasts. You don't have to blame yourself when you know that something new is born in you every day. A new being still to resurface. Because it's really like that. And it will be that look towards the horizon that will make you fly over the old to enter to appreciate what is always new. What has always been here: you now. Your being in this circumstantial moment of time.