I remember the very first time I came across Emotional intelligence. I was so fascinated by it as it tied in with the ideas I felt my life had been teaching me. It seemed like someone had taken my mistakes through wrong reactions and tested them and after doing that he came up with a theory. It was brilliant yet so simple. I had made so many mistakes and taken so many wrong turns. I wished there would have been an easier journey to make this conclusions but I guess I learnt so someone else does not have to.
I should probably point out that these are just the opinions of one man and as such there is a high probability you might not agree in total. If you don’t then please by all means share with us all (in the comments section). After-all isn’t that the whole idea behind this site.
I guess before I start to talk about emotions and gaining control I should at the very least talk (even if ever so briefly) about emotional intelligence and what it really means.
Here it goes, please try not to fall asleep just yet. 🙂
Emotional intelligence is a form of intelligence rising to fame by Daniel Goleman in his 1995 book rightly called “Emotional Intelligence”. He defined it as Emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.
Goleman identified the five ‘domains’ of EQ as:
Knowing your emotions.
Managing your own emotions.
Recognising and understanding other people’s emotions.
Managing relationships, ie., managing the emotions of others.
Emotional Intelligence embraces and draws from numerous other branches of behavioural, emotional and communications theories, such as NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), Transactional Analysis, and empathy.
Goleman believed that IQ contributes about twenty percent to the factors that determine life success.
Whether you believe that emotional intelligence as an idea is real or that it determines success in life or not, the fact of the matter remains. Human beings have over 6,000 emotions and you either control your emotions or they control you. The way I see it, emotions must be controlled to avoid making potentially bad decisions. I learnt that this unfortunately is not a magical process that occurs as you grow up. It takes time and willingness to try to achieve this and nothing shows you just how much you lack this as a relationship that doesn’t go how you want it to.
To be able to control your emotions you must first of all truly get to
Know your emotions. There are probably over a million ways we feel, but scientists have classified human emotions into a few basics that everyone can recognize: disgust, joy, acceptance, fear, surprise, sadness, anger, and anticipation.
However according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of the American Psychiatric Association there are four major emotions that give us the most trouble, These are anger, fear, anxiety, and depression.
After knowing your emotions we must accept that that emotions don’t just appear mysteriously occur. In other words you were not born angry or in-love. Many times, we’re at the mercy of our emotions on a subconscious level but by bring them to consciousness we are better able to control them. I have never advised anyone to repress their feelings or ignore them as it always inevitably means that it gets worse and could lead to a psychotic break (in extreme cases). A simple exercise could be to try to keep a small diary of your emotions and what triggers them and rate your emotions on a scale.
Try to be aware of what was happening at that time and what was going through your mind. Find out what triggers that emotion. Sometimes it could be as simple as the look in someone’s eyes. Whichever way this will help you also determine if your emotions are irrational or provoked.
At this point I will have to trust that you have your best interest at heart and would like some help on this so I will need you to write down what evidence (proof) supports this emotion and to also write down what evidence supports that this might be incorrect or misplaced feelings.
Now we must move on to a little bit of introspection. Ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation that is more rational and more balanced than the way you might have seen it before? Keep in mind first glance can be very deceiving and you just might be surprised at your own honesty and result.
Next I will need you to take time out to consider your options. There is always an alternative way to re-act even when someone tries to kill you so know that there is always an option. To be perfectly honest in most cases there are three main possible options. The first being react, second do not re-act and the third re-act in the opposite way of what you normally would have done.
After you have considered your options on how to re-act to the situation or feeling. You must make a choice. Your choice will usually be based on principles or logic. In other words what matters the most to you or what is the most rational way to re-act.
Finally, the above steps show how to not let your emotions control your behaviour, but not how to change the emotions themselves. If you want to control your emotion you must change the way you see the world.
I borrowed some of these quotes from a personality test I developed when at University and I believe that every item here is a lie
I must be perfect in all respects in order to be worthwhile. The simple fact is that not a single person can ever be perfect
Because things in my past controlled my life, they have to keep doing so now and in the future. We all know that change is possible and our past does not guarantee our future. People change and sometimes they are completely different from who they were. In thoughts and in actions. It’s simply the truth.
I must be loved and approved of by everyone who is important to me. A simple fact of life is that not everyone will love you at least not the way you might want them to; you either accept it or be destroyed by it.
I can be as happy as possible by just doing nothing and enjoying myself, taking life as it comes. I think it is quite likely that nothing will drive you closer to despair and depression like doing absolutely nothing or why do rich people still work?
Misery comes from outside forces which I can’t do very much to change. I accept that it isn’t always our fault when things don’t go according to what we want but we must learn that how we deal with it is ultimately our choice.
When people treat me unfairly, it is because they are bad people. Let’s be honest everyone is a mixture of good and bad and that includes you, so don’t be a hypocrite as we all make mistakes.
If something is dangerous or fearful, I have to worry about it. I learnt that worry adds nothing to you. Not a single thing so it surely does not help solve a problem.
It is easier to avoid life’s difficulties and responsibilities than to face them. I agree that it is easier but the truth is that it is not wise as we are who we are because of what we have been through and sometimes we learn life-long lessons in some of our most painful times.
It is terrible when things do not work out exactly as I want them to. No one can predict with accuracy the course of their life so it cannot be terrible if it is not something peculiar to you;.
You see controlling your emotions can change your life and gaining a new view on life will dramatically redirect your life. The first time I noticed this was when I went to a church in Edinburgh and I was completely baffled at how the people in the church seemed to not have a care in the world when they sang praises to God. No-one spoke to me but I could see it in them that this was real unexplainable peace. Something I had longed for, for so long and was struggling to find. I was very certain that these people had the same anxieties I possessed but dint understand how it seemed to all dissolve and then it hit me. It dissolved away because their perspective on their life changed. Their problems did not magically disappear. Their life did not change but what they felt because they knew God was in control of their life affected their outward appearance and demeanour. This is what happens when broken relationships and marriages get mended. They simply got a new perspective and then they learn to appreciate what they thought was a failure. Sometimes this is all it takes to see what was there all along and what was obvious to everyone but you.
Surrounding yourself with positive things and looking at life form a different view will certainly help you live a happier life and review everything you once thought was a train wreck. It’s simply like someone with cataract getting a new pair of eyes.
I learnt that we can spend our whole life looking for something we felt was missing and return home to find it was always right beside us. I also learnt that irrational emotions is often the reason why we never see it.
I will end this post with a story I read as I think it best describes what I hope you (the reader) will get out of this
A young man was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing his father could well afford it, he told him that was all he wanted.
As Graduation Day approached, the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of his graduation, his father called him into his private study. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son, and told him how much he loved him. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young man opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young man’s name embossed in gold. Angrily, he raised his voice to his father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” He then stormed out of the house, leaving the Bible.
Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. He had a beautiful home and a wonderful family, but realizing his father was very old, he thought perhaps he should go to see him. He had not seen him since that graduation day. Before he could make the arrangements, he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away, and willed all of his possessions to his son. He needed to come home immediately and take care of things.
When he arrived at his father’s house, sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. He began to search through his father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as he had left it years ago. With tears, he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. As he was reading, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired. On the tag was the date of his graduation, and the words… “PAID IN FULL”.
How many times do we miss blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? Or love because they don’t look or act exactly as we felt the package would be? Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; but remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.
Sometimes we don’t realize the good fortune we have or we could have because we expect “the packaging” to be different. What may appear as bad fortune may in fact be the door that is just waiting to be opened.
—— “Essay” China Daily
If you are lucky to have a job, work hard at it. If you are lucky to have friends, cherish them. If you are lucky to be loved unconditionally by someone embrace it and don’t look back, no one said life would be easy they only said it would be worth it. All you have to do is enjoy it.
I hope in some small way I helped make your life just a little bit better and give you a little more perspective than you began reading. I hope that after reading this you would look back at the number of times in life that you fell down and see it as the number of times you stood up and fought. Reading this was another step in that direction so take heart in the fact that you chose to try and not to lie down and drown.