“the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Emotional intelligence is the key to both personal and professional success and prosperity.”
1 Cor. 13:11
“It’s like this: when I was a child I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I became a man my thoughts grew far beyond those of my childhood, and now I have put away the childish things.”
Nowadays, there’s not really any need for us to show our true emotions. Not when we have emojis at our fingertips that we can send to friends and family – even when they don’t really live up to what we’re actually feeling. These little faces cover a wide range of emotions, so we can feel like we are more emotionally intelligent, right?
The question of what we are supposed to do with emotions can be a tough one for many of us. Some people may feel threatened by people who express their emotions, lashing out with an angry response of, “Some people are just too sensitive, too emotional.” But what about the anger they’re showing? To some, anger is a “legitimate” emotion – it’s rational or justified. But tears and sensitivity… not so much. The reality is sensitivity and anger are both legitimate. Denying any emotion never works well.
It’s best to acknowledge our emotions and recognize what they are telling us. We are emotional beings in addition to physical, spiritual and relational beings.They may or may not be appropriate in our reaction however. We must learn to respond and not react for example.
Think about it this way: have you recently had a conversation that you thought was no big deal, but the person you were speaking with was upset about it? Did they seem to be unreasonable or extreme in their response to you? Did they try to justify their unreasonable comments?
You thought it was no big deal – but what happened?
Perhaps the person misunderstood what you had to say. Maybe they felt they knew what you were going to say, disagreed prematurely and wanted to be sure that their viewpoint would be heard. Maybe they were upset about something else that had nothing to do with your conversation, but were still feeling emotions from a previous situation. When not properly addressed, emotions can manifest themselves in unreasonable and unwarranted ways.
So what is emotional intelligence?
A mark of emotional intelligence is having the ability to work through your emotions as they arise, with the person with whom they occurred. This takes practice and intentionality, taking our thoughts, feelings and emotions captive. When we overreact, it is often because we have not dealt appropriately with our emotions.
As Peter Scazzero explains, “It’s impossible to be spiritually mature while remaining emotionally immature.” Working through your emotions will help mature us emotionally and spiritually.
Are we fearful of dealing with emotions? Do we look weak in our own eyes if we show emotion? Do we think that others might see us as weak if we get emotional? These are important questions to address as we seek to become emotionally intelligent people.
How to become an emotional adult
We begin as emotional infants, move on to become emotional children, grow into adolescence and finally grow up to be emotional adults. Emotional adults respect others and their opinions, and do not feel the need to change them. Emotional adults can appreciate people for who they are and can take responsibility for their own actions, thoughts and feelings. How do we become emotional adults?
A good place to start is to begin owning and working through your emotions after the fact. It becomes more challenging when you are trying to work things out with your spouse, team or family member on the spot. Regularly take an inventory of why you reacted the way you did.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE A DAILY INVENTORY SEND ME AN EMAIL AND I WILL SEND YOU A COPY!
In this series we will explore Emotional Intelligence and it’s integration with:
RELATIONSHIPS / TEAMS
DEVELOPING THE GENUINE SELF