EmotionsMental Health

4 Tips to Developing Emotional Intelligence

Tips to Developing Emotional Intelligence

Research and books like the one by the author Daniel Goleman highlight new sets of questions about intelligence. Not only is there an intelligence related to subject and expertise but also the intelligence of self-awareness of our emotions.

Emotional intelligence is the ability that we have to manage, understand, and conduct our emotions. It helps us not only to improve our quality of life but also to develop and have better, more respectful, and understanding relationships with others.

There are many ways to develop your emotional intelligence; here a few examples.

Stop Judging

We all tend to judge people based on our ideologies or moral codes. In this way, we consider those who stray from our patterns of thinking to be at best inappropriate, and worst amoral. People are different, and this is where the beauty of being human lies. Empathy is essential. Remember that you cannot judge anyone without first putting yourself in their shoes. Learning to free our thoughts from the duality of good and bad helps us to have a richer vision of the people around us and our feelings.

Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses

We all have strengths and weaknesses. What is interesting is that each strength is associated with weakness and each weakness with a strength. Choose which extreme you want to pay attention to. Use your strengths and learn from your weaknesses.

Be Assertive

Assertiveness is the most effective way to manage conflict. Do not confuse it with passivity or avoidance. Assertiveness is a way of life that you can put into practice to handle confrontation. Learn to say “no” and set your priorities.

Express Your Emotions

That sounds easy to understand, but it is perhaps the aspect where people are most mistaken. Expressing your emotions doesn’t mean being unpleasant or discredited with others. It’s about being able to express them constructively, both positive and negative. The majority of relationships fail because of the inability to healthily expressing emotions.

By learning to recognize and express our emotions, we develop our skills and abilities. That way, emotional intelligence can help us succeed. Our emotions send us bodily signals when we experience them. Emotional intelligence allows us to detect them and become aware of what is happening inside us when we experience a strong emotion. Emotional intelligence is to understand what is going on inside us. In some ways, it allows us to restore appeasement once we are aware of it.


A Deeper Understanding Of Your Emotions

As you have seen in previous chapters, emotions are significant in understanding who we are and what our body is trying to communicate. With practice, you can become very agile at understanding those messages, change your ways to improve your life and maintain a peaceful state.

When emotions are intense, we have the impression that our behavior is stronger than we are. It indeed happens that when faced with certain situations, the brain goes “off,” and it’s the emotions and feelings that take precedence over logic. Most of the time, the result is not pleasant to see either for the other person or oneself. But is it inevitable?

What if it was possible to manage 100% of our reactions, emotions, and thoughts. It is possible to listen to yourself, to respect yourself, to be in harmony with yourself, and therefore with others in all situations. The key to living in harmony lies in knowing yourself.

There are emotional wounds that, at first glance, considerably weaken our personality and even more so when they are not conscious. When we lack self-awareness, our defects, faults, wounds, and weaknesses become daily limitations. And the worse is when they are unconscious, they become an invisible and impassable barrier, set up by our mind. As a result, our behavior seems automatic and uncontrollable.

The good news is that we can grow through our experiences. Our personality is built up day by day through logical conclusions drawn by our minds from everyday situations. If the judgment is positive, then the experience will be an asset. If the experience is perceived as negative (trauma, fear, emotional shock), the experience will be considered as a wound and, initially, as a limitation. And then it will be integrated into our behavior as something normal. Since our mind learns something new every day, it can learn to transform negative events into an asset. You can go over the limits that your mind placed on you to move forward and build a peaceful life.

According to Lise Bourbeau, a world-renowned therapist, five major emotional wounds condition us. These wounds are mostly unconscious wounds that have plagued you since childhood. When these wounds are activated, you protect yourself by creating a persona, so you don’t feel the emotional wounds. That persona leads to behaviors and attitudes that prevent you from being yourself and affect your relationships. We all suffer at least two wounds. However, there is one in particular that has marked us more than the others. Becoming aware of our main wound helps us to begin the work of healing. The ultimate goal is to free yourself from the grip of the wound so that you can finally be yourself. The five emotional wounds are rejection, abandonment, humiliation, injustice, and betrayal.

Rejection

Rejection is the act of ignoring or pushing someone or a situation away so that you no longer have them in your life or at your side. The mantra in the life of a person who has the emotional wound of rejection is: “I didn’t feel accepted, wanted, pampered and loved.” Their limiting beliefs lie in the feeling that they don’t have the right to live their life. They have a deep belief (often unconscious) that well-being and pleasure are impossible and forbidden and that others can’t love them. Key emotions connected to that wound are fear and sadness.

Abandonment

Abandonment is not wanting to take care of someone or a situation. The mantra in the life of a person who has the abandonment wound is: “I didn’t feel listened to, supported, understood, or emotionally surrounded.”

Their limiting belief is that they can’t be independent; they need others to exist. They can’t see themselves achieving something on their own. The emotion connected to that wound is sadness and a sense of being empty.

Humiliation

Humiliation is the act of demeaning, ridiculing, and subduing someone. The mantra in the life of someone who has the humiliation wound is: “I felt bullied in my desires and limited in my need for freedom. I am not allowed to have fun.” They usually nurture the limiting belief that they are not worthy. That they don’t deserve to be happy and that they aren’t a beautiful being. They tend to choose (unconsciously) to be unhappy in life, which is why they can have self-destructive behaviors. The emotions connected to that wound are disgust, contempt, guilt, and shame.

Injustice

Injustice is feeling undervalued, unappreciated, and not respected for what it is worth. People who have the injustice wound believe they are not getting what they deserve, and their life mantra is: “I lacked everything emotionally. My parents, friends, or people, in general, are insensitive and cold. It’s not fair,” People with the injustice would have the limiting belief that they have to be perfect to be loved. They also see emotions as something bad. They often embody the victim mindset where nothing is their fault; they feel they don’t belong and that the world doesn’t allow them to be themselves. Recurring emotions with the injustice wound are anger, contempt, disgust, criticism, and jealousy.

Betrayal

Betrayal is the act of not being loyal to someone or a cause. Those who experience the betrayal wound have the following life mantra: “My expectations were not met, I was lied to, my trust was betrayed, I was used.” They feed the limiting belief that they cannot trust anyone, and they are unable to be attached to someone because commitment hurts too much. Being vulnerable is a weakness for them. The emotion mostly experiences by those who have the betrayal wounds are anger, contempt, mistrust, alertness, impatience.

If you don’t dig deep to heal those wounds, you will attract the same situations and systematically reproduce the same attitudes and behavioral patterns in your life, that feed your wounds. The goal is to heal these wounds so that you can grow and evolve. Healing lies in looking for the “How do I get better” rather than the “Why do I feel bad?” The strength of the “How” is to transform and move forward. Understanding our experiences is only a matter of personal interpretation.

Here are a few suggestions for healing each wound.

Rejection

Your deep needs are to belong, to exist, and to love. The solution is to confront your reality by accepting and embracing your weaknesses and qualities. You can heal that wound by learning to express self-love. Start by telling yourself, “I love you” daily. Learn to say thank you when you receive compliments and compliment yourself for your good deeds.

Abandonment

Your deep needs are attention, to exist, and to love. The solution for that wound is to become autonomous. You have to discover your abilities to heal yourself and live by yourself. You need to acquire the new belief that connecting with others is no longer a necessity, but merely a possibility. You can heal that would by learning to trust yourself and be your biggest fan. Become proud of yourself by recognizing the daily things you do well and love yourself for who you are. You can also learn to tell yourself, “I love you” daily.

Humiliation

Your deep needs are freedom and independence. The solution to healing the humiliation wound would be to improve self-esteem by rediscovering that every being is an extraordinary person. We all have the right to create our happiness for ourselves. You can heal that aspect of you by encouraging and congratulating yourself every day for who you are and everything you do.

Injustice: Your deep needs are freedom, intuition, emotion, and being yourself. The solution to healing the injustice wound is flexibility. You need to learn to open yourself up to the world without needing to suffer or create tension. Trust that everything will go well. You can heal that would by learning to silence your inner critic, become more positive, and express pride toward whom you are. Learn to reconnect with your intuition and emotions.

Betrayal

Your deepest needs are to be self-confident and free. The solution to the betrayal wound is to learn to let go. Accept where you are, respect who you are, and learn to listen to yourself. You can heal the betrayal wound by learning to trust yourself and be proud of who you are.

Know that every human being in his or her life has experienced every wound, at least once, in their life. Generally, we are deeply affected by two to three wounds. The wound may have been triggered by a single event, or by a compilation of experiences.

Although, be aware that you can heal those wounds if you are up for it. Here are a few steps to do so:

Step 1: The healing must be a personal commitment of you with yourself. If there are constraints and obligations, it will not work.

Step 2: Put your ego aside and accept that these wounds are part of you; they will open the door to healing. It is completely normal and human to have emotional wounds, which can be conscious and unconscious. The human is imperfect.

Step 3: Take a few minutes to review the five wounds. Listen to your emotions, your feelings, and your reactions. Your thoughts will not help you. It is your heart that knows what is right and good for you. Otherwise, I invite you to observe your physical body, which is generally the first shield that a human being uses.

Step 4: Forgive and accept that you had those experiences. To better move forward and evolve, be grateful for your past. Take responsibility for it and chose to let go of your role as a victim. Become a leader in your own life.

Step 5: Chose to move away from judging your past and all the negative or traumatic situations you’ve experienced. Chose to learn from those lessons.

  • Let go of the conscious and unconscious emotions related to your past
  • Take a step back to get a new perspective on your experience
  • Learn the lessons from your experience
  • Chose to close the wound and move forward
  • Savor your healing to build a future even better than your present

You can do the same for all your wounds.

About author

Olivia is a passionate blogger and book bug who enjoys nature.
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