By Yumna Mahmood
In a Weekly Open E-Webinar with Coach Mousa, we had a discussion about Emotional Intelligence.
The definition of Emotional Intelligence as shared by Coach and many other authorities of Psychology and mental health is,
"The ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as recognize and influence the emotions of those around you."
What are Emotions?
Emotions are biological responses generated by our brain in response to sensations received by us from happenings around us, which could be:
Merry or a sad event
This enhances the definition of Emotional Intelligence to be aware of how our surroundings and actions influence our behavior.
It's important to note that emotional intelligence is about how "we" manage our emotions when dealing with ourselves and the people around us, through the ups and downs of life. However, to do that we need to be aware of ourselves first.
Personal Competency and EI
Coach highlighted 4 main competencies improving which would make us Emotionally Intelligent.
These competencies, called Personal Competencies are:
Self Awareness: to know one's limitations, strengths, and weaknesses
Self Management: to control oneself during the ups and downs of life
Social Awareness: knowing how to deal with different people in different situations and scenarios
Social Management: working with people, letting them know their limits, and avoiding invading theirs.
The better you know about yourself, what you like and dislike, your boundaries, your principles, and flexibility, the better you end up avoiding getting yourself and those related to you, into trouble.
Relationships, Emotional Intelligence, and Personal Competencies
Now, that we know Emotional Intelligence starts with knowing about "our own self first", the query remains how can we use this knowledge to improve our relationships?
It's always easy to cherish a happy moment or a remembrance but what's important to be emotionally intelligent is getting hang of the emotions, especially the negative ones, knowing what causes them, and how to avoid them.
As Dr. Joelle Samaha said in a Webinar,
"We need to sit with our emotions."
which in the case of being emotionally intelligent is "knowing the Why" behind emotions, as Tony Robbins said,
"The quality of our life depends on the quality of questions we ask ourselves."
Here self-reflection comes into play. There are a few reflective questions that can help us analyze our emotions, actions, and behaviors and help us tailor our reactions in a manner that avoids differences and harnesses cooperation, such as:
What is behind my emotions?
If I hate someone, why do I hate him/her?
What makes me angry?
Why do I no longer love my partner?
Interrogate Your Emotions
Some questions that the Coach displayed that can help us interrogate our emotions and feelings are:
What am I feeling right now?
What happened that made me feel this way or Why am I feeling this way?
Does the situation have a different explanation that might make sense?
The more we interrogate, we learn the cause of our emotions, and only then we are in a better position to prevent them from controlling us.
We are not accountable for what people do, think, and feel. We are accountable for our thoughts, behaviors, and feelings, and that, I feel is the key to emotional intelligence. Know yourself first to make the best choices, to do the best you can, and to avoid putting yourself in places and situations you don't belong to.