Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence

Is emotional intelligence as crucial for a man? Absolutely yes!

Nigel

I only came across these words in the last few years and googled it. It said, “Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and regulate one’s emotions and understand the emotions of others. A high EQ helps you to build relationships, reduce team stress, defuse conflict and improve job satisfaction” but I was wondering what is Emotional Intelligence exactly and how do you attain it? How do you know if you have Emotional Intelligence ? I wanted Emotional Intelligence to achieve the definition of happiness and fulfillment even though I may not be a millionaire. Now I’m wondering why I mentioned the word millionaire? Does it mean you need lots of money to be happy?

Let’s be realistic here, money does solve a lot of problems like a mortgage, rent, ability to provide the best for your family, holidays to relax the mind and of course don’t forget the friends that are attracted to you because of money (but that’s another article). But what if you are not a millionaire and do millionaires actually have peace of mind? You decide!


Emotion as a strength
As a first step, I completed the ‘Clifton Strengths Insight’ (www.gallup.com) to check what exactly were my strengths. To my surprise number one was empathy! I initially thought ‘that’s not a strength’ but then as time passed, I realised that’s what made me a people person. I may be anti-social but my understanding of people’s emotions and a good listener made them want to speak to me even more. I understood that people were just grateful if you just heard them out. But what about me? Who is hearing me and why can’t I find peace? It all comes down to two words – ‘Self-Awareness’.

What is Self-Awareness?

I haven’t googled this question but here is my definition and solution. I believe if you are depressed, annoyed, angry, irritated, helpless, anxious, etc. you have to be aware of these emotions. For example, when I am depressed, I try to be aware that this is the state of my mind and try to get rid of it by either listening to music, watching a movie, calling a friend, going for a drive, going for a walk, cooking, listening to podcasts of my interest. It’s trying to be aware of your mental situation and taking actions to resolve any negative thoughts. Again, the term here is ‘BEING SELF-AWARE’. This is the first step.

Men and emotional intelligence
Can men have emotional intelligence? Of course! The role of men in society has always been to show a brave front. “Don’t cry, that’s for the opposite sex”, “Don’t be weak emotionally”, “Be a Man”, etc. How do these expectations from society affect a man? Bottling up emotions is like a soda can that’s been shaken up, the CO2 trying to escape but it can’t. Only when the shook-up can is opened does the CO2 explode with freedom. Bottling up emotions for a long period of time not only leads to mental health issues but physical health issues too. Talk about it! Speak to someone you trust and love. A friend, your partner, a close family member.

I recently saw a documentary on Netflix called Stutz. It’s a documentary on mental health and self-care. A must watch for all people. The documentary provides tools and a manageable approach to dealing with mental health. I remember speaking once to a psychologist due to work related stress that was affecting my personal life. The techniques used were very disappointing. A one size fits all approach. “Download this App”, “Fill out this sheet everyday”, “Meditate”, “Listen to these calming tunes”, etc. It just didn’t suit me and I didn’t have the patience or time to meditate and take on homework.

It was easier to be self-aware, change jobs, talk to a friend and move on. I changed four jobs in a year until I was satisfied. I got rid of negative and fake people around me, I started listening to the 1990s music that I listened to growing up, I stopped playing video games that made me anxious and angry (a gamer would know what I mean), I started travelling more, I gave more attention to my partner and in return I got more attention, I got a dog, I stayed away from social media as much as possible, I started cooking sometimes, I started praying. What I’m trying to say here is that there are a number of things you need to change to make that improvement to your mental health. It’s not an App or documenting your feelings or listening to sleepy music while meditating. If it was such a simple solution, we would be happy all time and the noble prize would be awarded to the App creator for solving humanity’s mental health issues. You have one life and the pressures of society shouldn’t be the one to dictate how you live that life.

Guilt and men
Does being guilt free help with mental health?

We all have unique minds. There are people out there that can go to bed and have a perfect sleep without any guilt, but we are talking about regular people here. All I can say here is what happened in the past was the past. There is no point dwelling on something that you can’t change unless you get a time machine. We all make mistakes and take stupid decisions otherwise we wouldn’t be human. It’s also part of the human process to obtain that maturity through mistakes. If you feel guilt make sure you never do it again and move on. There are some things we can fix like an argument with your loved one. I have guilt for fighting with my partner while drinking alcohol. This was easily fixed by a simple apology from me and never doing it again. It came down to being self-aware and having less pride or knowing in which situations not to have any pride! So being guilt free does help with mental health. You can use that energy to think of positive things rather than dwell on your actions.

To conclude, I wanted to state that I am no professional. I am an ordinary everyday salary person that has learnt through life experiences and if I can help
someone realise sooner rather than later (like me) it would make my existence on earth happier.

I leave you with a quote: “Your attitude determines your altitude”.