Increase Your Emotional IQ
If one wants to be a good communicator, writer, and conflict resolver or peace maker, one will need to increase their emotional IQ.
To start increasing emotional IQ, one needs to increase one’s emotional vocabulary and definitions. In the Good Old USA, most individuals use the same 7 to 10 words over and over again until they have locked in meanings – words convey that one is happy, depressed or angry.
Most parents teach their children emotions by modeling, word usage and pointing out how to control emotions rather than use emotions. “Big boys don’t cry, aren’t you a big boy?” “Use your anger and win the ball game!”
Emotions are our early warning systems and twitter messengers of what we are thinking and how we are going to respond. We need to define those messages in order to act and proceed, and to be thoughtful about how we proceed.
Emotions are based on the primitive responses flight or fight and safety or contentment.
It appears to me that many individuals have not sorted out their emotions, or developed working definitions for themselves and thus do not know how to act or proceed. If they cannot do this for their own selves how can they teach their children?
I grew up in a household where control and not revealing emotions was the highest ideal. I never heard my parents argue or have a problem-solving discussion. Having and showing emotions made one the “black sheep” and vulnerable.
When one goes to the doctor with a pain, the doctor is going to give you a dozen words to describe that pain. The doctor is working on getting a specific definition to the problem – a sharp pain gives a different message than a throbbing or tightness causing pain definition.
Emotions give you a pathway back to storage lockers in your brain. The larger volume in the storage locker the wider range of responses one receives and having a larger group of responses creates more flexibility in one’s thinking and perceiving. An abundance of tools and attitudes to assist in problem solving, or in just getting a new attitude; one is emotionally wealthy.
If one goes on a good brisk walk or does something physical (other than hitting, kicking, biting, etc.) one will find that the emotions are sorted and more useful in a much quicker fashion and one will have much more command over their emotions.
Emotions are more about what’s going on inside of you than what is happening around you or being delivered by someone else – “in your face.”
I keep two lists, about 200 words on each list, of emotional words beside me when I am writing or counseling and I attempt to define new words as a writing exercise about every other week. One list is of words which help define the emotions around NOT getting needs fulfilled. The other list is when needs ARE being fulfilled.
Having these lists available when working with children and sharing helps them to learn how they are feeling in any given situation and dramatically increases their emotional IQ.
Some Examples from the NOT list:
Disquieted, disgruntled, animosity, hostile, heavy, rancorous, weary, inert, lethargy, vexed, edgy, humdrum, chagrined – Do you get the idea?
Some Examples from the ARE list:
Involved, peaceful, absorbed, effervescent, delighted, mellow, radiant, intrigued, enthusiastic, blissful, hopeful, satisfied – I think this is a good sampling?
Now I would like to offer a challenge to you – Give me an emotional vocabulary word that you like to use – one from each category and then write the definition. This will add to my list and yours and expand the sample already suggested.
Make up a new word and define it so we know its meaning and depth.
One might find that participating in this exercise opens up new thinking or revives old pathways into your thinking…You might wish to write about those emotions in your own private space and not share in such a public forum? That will increase your emotional IQ also.
I look forward to reading your words and definitions. Here we go…