What exactly is emotional intelligence? Ultimately, it’s the way in which we recognize, understand and manage not just our own feelings, but the emotions of others. Emotions are often the reason for our actions, and impacts the people around us frequently. High emotional intelligence means that you have an increased self-awareness, in this context.
This skill is useful when it comes to developing leaderships skills, meeting deadlines, dealing with tough relationships or personal setbacks, and handling feedback or criticism. It teaches you to deal with failure more effectively, thus thriving in both your love and work life. Emotional intelligence, or EQ, might be a skill you can develop, but sometimes, it’s just about knowing that less is more, in the end. Here’s what you should avoid if you’re looking to enhance your EQ.
1. DON’T: Act Impulsively
Emotionally intelligent people think about their feelings before they act on them. They pause to think before doing something, which stops them from doing an impulsive act in the moment that they might regret, such as insulting someone or physically reacting.
2: DON’T: Ignore Your Mood
Sometimes, you’re just having a bad day, and you trudge through it, waiting for it to be over. But rather than tracking your negative energy all over the place, consider questions like: how does my mood affect my decisions and thoughts right now, and how is this influencing my behavior?
3. DON’T: Blame People For Your Problems
Projecting your feelings is an easy-cop out. We’ve all been there. You’re in a bad mood, or someone pissed you off, and now, everyone around you is feeling your wrath. But taking ownership of your feelings and remaining accountable about them is a form of self-care, while remaining compassionate for the people around you.
4. DON’T: Excessively Criticize Others
Being critical isn’t a bad think by nature. But there’s a limit to being objective, and being overly critical of others to deflect from your own insecurities. Saying what someone else is doing is wrong feels good. When someone else is doing something “silly” it’s just a way to compliment yourself for not doing that. But instead, try positive affirmations and mantras about yourself and if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
5: DON’T: Be A Chronic Worrier
If you’re chronically worrying about the future, it means you don’t like the unexpected. Maybe you prefer to be in control, and it makes sense – being on a ship without knowing the direction can be terrifying. But this fear of uncertainty and inability to live with it can become obsessive. Going through scenarios in your head won’t prepare you better – it’ll just give you anxiety.
6. DON’T: Obsess Over The Past
Just like obsessing over the future isn’t productive, dwelling on the past too much can hinder your emotional intelligence as well. It makes you feel as though you can change the past, when clearly we cannot. Ruminating on your past self will bring on guilt and regret, but remember that we change every day, and you are not your past self. Not being in control of our past makes us feel helpless. But if you can accept that lack of control and the past for what it is, that’s emotional maturity.
7. DON’T: Avoid Difficult or Tough Topics
Those who are prone to being unemotionally intelligent will avoid talking about something that might be uncomfortable to discuss. They’ll keep finding reasons to put it off, but those with a bit more awareness might realize that addressing this topic sooner rather than hiding from it is the right decision. When not addressed, problems can snowball. Plus, it just feels better to get things off your chest.
8. DON’T: Have Too-High Expectations Of People
There’s a different between having high standards, having unrealistic expectations. You can’t expect the impractical from people, but often, those who have issues maintaining a sense of self-control will still feel this way. However, you’re not encouraging people to mature into their best selves. You’re stifling them with a form of control, and setting yourself up for disappointment.
9. DON’T: Lash Out When Receiving Criticism
Just like it’s important to know how to apologize, it’s important to accept criticism in a healthy way. At the end of the day, criticism is beneficial, and gives us a new perspective on ourselves. It’s important to keep our feelings in check, and not react in an overly passionate or indignant way. Instead, consider, “how can this make me better as a person?”