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Emotional Intelligence

Even though I identify as a Sith on the Dark Side of the Force, I try to be a Jedi when it comes to controlling my emotions. I am no longer an emotionless robot without feelings, but I still rarely let my emotions affect my behavior or my decisions. As a young professional, I feel that emotional intelligence is far more valuable in the workplace than IQ. It’s not enough to be smart anymore. Emotional intelligence helps you connect with others in the workplace & in your personal life, ultimately helping you maintain a successful work/life balance.

Five years ago, my sister had a “Lunch & Learn” at work discussing emotional intelligence, & it absolutely fascinated & inspired me. Over dinner that night, I couldn’t help but engage my sister further on the topic, hoping to gain more insight. Emotional intelligence is something that I value highly & work toward improving every day. Too often, we bring the emotions at home to work or vice-versa. When an individual isn’t able to control their emotions it can impact their ability to communicate & throw off their work/life balance. Emotions are a key driver of day-to-day behavior, so it’s important to become more self-aware of your feelings & keep them under control.

Being bullied as a child created residual emotions that I still struggle to control as an adult, including depression, fear, & insecurity. I didn’t always have a high EQ, but I hope to continue to improve my EQ throughout my lifetime. Learning to be more self-aware of my emotions allows me to deal with them head-on, despite adversity.


  • It doesn’t have to be full-blown depression, but simply “feeling down” on most days doesn’t feel good. There will be days when your energy will be lower than normal. You’ll worry too much, feel distracted, & just not feel “up” to doing anything that you normally would enjoy. On my bad days, I just want to stay in bed all day & take lots of naps.


  • Whether it’s introducing yourself to a stranger or bungee jumping, it’s okay to feel anxious & scared. More often than not, your dreams & desires will scare you. Every important thing you want in life will require you to take a risk at some point or another because the most rewarding entities exist on the other side of fear. 


  • It’s hard to cope when you feel like you’re not meeting the goals & expectations you’ve set out for yourself. No one wants to feel inadequate. Sometimes we feel intimidated by the abilities of others, making us question our self-worth & affecting our self-confidence. 

By being more self-aware, I’m able to recognize my feelings as they occur. Over time, I’ve learned to identify triggers, & I do my best to manage the emotions that they bring forward. I accept my emotions for what they are & try to maintain composure while considering how my irrational behaviors could potentially affect those around me. One impulsive action may feel justified in the moment, but it can also turn into something that you deeply regret later on. 

It’s important to be kind to yourself & stay motivated, despite any setbacks. You have absolutely no control over the actions of others, but you have full control over yourself. I love this saying by Wayne Dyer:

How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.

When it comes to dealing with the emotions of others, I choose to be as sensitive, compassionate & understanding as I can. If someone is angry or frustrated, I don’t take what they say or how they act towards me personally. If someone is sad or upset, I listen to everything they want to share & acknowledge how they feel & why they feel that way. 

Rather than passing judgment, I prefer to listen & do my best to fully understand their current dilemma. I empathize, show remorse, & ensure they know that I’ll always support their decisions & be there for them. It’s always been important for me to approach life with a level head. I’m not afraid to take the initiative when needed. I can identify what’s important & make informed decisions. I do my best to connect with everyone around me in a way that nurtures & empowers them.

When it comes to portraying emotional intelligence, be sure to show your support & validate the feelings of others. I only offer advice or help when asked. I do my best to show empathy & remorse, without overstepping boundaries. This helps build rapport, trust, & respect. Don’t define your world in black & white, because there’s grey in every story. Be who you are, but aspire to be better!

XO Denise

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Social Media & Toxic Positivity

Social media is becoming a hotbed for toxic positivity. Too often, people overly encourage positive behaviors & emotions, while completely condemning anything & dehumanizing anyone who displays even the smallest speck of negativity. While I have definitely been guilty of toxic positivity in the past, with everything that I’ve learned this past year, it’s time to spread the word about the harm it causes & put an end to it.

I have a mug in the cupboard of my kitchen that reads “Good Vibes Only”. This used to be a mantra that I lived by to help me “fake it until I make it.” As humans, we experience a plethora of emotions, both good & bad. Restricting yourself or others to good vibes only is actually detrimental to our growth.

Have you seen the Disney Pixar movie, Inside Out? While I highly recommend you stop reading to go watch it now, I’ll try not to ruin it for any of you who haven’t seen it yet. lol In the movie, each character has five emotions that exist inside their head: Joy, Sadness, Disgust, Fear, & Anger. It is through being able to move freely through all five emotions that characters are able to learn & grow as individuals, from staying stuck in a child-like mindset to having a more complex personality as a teenager, young adult, so on & so forth.

You need to be able to accept & feel all of your emotions in order to develop as a human. It’s not healthy to suppress or ignore when you feel sad, disgusted, afraid, or angry. As children, we were much better at showing how we felt & moving through our emotions from moment to moment. But as we’ve grown, we’ve been taught that it’s more important to suppress how you feel inside, suck it up, & always put on a good face for the world. I’m here to tell you that it’s okay to not be okay. You are worthy & your feelings are valid.

I mentioned in a past blog post that I’ve always been a Jedi with my emotions. I used to never let my emotions get the best of me, but the truth of the matter is when I was feeling sad or upset, I would still lock myself in my room to cry & rage clean my space until I felt better. Even though I wouldn’t let anyone see me sweat, I still allowed myself to release my emotions in what I considered a safe environment (i.e. my bedroom) & in a productive manner (i.e. cleaning).

I’ll confess that I haven’t done as good of a job of allowing myself to feel my emotions over the past year. I held back my anger, disgust, fear, & sadness from mid-November through the end of December, causing me to get my first 8 white hairs! Yup, that’s right… I didn’t have any grey or white hairs on my head until I was 33. Once I finally let myself feel my emotions, it was like a weight was lifted & my perspective on everything in my life & who I am changed.

Too many people on social media only promote a curated, positive presence through a rose-colored lens. And even though I used to be one of them, I’m over & done with the “fake it until you make it” mindset. It’s time to put a stop to toxic positivity, especially if you’re using it as a way to avoid your emotions, prevent yourself from doing your own shadow work, or healing your past trauma. It’s time to accept that it’s completely normal to not be happy all the time. We’re all going to experience good & bad in our lifetime, so it’s only natural to accept the positive & negative emotions that come along with it.

It’s time to normalize feeling anxious or depressed. If someone’s having a bad day, it’s okay to keep scrolling when they need to vent rather than projecting toxic positivity onto them. If someone’s sad situation triggers you to chime in where your opinion wasn’t welcome, it may be a sign that you have your own anxious or depressing thoughts that you need to address. In order to improve the overall mental health of humanity, we need to allow people to express themselves & their truth, even if we don’t agree with it.

Toxic positivity, forcing your opinions & outlook on others, & silencing whomever you want to classify as the “enemy” isn’t going to bring the world back into alignment & harmony. Allow others to feel their emotions, then listen & try to understand their situation. We need to come together on common ground, without fear of being attacked. Only then can people finally feel empowered to express exactly who they are on social media as well as in real life. It’s through unconditional love & acceptance of who we are as individuals that humanity can truly come back together in peace.

XO Denise