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!