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Building emotional intelligence

“The moment we refuse to hurt others because of our own pain is the moment we evolve as human beings.”

I’m paraphrasing this, because I cannot quite remember where I heard this quote or who it was from, but it sums up really nicely the idea of emotional intelligence.

Our level of emotional intelligence plays a huge role in our relationships and we should always be working towards being better versions of ourselves in order to create clearer, more harmonious communications.

We owe it to ourselves to become not just more self-aware, but more aware of the feelings and emotional state of others so that we can show them empathy, consider their perspectives and be increasingly open-minded.

How do we achieve this? By allowing ourselves to be vulnerable; by taking down our self-imposed walls and being open and honest about our feelings, by allowing ourselves to get close to and trust others, and by being willing to engage in conversations that may be difficult for us.

When we are in control of our emotional responses we can deal with any pain or upset that we are feeling from a more considered or neutral place. So if we can develop an awareness of when our emotions are escalating (or shutting down) and learn how to calm and centre ourselves it will lead to better relationships and help us defuse difficult situations.

Two emotionally intelligent people can communicate effectively and resolve differences calmly, but if one or both sides of the equation have not yet developed the maturity to handle difficult emotions, hurtful things can be said and done.

We will never get it 100 per cent right all the time, of course, but if we are able to show ourselves and others patience and understanding for being human, and acknowledge that sometimes people mess up or get things wrong, it is a sign that we are growing in our emotional maturity.


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