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Chapter Twelve

How To Develop Your Emotional Intelligence

The Best Investment You Can Make is in Yourself

 

There are at least two good reasons to work on raising your EQ:

1. If you want to be happier. 2. If you want people around you to be happier.

You will be happier because you will learn to spend your time more efficiently. You will avoid activities and situations which don't feel good, and you will seek and create situations which do. You will learn to take responsibility for your emotions and your happiness. You will attract more positive people, and you will enter into more meaningful relationships. You will begin to value your time more and get more accomplished.

People around you will be happier because they will feel more accepted, more understood, more respected, more safe, and more significant.

Actually, you have already begun to raise your EQ by raising your awareness and your knowledge through reading this book. Here are a few more suggestions if you want to continue to raise your EQ.

Things You Can Do Alone

Study the feeling lists in the literacy chapter and in the Appendix.

Frequently ask yourself how you feel. Refer to these lists until you no longer need them.

Write down your feelings to increase your recall of the feelings and their surrounding circumstances.

Work on raising your self-esteem, by taking courses, listening to tapes, and taking advantage of the abundant practical literature available at your public library.

Track your feelings in a written journal.

Your feelings can change from minute to minute. Practice identifying even subtle changes. The sooner you can spot trends, the sooner you can make adjustments.

Take responsibility for your feelings.

Begin expressing your feelings accurately. Neither exaggerate them or minimize them.

One reason people exaggerate is to get attention because they do not feel they are being heard. When you are comfortable with your feelings, and you surround yourself with people who validate your feelings, you won't need to exaggerate them any more. Neither will you feel the need to minimize them, so as not to burden your friends.

Stop over-using expressions like "I hate..." and "I love..."

I have heard people say they hate green beans. If they hate green beans, I wonder how strongly they feel about child abuse. Likewise, if they love french fries, how strongly do they feel about their children?

Let your feelings teach you what your needs are.

Acknowledge, accept, respect, and validate your feelings.

When you feel defensive, ask yourself what you are defending.

Listen to your feelings. Let them guide you.

Think about the consequences of your actions.

Balance your feelings and your logic.

Try to anticipate your feelings. Don't do things which will bring you negative feelings.

Make changes in areas where there are persistent negative feelings.

Invest more time on activities that have lasting, not just temporary, positive feelings.

Spend less time distracting yourself from your negative feelings through work, exercise, sports, entertainment, religion, intellectualizing, etc.

Avoid medicating the negative feelings temporarily away through the use of drugs, alcohol, nicotine. This is like turning of the fire alarm while the flames continue to spread.

Things You Can Do with Others

Start asking other people how they feel.

Try to understand their feelings. Ask them to explain their feelings so you can understand them better.

Ask others how they would feel about possible future events. In other words, start to take their feelings into consideration.

Listen to others non-judgmentally.

Begin being more honest with your feelings.

Use the tactful, but honest expression of your feelings to set your boundaries.

Take some risks by sharing more true feelings.

Get a group of close friends together & talk about feelings in a supportive way. Share your deepest fears & desires.

Attend some of the existing support groups and just listen while others talk about their feelings.

Ask others for feedback on how they perceive you and your emotions. Others will see things that you don't.

Don't defend yourself if you hear things you disagree with, or you will stifle their openness. Instead, thank them for their honesty.

Work on becoming less defensive, more open, and easier on yourself. Ask others to let you know when they perceive you as defensive, insecure, rigid or hard on yourself.

Set some emotional improvement goals and share them with someone you trust. Ask them to give you honest feedback.

 


This is the end of the book. Thank you for reading. Best wishes.

Steve