This month on the blog I’m talking about the concept of Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) and offering my own framework around how I think about EQ. (Check out the introductory post here; learn why you shouldn’t push to “think positive” and dive deeper into moving from loneliness to connection.)
Whether you acknowledge it or not, we live in an energetically connected universe.
Science proves this - and you’ve experienced it yourself. If you’ve ever “caught” stress from a high-strung colleague, felt drained after spending a day with a negative friend, or met someone so genuinely calm and positive that you craved their presence, you know exactly what I mean.
This is exactly why your Emotional Intelligence Quotient (EQ) is essential to living a life that’s successful according to you.
So how do we operate in our own emotional lives in the context of the larger emotional sphere? How do we manage and live into our own emotions in a way that complements other people’s emotions in a healthy, boundaried way?
This is exactly what phase 3 of my EQ framework is all about, and I can sum it up in two words: honoring emotion.
We honor emotion by feeling it, instead of resisting it, stuffing it down, ignoring it, judging it or explaining it away.
The second component to honoring emotion is setting strong boundaries for yourself, inside which you are free to feel your emotions.
Because when you don’t create a boundary for yourself, you create a new emotion - usually anger, resentment or annoyance.
(All of which tend to harm a relationship!)
For example, let’s say that you and your partner have equal responsibility for meals. It’s your turn to make dinner, and you’ve had a crappy day.
You have two choices: you can stay silent (i.e., not honor your emotion and not create a boundary), which probably means you’ll feel annoyed, tired and resentful about making this meal. (Which, by the way, means it won’t taste as good!)
Your second choice is to honor how you’re feeling in the moment. This doesn’t mean that you pass off the responsibility. It simply means that you’re honest about how you’re feeling and you get creative: “I’m not up to cooking tonight. I can pick up salads on the way home.” Or you share how you’re feeling and allow your partner to help you resolve the issue.
When you honor your emotion and speak from a place of authenticity, it creates intimacy.
Your boundary in this moment is the decision that “I’m not going to give more of myself than I have to give.”
When you honor your own emotion, you honor your relationships. You honor what is happening in the present time. And most of all, you honor yourself.
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