The Three Components of Emotional Intelligence and How I Use Them to Enhance My Life

Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be self-aware of one’s own emotions as well as the emotions of others (empathy) while being able to control and manage one’s own emotions (Ferrett, 2018).  

Interpersonal skills, such as self-esteem and stress management, greatly influence emotional intelligence as part of being emotionally intelligent is self-awareness and self-management. When one can acknowledge and comprehend their emotions, then one can manage them better. We need to know what we are feeling and why are feeling this way in order to figure out the best way to react.  

Sometimes, our emotions get the best of us and we react before we can truly think about the situation and we later regret it. This is referred to as emotional hijacking, also know as amygdala hijacking. This phenomenon occurs when our amygdala, the part of the brain that regulates emotions, sends a fight or flight response that doesn’t allow our neocortex, the part of the brain that process rational thinking, to do its job (Nuetrino, 2012). 

In order to best manage this phenomenon, one needs to be aware that this phenomenon exists and can occur. Then, we need to be able to catch ourselves before we allow it to take control. Once we catch ourselves, we should pause for at least ten seconds (or longer) before we do anything else. During this time, our initial adrenaline rush begins to weaken and dissipate, which then allows us to engage in rational thought process (PMSL Training, 20125). After much our steam has cooled off, we should begin to acknowledge what we are feeling and why we feeling that way. This is called mindfulness and this will help us react better to the situation because our neocortex will start doing its job and begin to analyze the situation and rationalize the next actions we should take. 

Self-awareness and control are two key elements of emotional intelligence. The third component, empathy, or the ability to be aware of the emotions of others and understand from their perspective, is an equally vital part of emotional intelligence (“Empathy,” n.d).  By mastering all three components of emotional intelligence (self-awareness, empathy, and management) we can begin to use it to enhance our personal and professional lives. 

Specifically, there are three ways I use emotional intelligence to enhance my life. First, I start with myself. I begin to dig deep into my beliefs and acknowledge the biases and experiences that shape who I am. I ask others their opinions about me and reflect on their answers and compare them with my own. I play devil’s advocate with myself and I seek to try to understand why I think or feel the way I do. 

The second way I enhance my life through emotional intelligence is by getting to know others around me. To truly empathize with others, I must understand who they are, what they are feeling and why they are feeling that way. This means I should set aside my pre-existing beliefs about them and just carefully and actively listen to them. This includes asking thoughtful questions.

The third, but not necessarily last, way I use emotional intelligence to enhance my life is by actively empathizing with others. Actively empathizing means to truly feel how others feel (although, one can’t truly feel how others feel but can get close to it) and to take actions that seek to improve the current situation. This could mean just being there for emotional support. If it’s a professional setting, understanding their needs and accommodating to them may go a long way in the long-run.

Emotional Intelligence involves three distinct components: self-awareness, empathy, and management. Emotional hijacking can occur during the heat of the moment but practicing mindfulness can prevent it. Using emotional intelligence in all areas of one’s life can enhance your relationship with others thus enhancing your overall quality of life. 

References:

Empathy (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/basics/empathy 

Ferret, S. K. (2018). Peak performance: Success in college and beyond (10th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

Neutrino. (2012, September 8). What is an amygdala hijack? Retrieved May 11, 2017, from http://www.gostrengths.com/what-is-an-amygdala-hijack/

PMSL Training (2015, October 1). Amygdala hijack: English. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9u3UvXqArqs&feature=youtu.be  

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Grit = Delayed Gratification + Consistency

What drives a person to achieve their goals despite the challenges and obstacles that confront them? Upon doing some research, I came across this word: grit. After reading dozens of articles, I found that grit is collectively defined as a personality trait that people have, that is demonstrated by the passion and perseverance towards achieving goals despite the challenges and obstacles that may arise (Neutrino, 2012).   

I believe that there are two characteristics of grit: delayed gratification and consistency. 

Delayed Gratification

Delayed gratification means to manage one’s needs to be satisfied at the moment in order to be satisfied in the future, usually done in order to achieve a bigger reward in the future  (Cherry, 2018). When I think about my achievements and career, I think about the struggle and hardships I had to go through to achieve them. Then I think about the awards and benefits they have provided me. For example, when I in college I was working full time in retail, working nights and weekends. I had to learn to balance work, school, and life. There were many times where I missed out on social events because I knew, the benefits of an education and good work ethics would pay off in the future. Today, I no longer work weekends, I go into the “office” 4 days a week, and love my career so much that it doesn’t feel like work. My delayed gratification paid off well as the instant gratification of my past is nothing compared to the gratification I am receiving now. 

Consistency

Consistency means to adhere to the same principles, procedures, and process. It takes something and turns it into a habit, which is second nature, thus developing momentum. When a person develops positive and consistent habits, they are able to stick to their values and beliefs (principles), become efficient at what they do (procedure), and achieve their overall goals (the process). In fact, going to school and working is my consistency.  It is something that I just do without difficult thought or second-guessing. It has kept me busy, interested, and moving forward both personally and professionally. I value good work ethics and believe that people should be life-long learners. These principles have helped me excel in my profession and in my self-awareness.  

Conclusion

Knowing what grit is, which is the passion and perseverance towards a goal despite obstacles, while embracing its two main characteristics, delayed gratification and consistency, can help you better focus on things that will help achieve your goals. Knowing that a better reward is deferred in the future will help overcome the momentary satisfaction that arises in the present that may delay your achievements. Being consistent with your principles, procedures, and processes will provide you with the momentum you need to achieve your goals. But don’t let the idea of grit create an illusion. One still needs action in order to make anything happen. 

References:

Cherry, K. (2018, March 21). The importance of impulse control and delayed gratification. Retrieved from https://www.verywellmind.com/delayed-gratification-why-wait-for-what-you-want-2795429

Cohen, S.  (2017, December 26). The benefits of delaying gratification. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201712/the-benefits-delaying-gratification

Neutrino, (2012, April 25). What is Grit? Retrieved from https://www.gostrengths.com/what-is-grit/

My First Four Weeks of School

 

Going back to school as a non-traditional student can be a daunting experience. The last time I set foot in a classroom was ten years ago. Now, being enrolled in an online classroom, it is even more intimidating because not only do I have to get back into the groove of academia, but I also have to learn new technologies. This blog will reflect on my first four weeks back in school in regard to the new things I have learned and how I have personally developed from the Psychology of Motivation course.

New Things I Have Learned

During this first module at Independence University, I have learned a lot, both through the course material and experience as an online student. The most interesting and useful piece of information I have learned in the Psychology Motivation is the concepts associated with learning styles and personality types. Psychologists have developed ways to identify people through various personality categories, one being Myers -Briggs Type Indicator personality test (Ferret, 2012). This concept really resonated with me because knowing your personality type can be the first step in understanding who you are, or who you are perceived to be. With this information, one can take steps to change their behavior, thus changing their personality, or one can use it guide their decisions to complement their personality types (like finding jobs that complement certain personalities).

Another thing I learned from the first four weeks, was that education is important in life and the way it is consumed has changed. Education is important because it encourages critical thinking and prepares for life on the job (Ferret, 2012). Education is no longer consumed by students in a classroom while instructors give one-sided lectures. Education is now consumed through digital text, videos, and interactive components such as the daily check points. Education has broken the boundaries of space and time as one can learn from anywhere at any moment.

My Development

Throughout this four weeks, I have developed both personally and professionally. The chapter on time management has helped me developed personally as never thought I would have time to go to the gym. Up until recently, I have been placing going to the gym under discretionary time, the time that I considered free time. Now, I’ve made going to the gym a priority by placing it under my maintenance time, the time I spend maintaining myself (Ferret,2012).

The chapter on supportive and diverse relationships has helped me developed professionally because it has taught me the importance of effective communication and rapport. In this chapter, I learned to be an assertive communicator. Assertive communicators speak clear and concise, they express their feelings and use assertive body language (Ferret, 2012). Using these tips, I have noticed that I am more effective in the way I communicated with my team at work.

Conclusion

         My first four weeks back in school has been an amazing experience. I have learned new ideas such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator personality test and how the landscape of education has changed. During these four weeks, I have also developed personally and professionally. I have learned to manage my personal time wisely by learning to differentiate between discretionary activities and maintenance activities. I have also developed professionally by being more assertive at work. Overall I believe that this course is a great start to my academic journey and personal development.

References

Ferret, S. K. (2012). Peak performance: Success in college and beyond (8th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.