Don’t turn to oblivion that no one in this world is bugging you. Of course someone is doing so and here is something to take a look at:
Famous author Hermann Hesse once said, “If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is part of yourself… That isn’t part of ourselves doesn’t disturb us.”
Hesse calls it “hating” the other person, but your reaction can be milder, such as disgust, dislike, annoyance, or a general feeling of wanting to be elsewhere. It’s likely when you feel these things, if you handle the situation with your Emotional Intelligence, you can learn some important things about the other person, your emotions, and also about yourself.
Typically we clash with people who are like us in some way, or exhibiting some trait we ourselves have trouble with, and this triggers emotions that need looking at. Emotional Intelligence is all about being aware of your emotions, understanding where they’re coming from and what information they’re trying to give you, and then thinking it through before you respond (or not).
Next time you’re with a person who annoys you stop and process what’s going on. If you think they’re “pig-headed” for instance, could this be because you are, or were, or are struggling with this trait in yourself?
If you think they’re “scattered and disorganized” could this be because you work so hard to keep yourself focused and organized and don’t like to be reminded about how hard it is?
The trick – the learning point – is to sit with the emotion and explore it a bit. Be honest with yourself about where it’s coming from. When you think about it, if you weren’t pig-headed or scattered in the least, your reaction to someone who was would be of either compassion or curiosity. You might wonder how they got that way, or be eager to teach them how to conduct themselves in a manner that was more productive. Instead, if you know the trait all too well, it’s pulling on something inside you, and this is one of the ways our emotions give us information.
Sort through what you’re feeling, being honest with yourself. Is their pig-headedness or lack of focus reminding you of yourself at your worst? Is it bringing about the emotions in you that stir when you ARE being pig-headed or scattered?
Emotional Intelligence means putting a pause between emotions and response. It means allowing the emotion to process and learning from it, and then using your thinking brain to come up with a purposeful response. Sometimes it may mean not responding at all. If you do respond, you need to put some thought into it. Don’t let it be just an automatic reaction to what’s going on. That doesn’t help you, doesn’t help the other person, and doesn’t help the situation.
One of the times we’re most likely to self-sabotage is when we’re in the midst of a strong emotion. Learning to experience and process the emotion, and then make a positive response is what Emotional Intelligence is all about.
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