Four Issues Emotionally Clever Individuals Don’t Do

4 Things Emotionally Intelligent People Don’t Do

This was great read, found the article here. Read on to discover 4 things that emotionally intelligent people don't.

Most people consider emotional intelligence to be a skill that can be built and developed with practice.

And while this is partially true, there is a deeper truth about emotional intelligence that most of us miss:

Often times, improving your emotional intelligence is about what you do less, no more.

As a psychologist, I work with a lot of people who look like they don't have a lot of emotional intelligence:

  • They blame other people for their problems
  • You get caught in cycles of stress and anxiety
  • They sabotage themselves as soon as they progress

However, in my experience, most people do not lack the ability to be emotionally intelligent. In fact, I think most people already have high levels of emotional intelligence.

Unfortunately, a collection of bad habits standing in the way of preventing many people from using their innate emotional intelligence.

If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, learn to identify these habits in your own life and work on eliminating them. I think you will find that your natural emotional intelligence is not far behind.

1. Criticize others

Criticizing others is often an unconscious defense mechanism that aims to alleviate our own insecurities.

Sometimes we are all critical. And it's not necessarily a bad thing – thinking carefully and critically about the world around us is an important skill. It helps us to control the world and our relationships objectively.

But too much criticism – especially the habit of being critical of others – can lead to the opposite of objectivity: it can make us narrow-minded and blind, especially towards ourselves.

One of the reasons it's so easy to habitually criticize others is because it makes us feel good:

  • When you point out to yourself that someone else is stupid, you are also implying that you are smart. And that feels good.
  • When you criticize someone for being naive, you are really telling yourself that you are demanding. And that feels good.
  • When you smile silently at how terrible the fashion sense is, you are telling yourself how sophisticated your own tastes are. And that feels good.

Helpful criticism is about making the world a better place. Unhelpful criticism is about feeling better.

When you are critical you will feel good temporarily but feel worse in the long run in the long run.

On the other hand, emotionally intelligent and confident people understand that criticizing others is just a primitive defense mechanism. And that there are far better and more productive ways to deal with our fears and insecurities.

Without knowing it, people who are constantly critical of others are really only trying to alleviate their own insecurities.

Understand that criticizing others is a waste of time and energy because it is all time and energy that is not invested in improving yourself and the world around you.

“Criticizing others is a form of self-praise. We think we're going to hang the picture right on our wall by telling our neighbors that all of his pictures are crooked. "

– Fulton J. Sheen

2. Worry about the future

Worrying about the future means denying the inherently uncertain nature of life.

As humans, we long for order and certainty. And for good reason: our ancestors, who did better at making their lives a little less secure, likely survived longer than those who didn't. We are biologically motivated to reduce uncertainty.

However, there is a huge difference between taking sensible steps to reduce uncertainty and the fear of believing we can eliminate it altogether.

And that's exactly what chronic warriors do. They are so afraid of uncertainty and unwilling to live with the fact that they are mistaken that they can make the future less uncertain – by constantly thinking about it!

Chronic sufferers live under the illusion that thinking is always problem-solving and that planning always leads to greater readiness. But none of these are true:

  • Just because you are thinking about a problem doesn't mean you are thinking about it productively.
  • And just because you plan to go through myriad hypothetical future scenarios doesn't mean you are better equipped. Often times, you just feel better prepared.

Worry gives you the illusion of certainty. But in the end all it does is break you.

Emotionally intelligent people understand that life is inherently uncertain. And they understand that it is better to face this reality with clear eyes than to live in denial about it.

Because when you stop knocking yourself down with all the stress and anxiety that comes with chronic worry, you will be amazed at how much energy and enthusiasm is returning to your life.

When you stop insisting that the world do what you want tomorrow to be, it becomes a lot easier to work with the world you have today.

"Tomorrow, worry does not drain your grief, it drains your strength today."

– Corrie Ten Boom

3. Think about the past

Thinking about past mistakes is a misguided attempt at control.

Just as we humans long for order and certainty, we also long for control. We are obsessed with the idea that with enough effort and perseverance, we can do or achieve anything.

Of course, most people who think endlessly about past mistakes and failures don't really believe that they can change the past. Instead, ruminating over the past gives them the illusion of control, however fleeting and temporary they may be.

Of course, if you've done something bad or made a mistake in the past, you naturally feel guilty and regretful. Chronic ruminants develop an unconscious habit of repeating past mistakes over and over, because it gives them a sense of control for a short time. And feeling in control helps keep us from feeling helpless – and we really are when it comes to past mistakes.

In reality, no amount of ruminating or analyzing your past mistakes will change what happened. So helplessness and powerlessness are inevitable.

This is a difficult fact in life that emotionally intelligent people not only understand but also accept.

If you want to get on with your life instead of getting stuck in the past, you need to accept the past for what it is – including feeling helpless.

You have to give up the decision to rethink it endlessly, no matter how much it distracts you from your real pain – the pain of helplessness.

When in doubt, act in the present rather than dealing with the past. Do something useful now, no matter how small it is – and resist the temptation to replay another scene from your past.

Don't give up control of your future by pretending you can control the past.

"To think too much is a disease."

– Fyodor Dostoevsky

4. Maintaining unrealistic expectations

Unrealistic expectations are a misguided attempt to control other people.

Just as rumination is an attempt to control the past and how we feel about it, maintaining unrealistic expectations is usually a subtle attempt to control other people.

Of course, most people with unrealistic expectations don't see it that way. You probably see your expectations of other people as a good thing: high expectations of people encourage them to grow and mature and become their best selves!

Maybe, but it's still a subtle form of control. You have an idea what another person in your life should be, or do, or achieve and your expectation is your way of achieving it.

But what exactly does it mean to maintain an unrealistic expectation?

Simply put, it means spending time making up stories in your head about what other people should be doing. And when they inevitably fail to live up to those standards, you reflexively compare reality to those expectations and feel frustrated and disappointed.

And how do you react to this frustration and disappointment? By creating even stronger and more sophisticated expectations because it makes you feel good and in control!

Look, of course you care about the people in your life and want the best for them. And it hurts you to see them hurt or fight or suffer. So, when you write a story in your head about being successful and doing better (i.e., an expectation), you will feel a little better.

The problem is, you can't control other people, even for the better. Not nearly as much as you'd like, anyway. That is, you are creating a constant vicious circle of sky-high hopes and grave disappointments and frustrations.

Furthermore, at some point your attempts to control will be felt by the people in your life and they will become annoying. And if it takes long enough, they can even go against your expectations out of defiance!

The solution is to let go of your expectations. Stop creating stories about what you want for other people. And instead, just be there for who they are:

  • Acknowledge their current struggles instead of dreaming about their future successes.
  • Set real boundaries in your behavior instead of wishing for perfection.
  • Meet them where they are instead of where you want them to be.

Hold on to your hopes but let go of your expectations.

"He was swimming in a sea of ​​other people's expectations. Men were so drowned in seas."

– Robert Jordan

If you want to increase your emotional intelligence, try tackling the problem backwards: instead of improving your emotional intelligence skills, try to identify and eliminate the habits that affect your natural emotional intelligence in the first place.

Stop criticizing others.

Stop worrying about the future.

Stop thinking about the past.

Stop expecting too much from others.

If you are interested in helping yourself or helping the teams you manage, you can learn more about EQ training using the links below. Let us help you discover the 4 things that emotionally intelligent people don't.

  1. What is EQ?
  2. Emotional Intelligence Training Course
  3. Learn to meditate with the Just6 app
  4. Meditation and science
  5. 7 reasons why emotional intelligence is fast becoming one of the most sought-after professional skills
  6. The Secret to High Salary Emotional Intelligence
  7. How to bring mindfulness to your employee wellness program
  8. Google search within yourself


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