We Are Creatures of Emotion, Not Logic

They may forget what you said - but they will never forget how you made them feel.

Emotions are a funny thing caused by our thoughts and these thoughts caused by our life experiences. Humans all over the world from different cultures and backgrounds encounter feelings on a daily basis but these feelings become multi-dimensional and subjective based on one's exposure to different things in life. What would anger one might make another feel scared and what might make one happy could lead another to feeling sad. The way we allow ourselves to feel varies between individuals. If you have been molded since childhood to be embarrassed of your emotions you will find yourself overcompensating to appear like nothing in the world is bothering you. The same goes for those that were told emotions make a person weak. They lock these feelings up tight and shove them so far down inside while sticking their heads in the sand like ostriches; Nobody will ever know they have feelings.

When you deny your own feelings you become immune to the feelings of others and this will cost you success in life. The idea that success = intelligence starts for many of us as children. It is ingrained in our minds that we have to do well in school, we have to go to college, and we have to find the best job or else we won't be successful. I don't know about you but I was never taught that there is more to success than having a high IQ. Sure, being smart will help you pass all of those medical classes to become a doctor but will your patients want to stay with you if you don't understand how they feel? Do you buy a product from someone with high intellect and the gift of gab or do you buy a product from someone because they made you feel good?

Only twenty percent of our success in life is due to our IQ. A lot of the left over eighty percent is made up of EQ (emotional intelligence) and this is because those with high caliber emotional skills have better productivity, are more effective, and are more content in their lives. Makes sense, right? If you are unable to control your emotions and identify them you will be fighting a constant inner battle that will make it impossible for you to stay focused on tasks and have clear thought processes. Your patients will leave your practice because you can never remember what their history is and you will show horrible bedside manner. You won't make a big sale to a potential customer because you don't treat the buyer as a real human with real feelings.

From a scientific standpoint, EQ is being able to have an awareness of your own and others' emotions, to recognize the signals that these emotions send regarding relationships, and to be able to direct and control yours and others' emotions. Just like the ability to raise your IQ,, one always has the ability to raise their emotional intelligence.

The most significant component to emotional intelligence is a person's self-awareness. It sounds simple but becoming self-aware can be a complicated task. It encompasses the awareness of ourselves on many different levels including our physical reactions to things, our preferences and intentions, our values and the goals we set for ourselves, and our knowledge about how others perceive us. Self-awareness is crucial for emotional intelligence because we become conscious of our responses to others and can learn how to adjust them based on how we are perceived. This allows for a person to really understand what they are experiencing and helps one fine-tune their behavior thus making self-regulation possible.

Self-regulation is the epitome of wisdom and conscientiousness. It helps one control the impulsive responses that could affect another human being or themselves and allows you to gain the ability of thinking things through instead of quickly reacting. Emotions are biologically led and will always be a part of who we are but regulating them lets you have control and the ability to transmute these emotions in a more productive manner. When a person feels more productive they feel more motivated and this deep desire for achievement is the catalyst for success.

Lastly, to build your emotional intelligence you must find a balance in empathy. I say a balance because you don't want that doctor of yours hysterically crying as they read your cancer diagnosis but you don't want them to be a robot, either. What you need from them is compassion, which drives them to want to help versus taking on the emotions you are experiencing. When someone feels for you instead of with you it triggers within the want for someone's well-being to be positive.

Keep in mind that we have an emotional part of our brain and a rational part of our brain. The emotional side works quicker than the rational so unless you understand and work on controlling the instinctive emotional mind, the decisions you make and your choices in life will keep you from more success, better relationships, and better physical health overall. So stop focusing so much on how smart you are and start working on implementing a growth mindset by improving yourself, understanding your feelings and those of others, and always putting your humanity first.