By Kellogg Green
Just because you’re book smart doesn’t mean that you’re good at controlling your emotions and anger; the inverse, meanwhile, is also true.
While the concept of IQ has been around for over a hundred years, the concept of an emotional quotient (or EQ) has only been around for a few decades.
The fact that it is a more recent development means that we are a bit behind the curve when it comes to analyzing emotional intelligence, a big part of which is being able to control outwardly displays of hostility.
This post will examine ways you can not only better your EQ, but control anger and emotions in the process.
Managing Negative Emotions
Everyone will experience rejection and hurt, but not all of us will react in the same way.
Many of us, for example, will internalize whatever we feel or are told by someone else, putting all of the blame upon ourselves. This is not a healthy approach.
A healthier approach would be to not think in black and white terms; rarely is anything completely one’s fault. Accepting and preparing for the fact that not everything will work out your way is a mature way of thinking, and it’ll lead you into fewer perilous emotional situations.
Take Physical Action
Whenever you’re feeling angry or moody, engaging in some kind of physical action can often get you out of that state of mind.
For example, dousing your face with cold water or otherwise cooling yourself down, can help when your temper has run amok.
When you’re feeling scared, depressed, or pessimistic, doing physical exercise is a good approach. A body in motion is more easily liberated from the chaos of the distressed mind, allowing it to feel more energized and confident.
A key measure of having a strong EQ is the ability to express yourself clearly and fully.
Although it may feel comforting to hold the same viewpoints as friends, family, or a partner, there is nothing wrong with having differing opinions or expectations from them. All in all, it just needs to be established where you do stand, and how much you’re willing to compromise.
One approach that is often supported by psychologists is telling another how you feel when they do any given thing.
For example, you could tell your friend:
“I feel let down when you make it sound like you want to hang out, but you end up making other plans instead.”
you want to avoid making accusations or unfairly criticizing others. One way to do this is by emphasizing yourself and your preferences, as opposed to calling out someone else for their misgivings.
Ultimately, by better understanding and expressing how you feel, you will experience an increased ability to understand the perspectives of others, while also being able to form better relationships both professionally and personally.
Taking Your Time
We’ve all said something we didn’t mean in the heat of the moment, and it’s likely caused unnecessary strain with whoever received the message.
Individuals with a high EQ train themselves to think before they speak, which allows them to avoid making regrettable or foolish remarks.
Upon reflection, it’ll usually become clear that whatever hurtful thing you wanted to say wasn’t appropriate in approach, content, or tone. Regardless of the magnitude of the issue, you can even practice what you want to state in advance, such as in front of a mirror.
Although It’s been mentioned, it’s important to be assertive, yet genuine and tactful. You shouldn’t be passive-aggressive or have any ulterior motives when addressing someone with whom you’re frustrated or angry.
Analyze and Find Solutions
Once you’ve either expressed or decided how you’ll express how you feel, it’s important to come up with solutions to your issues.
Solutions vary depending upon the circumstances, and you may find it more effective to run them by the people affected. Getting the perspective of all parties involved will also make it more likely that the solution will be thought of as fair and amenable .
Anger in this process is counterproductive. A true search for a solution will be completely based upon the pure desire to solve a problem, instead of being motivated by emotions such as fear, power, or jealousy.
If you have ongoing anger or emotional issues, don’t be complacent! It’s easy and practical to find help nowadays, whether it manifests itself in the form of therapy or learning new skills.
One thing you can try when you’re feeling angry is similar to a method already mentioned: deep breathing. It’s important to breathe from your diaphragm— or gut— region, as other methods of breathing aren’t as effective.
Visualization or mantras can also be effective. They can center you, putting you in a state of mind where anger and strong emotions become secondary.
As for therapy, it might be something you want to pursue if you have continued emotional or anger issues, particularly if your spells hurt those around you.
Here and here are two good portals for finding a local therapist who can help you control your issues.
Regardless of the severity of your issues, the benefits of a high EQ are well-documented, so it should almost always be desirable for you to work on your emotional intelligence issues.
Amongst other things, a high EQ increases your potential for career success and happiness.
While most people don’t see a dramatic increase in their emotional intelligence in their lifetime, it can certainly be achieved— it does takes a firm desire and commitment, however.
Best of luck!