As I’m writing this email from just outside Seattle, there’s a ton of smoke from the forest fires that are all over the western United States.
It looks like the end of the world. Between the pandemic and terrible air quality, it’s not safe to be indoors with others and now it’s not safe to be outdoors either.
For many of my friends, neighbors, and acquaintances, the cumulative impact of these stressors has taken its toll.
Some people seem to handle these stressors with a degree of emotional resilience.
Others seem okay on the outside but are struggling behind the scenes.
There’s a common thread between those with greater emotional resilience and those who lack it.
It’s emotional intelligence (EQ).
The following components of EQ increase emotional resilience:
- Emotional self-awareness
- Emotional expression to others
- Relating to others at an emotional level
These are the abbreviated building blocks of high emotional resilience. Here’s why.
Decades of empirical data show that people who have close emotional relationships with others weather life’s difficulties much better.
The key to having close emotional relationships is being able to relate to another person on an emotional level.
The only way to do that is to express yourself in emotional terms.
The ability to hear somebody else’s emotional expressions is directly correlated to being able to express yourself in emotional terms.
This is where empathy comes from.
Say that you tell a close friend that you’re feeling scared. When someone else says that they’re also feeling scared, you can appreciate what that means. It allows you to engage with them from a place of shared emotional experience.
The only way to emotionally express yourself with others is to have awareness of the feelings you’re experiencing.
If you don’t know what you’re feeling, it limits your ability to share what you feel with others (and your ability to hear what others are sharing with you). If you can’t express your own emotions or receive someone else’s, that limits how emotionally close you can get to someone else.
The emotionally resilient aren’t invincible in a crisis.
No, the emotionally resilient have relationships with others and they help each other weather difficult times.
The emotionally resilient go through life in teams… those who struggle emotionally often do so as individuals without a team.
I have noticed that, in 2020, the most bizarre year of my lifetime, many people (myself included) are assessing and re-evaluating their lives. What’s working? What’s not? What should I keep? What should I change?
If you haven’t developed emotional resilience and built a team of support around yourself, now might be the time to do so.
If this resonates with you, I invite you to join the notification list for my program on How to Develop Your Emotional Intelligence (EQ) to Advance Your Career. It will be released for a short time in October. To be notified when it’s available and receive my emails about developing EQ, submit the form below.
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