Hello there strangers! It’s been a long, long time. Since last March, in fact. The end of the school year always proves a bit stressful, and it seems as though everyone is just trying to limp across the finish line into summer. Once we are into summer, in full relaxation mode, daily routines fall by the wayside and it’s not long before we start to crave routine once again. Once school starts and the routine rushes back in, it’s not long before we are wishing for a break.
It seems that’s the way life goes, always reaching for something that is just out of reach. Once we get it, we are wishing for something else. One thing I don’t want to have to reach for is emotional intelligence. I am constantly replaying conversations in my head that I’ve had with others, hoping that the things I said didn’t come across in a way I didn’t intend or in a hurtful manner. If I feel that something I said or the way that I acted could have, even in a small way, hurt someone else or made them feel like my opinion degraded theirs, I am not OK until I make it right. That is the very definition of emotional intelligence, being aware of how you interact with others and being in control of the emotions that drive us.
Emotional intelligence is not just learning what to say, more importantly, it is learning what not to say. You have to be thinking to yourself, “How is this going to come across? Am I speaking truth, or am I just spouting my emotionally unintelligent opinion that I am convinced everyone should feel too?” Yes, we are all entitled to our opinions, but there is a way to say things that is not hostile or demeaning. I’ve said it over and over, it’s like someone saying they are a democrat or a republican, which ever one the emotionally unintelligent person is not, and watch how fast the conversation spirals out of control. Emotionally intelligent people can have a conversation where both can express their opinions and respect the fact that the other feels the way they do for their own personal reasons.
Our family has actually lost relationships because of emotionally unintelligent people who felt that it was OK to tell me that if I ate a certain way, I wouldn’t have type 1 diabetes. By the tone and the aggression behind it, they were speaking it as gospel, that it was an absolute truth, and we were stupid for not believing it. So, basically, if I eat bean sprouts and cinnamon, my incurable disease will be cured, got it!
Far too often, I have met people who have felt that they can tell me how my disease works, what I should be eating, what I shouldn’t be eating, why I should feel grateful that “at least it’s not cancer.” The list goes on, and we all have people like that in our lives. It’s frustrating, yes, but we all have to deal with people like that throughout our lives, so it’s important that we learn how to deal with those types of personalities. Trust me, those types of people have very small circles around them. If you are constantly walking away from a conversation thinking how hard it is just to be around that person, other people feel the same way. You will probably also notice that those are the people who are surrounded by drama, self righteousness, an “I am the best and I know everything” kind of attitude. It used to be draining for me to worry about those people in my life or thinking that if I could just talk sense into them, they would change. WRONGO. This is something I’ve written many times about, if you want to change someone, the only thing you can do is change your attitude about them. Do not, I repeat, do not let these types of unintelligent, self-righteous people take up any space in your mind. Stay in your own lane and be the best person you can be. If you think you can change someone, I’m afraid you are going to spend a lifetime beating your head against the wall. Let them go. Trust me, they are not spending any time worrying about you, so don’t waste your time worrying about them.
My hope is that I never stop thinking about the kind of person I am, how I interact with others, and how my actions and words affect others. I hope that you too are not weighed down by those in your life who are emotionally unintelligent. The only thing we can do is change how we deal with these types of individuals and what effect we will allow them to have in our lives. As I am someone who writes a lot about positivity, I try to take negative situations and use them to reflect on my own behavior. I wrote in an earlier blog that some of my greatest lessons were learned from one of the cruelest, most emotionally abusive bosses I ever had the displeasure of knowing. It was a horrible situation to be in, but the lessons learned were monumental, the greatest being that I would never waste another minute caring about the aggression and opinions of an emotionally unintelligent person. Neither should you!
Happy Halloween to you all. I hope it’s a safe one!