Developing Emotional Intelligence?

At home in our rented flat, our boiler has spontaneously died. An engineer came over to confirm the death, reassuring us that it had lived a long life and it was just its time.

And then our letting agent told us it could take 4 days minimum for it to be replaced. That’s 4 days without any heating or hot water, besides using the stove and kettle.

I saw red. My immediate reaction was a burst of anger and I went straight onto Google to see what rights I could threaten them with… not one of my proudest moments, I must admit.

And boy did we let them have it. We emailed them a link to an article on our rights, with the part about an emergency repair such as this requiring action within 48 hours copied right into the email. It felt good, but looking back, it probably didn’t achieve anything.

So now I have on my mind how sometimes we let our emotions lead us. Unfortunately, emotions aren’t logical or wise, they are a coping mechanism to protect us, physically or mentally.

Philosophically, I try my best to follow the wisdom of stoicism, and it is exactly in the situations where you feel your emotions are taking over control that are the most important to do that. This doesn’t mean resisting the emotion though, as some people think, it simply means noticing the emotion, letting yourself feel it and then choosing how to express it (if you even do at that time). Left unchecked, emotions will express themselves in everything you do, the way you close a door, the way you respond to people, how long your patience lasts.

Two days later and the letting agent has done everything they should and can at the moment. I don’t think the outburst was really needed, but I think they’ve had worse and they acted as professionally as can be expected. Overall, we’re pretty happy with how on top of it they seem to be now (although there is the possibility that they’re chasing it up because we expressed our disappointment so clearly!).

So I’m not great at stoicism and therefore still practising, but isn’t that all we can really do for most things, practise? Maybe it’s time I branched out from emotional intelligence articles and read a full book instead?

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