Developing Emotional Intelligence; Follow Up Thoughts

In yesterday’s post I feel like I only shared half the truth about handling emotions. Anger is an easy emotion to discuss, because it’s one I’m working on, but there are many other just as important feelings that I didn’t talk about because in honesty, I overlook them myself.

This morning while reading a post about sensitive people, I was reminded of my own sensitivity and how I deal (or more accurately, don’t deal) with it.

For example, my wife and I watched Lion on NetFlix a few weeks ago. It is an absolute gem of a movie and I would encourage everyone to watch it and keep some tissues handy, it’s an eye-waterer.

I felt a lot of emotions watching this movie, joy, sadness, relief, anxiety and disgust to name a few. Some scenes gave me a lump in my throat and stung my eyes, but I held back because “boys don’t cry”.

We talked about the movie afterwards and I wished I’d cried instead of suppressing it because of some old-fashioned belief. Crying is a good feeling when you need it and I always comfort and console my wife when she cries. I only followed this stupid social rule to protect myself in the past, from people who had been raised to believe it is true, I don’t need to protect myself any more.

Other feelings are harder to admit to and harder to change as well. Annoyance, irritation, we’ve all said “No I’m fine” when we clearly aren’t. We try to suppress these things and end up lashing out when something finally cracks the dam we’ve been building up. I can’t remember which book I got this from, but I remember that it said that we develop coping strategies as children and young adults, that don’t serve us as well as we get older and we have to learn to let go of. This is true of everyone, myself included, and is yet another example of the growth I still have ahead of me in this journey we call life.

Anyway, I hope I’ve been a bit more forthcoming with this post and maybe helped someone else think about what they might be hiding, even from themselves. It feels good to be open and honest with the goal of helping others and I look forward to trying to keep my posts that way going forwards.

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