Your kid just dropped your phone into the bathtub full of water. What do you do? Your boss just criticized you for 20 minutes about your work product. What do you do? Your mom just called you to complain about how her television is not working. What do you do? Truth be told, what you do is heavily correlated with your Emotional Quotient (“EQ”), and is probably a determinant of how your relationship will play out with this other person. More rewarding relationships are based on mutual respect that comes from being able to understand the origins of our own emotions and others.
Many people go through the daily rituals and routine of life without really taking time to consider whether they are reacting to the environment or choosing consciously to act a specific way. Being able to understand why we act the way we do is the first step towards improving our relationships with others. The next time your boss seems to be a complete pain in the rear, before your snap back with a remark, perhaps you could consider what is it prompting their behavior? Or even more importantly, perhaps you could consider what is prompting your response.
We often hear that Intelligence Quotient (“IQ”) tests are a tell-tale sign of how “smart” someone is. Children, especially those of previous generations, were often subjected to IQ tests of some sort during their education and the results helped parents and teachers decide how “smart” a child was. Albert Einstein’s IQ remains (to date) one of the highest in human history. Yet how many people would ever look at Einstein as being a Casanova? How many women would swoon at Einstein’s discussion of E=mc2? What makes us smart may not make us look attractive to the opposite gender. We have evolved as human beings, and have now entered a time where our IQ is no longer contributing to our success and happiness as much as previous generations. So what are we doing to prepare ourselves for this wave of change? How much effort are we applying to develop non-academic skills?
Think about the labels that were used during high school, like the “nerd”, the “class clown”, the “beauty queen” and the “jock”. Did you ever start or avoid a conversation with any one of them? If yes, the reason may lie in the fact that these labels come with an implied Emotional Quotient (“EQ”). Emotional quotients are correlated with a person’s ability to identify, evaluate, control and express their emotions. The “nerd” may have been book smart, but didn’t look like someone who is talkative. The “jock” may have appeared to be physically fit, but less able to express himself emotionally. The “class clown” may have been able to make everyone laugh but never taken seriously. At the end of the day, EQs are now regarded by academics as a much better indicator of a person’s ability to handle stressful situations and crisis. If your relationships (with anyone, be it your family, your friends, your teachers, your neighbours) are strained in any way, this should be seen as an indication that your emotions are probably interfering with what could otherwise be a “manageable” or potentially rewarding situation. To truly improve circumstances, speak to someone who has been there or is trained at helping others deal with such circumstances and take steps towards improving your life. After all, your life is yours. Nothing will improve until you commit to change.
Writer, Speaker and Lifestyle Coach