About the Author

Honey's main interests are online dating, long distance dating, and long term relationships. She met her boyfriend on MySpace and they have been exclusive since their first date over three years ago. Currently they live in Tempe, Arizona. Honey graduated with her PhD in Composition and Rhetoric in May 2009. You can contact Honey via email here or online here.

Emotional Intelligence and Promises to Myself

On Friday, I went to a training on emotional intelligence, and I have to say that it was really interesting.  I’d taken a quiz on emotional intelligence prior to this (check out http://www.queendom.com/) and scored not nearly as well as I would have thought, although firmly within the bell curve. One of the results of the training was to make a contract with ourselves (we were given contracts and the trainer is going to follow up with us to hear about the results) and try to do one thing differently for a month to improve our emotional intelligence.  I got a lot of value out of the session, so I thought I’d try and pass some of it on.

Regarding the monthly contract, I chose to allow my emotions to influence my decisions, which I anticipate will be pretty interesting.  Sometimes I get really frustrated or angry and then my emotions make my decisions for me (which is different, I think, from letting your emotions influence your decisions), and the rest of the time I pretty much disregard my emotions completely.  I’m looking forward to the idea of taking a balanced approach.

Something else that we talked about quite a bit was that that anytime you find yourself angry at someone else, one of the most productive things that you can do is to take a step back and ask yourself what is going on with you, that you would be so angry.  Since I believe that lots of emotions, such as anger, are really something you are choosing to engage in (rather than something that simply happens to you) I thought that the way our trainer broke it down was really helpful:

  • Anger is generally experienced when an
  • Expectation that we have isn’t met, and that expectation is based on a
  • Need that we feel in order to assuage some kind of
  • Fear that we have.

When it’s something like getting cut off on the freeway, the best way to deal with the anger is to acknowledge the fear behind it – that you are going to be in a car accident and get hurt, or hurt someone else.  In interpersonal relationships, a better way to deal with anger is to get to the bottom of it, and then find out ways to meet those needs/fears/expectations in the future so that you don’t have that reaction.  It is also always helpful to assume that the other party has the best intentions, and to be very honest about your fear and what you need/expect when you find yourself angry, because this helps the other person to assume the best of you, and motivates that person to find a compromise that will lead to an outcome that everyone can be happy with.

Personally, I know that if you boil them down to the fear, most of the things that make me angry are based on the fear that if I am not controlling the outcome of basically everything that I come into contact with, something terrible will happen.  The fact of the matter is that I can’t control everything, especially other people’s actions, especially if those other people are trying to control things because they have the same thing I do.  So I have to learn to let go a bit.

This weekend?  I let go by letting Jake help me with some cooking (I made layered vegetables and seitan in homemade barbecue sauce for dinner and a strawberry-rhubarb crisp  for dessert) and also letting him suggest some of our weekend activities (which basically boiled down to sex and playing catch with a football).  I had a great time!

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  • http://casualencounters.com/blog/ Janak

    Nice, but I think the trainer has to come up with a system that makes a nice acronym. I mean “AENF”? What’s that? It’s barely an initialism, let alone an acronym.

    Here’s my way more acronymatically awesome attempt:

    * Anger is generally experienced when a
    * Belief about how something “should be” is challenged, and that belief is based on the idea that the
    * Exigencies of a situation aren’t being addressed, leading to our
    * Dread of possible negative outcomes.

    That’s right, ABED. Which is where you’ll find me in about 10 minutes.
    .-= Janak´s last blog …SugarDaddie.com review =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    Yeah, I thought her “acronym” could use some work – I’m not even sure I got it right because I couldn’t remember afterwards!

    But now, I’m all hot and bothered because you used the word exigencies correctly. What can I say, Lloyd Bitzer and Richard Vatz make me wet :-)
    .-= Honey´s last blog …Emotional Intelligence and Promises to Myself =-.

  • http://www.relationship-journal.com Mikko Kemppe – Relationship Coach

    Understanding our emotions and feelings is very interesting topic. Your training seems very logical and I find my-self agreeing with many of the concepts you shared. Thanks for posting.
    .-= Mikko Kemppe – Relationship Coach´s last blog …Dating Tip For Guys: The Best Pick-Up Line =-.

  • http://honeyandlance.com Lance

    What exactly is an emotional intelligence training class, and how/where do you take it? I’d be interested in somethin like this?

    Sorry, playing catch up, just read this post!

  • http://honeyandlance.com Honey

    It was through work (I get 16 hours of training per year as part of my contract, and more if I can talk my department into it ;-) )

    The reason we talked about emotional intelligence is because of 50% of all hiring decisions and over 75% of all hiring/promotions into managerial positions are due to the applicant’s EQ, not IQ.

    But I must admit we have a great trainer. There are trainings coming up called How to deal with Negaholics, Communication Styles, Managing Up (dealing with supervisors), and more. It’s pretty awesome.
    .-= Honey´s last blog …Interview with Gary Stock (Part 2) =-.

  • http://www.singlemomseeking.com/blog Single Mom Seeking

    Yes, how cool that your job pays for you to go to a class on emotional intelligence. Right on.

    This resonates with me deeply. From the little I know about you — via this blog — we have some similar issues from our past. I, too, often face fear (and wow, doesn’t a relationship bring all that old stuff to the surface!).

    I’m learning to let go, too… and to communicate along the way.
    .-= Single Mom Seeking´s last blog …I’m sorry =-.