Sis, Read the Room!

A Millennial's Guide to Emotional Intelligence

MENTAL WELLBEING

7/7/20233 min read

“You’ve gained weight oo”, “Your stomach looks bigger than the last time we met ''. Have you seen a doctor?”. I wish I were joking; sadly, these are actual questions I heard asked - not to me, because that would mean I'm writing this behind bars which thankfully I’m not. However, in usual fashion, I went into a whole speech detailing why these statements or questions, whatever the intentions were, were highly inappropriate. During these interactions it became as clear as a bottle of Voss water, that filters are rarely applied in conversations on this side of the world. That may be ideal in select situations but I'd like to think that, generally, there are things better left unsaid. For this reason, I'm grateful that we cannot read each other’s minds.

Being conscious of the content of our conversations is crucial because the reality is that we are oblivious to the internal struggles our friends or family have. “You’ve lost weight” could stem from an illness, eating disorder, or depression, and unsolicited candor may re-ignite memories the recipient of your observation may be trying to cope or overcome.

Read the room and the audience. Everyone is going through personal battles, some more than others, and being sensitive is a soft skill that indicates an air of emotional intelligence. Simply put, emotional intelligence is the ability to understand and manage your emotions as well as that those around you.

Self-Awareness

This is the ability to recognize your feelings and emotions, understanding why you’re experiencing them, and reconciling how they may be affecting you and those around you.

Self-Regulation

Once you are self-aware, you can now regulate or manage how you feel, especially the negative emotions. Being conscious of your temperaments and fine-tuning them elevates your level of emotional intelligence. Moreover, it enables you to be more considerate of yourself and others. Self-regulation means you are able to discern the right time, place and manner to express your emotions.

Self-Awareness Emotional Intelligence
Self-Awareness Emotional Intelligence
Self-Regulation Emotional Intelligence
Self-Regulation Emotional Intelligence

Social Skills

When you are adept in the art of emotional intelligence, your social skills are greatly impacted. You are able to read verbal and non-verbal cues and positively influence others.

If you’d like to hone your social skills, you can do this by practicing active listening, monitoring body language, maintaining good eye contact and, showing genuine interest in others.

Social Skills Emotional Intelligence
Social Skills Emotional Intelligence
Empathy Emotional Intelligence
Empathy Emotional Intelligence

Empathy

This is the ability to understand how someone is feeling. Being perceptive of others’ emotional state and treating them with extra care and attention summarizes being empathetic.

This can be a hurdle when you’re on the receiving end of someone's brunt and frustration. However, maintaining composure and understanding that the reaction is not about you, but the root cause of their feelings, makes a world of difference.

Motivation

What are your intrinsic goals? No, we’re not talking about money, affluence and everything in between. Clarifying your intrinsic goals helps you understand the motivation behind your actions or reactions. Individuals who are emotionally intelligent thrive on making themselves and those around them better versions of themselves.

Motivation Emotional Intelligence
Motivation Emotional Intelligence

Avoid bringing up highly sensitive topics like physical appearance, financial situations, etc. If you feel that the situation is dire or life, consider an intervention with the person’s best interest at heart.

The usual justification for insensitive behavior is “I don't like to sugar coat things”, tsk tsk. Instead of offering criticism, try compassion. Instead of judgment, give support. You never know when you might be in need of the same.

The world would be a much better place if we all made an attempt to heighten our emotional intelligence. Until then we should always keep in mind to "Read the Room" and be mindful of the context and needs of others.

Lastly,