I still have flashbacks of the many times I’ve been emotionally (un)intelligent. Like when I drowned my sorrows in 3 homemade apple martinis only to call my then boyfriend 3 times consecutively. The last phone call ended with a voicemail on his machine. “Why wont you call meeeee baaaaaaack!” I sobbed while slurring my words.
Really attractive and (un)intelligent.
Then there was the time I called an ex-boyfriend for breakup sex. After a night of shaking my rump on the Jade Terrace dance floor, my liver was filled with Bacardi and my vage throbbed for a man’s touch. Being that I mind my number of sexual partners as carefully as a farmer plows his crops, I called George – a familiar man who respects me and still cared about me and my vagina’s needs. I demanded he meet me in front of the club; he claimed he was exhausted. It was 4AM, but I took this as rejection.
Untethered (I once was also a glutton for punishment), I pressed on. He stuck to his story. Finally, while standing outside in heels and a tight, hot pink tube-top dress, I screamed into the phone, “You will NEVER have SEX with me AGAIN!”
Really classy and very (un)intelligent.
What was wrong with me? I can take the cowards way out and blame my alcohol intake, or I can admit that I was an emotional mess lacking awareness and a hold of my emotions.
I was really emotionally (un)intelligent.
What’s Emotional Intelligence? According to Psychology Today, EI (emotional intelligence) “refers to the ability to perceive, control and evaluate emotions.” There are four factors of emotional intelligence, including how we perceive emotions, our ability to reason using our emotions, how we understand emotions, and the ability to manage emotions.
- Perceiving Emotions: If a man says he’s tired, then maybe he’s tired! But, as women, we often perceive this statement as rejection. This may stem from abandonment issues or insecurity. However, if we are emotionally intelligent we would see it as is and understand body language and facial expressions. If he’s snoring and drooling, then he’s snoring and drooling, not rejecting or abandoning.
- Reasoning With Emotions: Many men say women lack reason and logic when we get “emotional.” I, for one, am guilty as charged. When we get emotional, it is because something has grabbed our attention for good or bad. The trick is to reason with our emotions and take a step back to enhance logical thinking.
- Understanding Emotions: This can be tricky because it goes back to our perception of emotions and the situation at hand. For example, sometimes I’m quiet and isolate myself. Those around me assume that I’m angry or in a bad mood as they are used to my bubbly and fiery persona. But, in all actuality, it has nothing to do with the person(s) at hand. An emotional reaction is usually the effect of a deeper cause.
- Managing Emotions: Managing emotions may be the most challenging skill to learn. I, for one, am implusive, which has led to outbursts. If we respond to situations with reason and understanding and check our baggage at the door, it is much easier to regulate emotions. The key to this is self-awareness and assessment.
So, the next time you find yourself reacting, take a moment to ask yourself whether it is the emotionally intelligent thing to do. Though there is a debate whether emotional intelligence can be learned or if it is innate, I believe we can learn from our mistakes. I have and it was evident when I ended my relationship with Luke. I am no longer the girl who gets trashed. I am no longer the girl who doesn’t reflect. I’ve learned to evaluate my emotions and, in turn, make better choices. No more sobbing over telephones. No more chugging away the anger and the pain. Instead, I stand up for my needs, respect others, and allow myself to grow.
And that’s emotionally intelligent.