Expressing emotions can be hard for many men. The issue does not stop with simply talking about the emotions. As for many, it is even hard to understand what exactly those feelings are. We have been shown and told by society that expressing or even having certain emotions is not a manly state. Societal standards and pressures have made many men and even women suppress what they are feeling on the inside and portray what is acceptable to the public eye on the outside.
When you are uncertain about your own feelings, you may have trouble understanding and empathizing with what other people might be going through. This can be a big hindrance to things as important as personal relationships and business. Today is the first day of the lunar year. With the goal of making this year as great and productive as we can, we are going to talk about emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence is described as the “ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges, and defuse conflict.” As you can imagine this is quite important in all areas of our life as we do live in a large society. We are bound to interact with people in all areas of our life. Whether we like it or not. From going to buy groceries, to our personal and even company relationships.
Even when emotional intelligence is quite necessary and helpful. It can be hard at first when you have never gotten into the habit of thinking about your own emotions or the meaning of why you might be feeling a certain way. But just like with any new habit, practice is key. Start cultivating your emotional intelligence by evaluating your emotions. If something triggers you, think about the why. If you feel angry, sad, apathetic, lacking drive, try to understand why you might be feeling that way and then work on the root of the problem not only on the surface symptoms. When you start to practice this regularly you will see an enormous change in all your relationships, starting with the one with yourself.
Find your energy
In order to do this, my two biggest pointers are to search for your balance and to keep your boundaries. Find a balance between the things that you need to do, the things that you wish to do, and the things that you should do. Try to find space for work and play but also to take care of yourself and recharge.
In order to do that, you will first need to understand your boundaries. Let go of the necessity of pleasing others. Let go of the feelings of inadequacy and learn to understand your physical and emotional needs. Once you know about them protect them and honor them. At the end of the day, no one can give from an empty glass without dying of thirst first.
Let go of old feelings of shame
Shame is one of the worst things you can do to yourself. While it is normal and even healthy to feel guilt by things we have done wrong or could have done better, feeling shame is a whole other story. While guilt represents responsibility and even the possibility or wishes to improve things, shame comes along with inappositeness. Shame represents that there is something inherently wrong with you, not any longer just with your action. Therefore, through shame, you are not fixing the problem but just deeming yourself as not enough, not appropriate.
We all make mistakes, some can be much bigger than others. In order to improve as a human and increase your emotional status, you should focus on how to improve and do things better next time, instead of deeming yourself as inadequate. Yes, you might have messed up that relationship, lost that deal, not shown up for a friend or even for yourself, but that doesn’t mean you are not worthy. Nobody has made achievements without making a couple of big mistakes first and learning from the next.
Work on your relationships
First and more importantly, work on the relationship with yourself. How do you see yourself? How do you feel about yourself? Analyze it and work with it.
Do not just leave it there, but also think about your relationships with the people around you. Think if is there anybody that you might need to apologize to, anybody that you wish to spend more time with, anybody that you wish to show up for. Think about it and do it. Do not let your ego get in the way by thinking the other person should take the first step. To take control of your life you need to understand that you can change what you don’t like on it. You are accountable for your own power. So start holding yourself accountable.