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Getting Emotional About Emotional Intelligence

August 23, 2018 by  
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“I can’t believe I said that.  What was I thinking?”

“I didn’t mean what I said, I only said that because I was angry.”

“When I get upset, I lose it and anything and anyone is liable to get it.”

Or how about…

“I can’t control my emotions; I just say what comes to my mind at the time no matter how bad it is.”

This is a clear sign of an individual who has not mastered themselves, their emotions; thus lacking Emotional Intelligence! You may ask, what is Emotional Intelligence?  Emotional Intelligence is the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.

When one does not have Emotional Intelligence, it can damage personal and professional relationships as well as the relationship that matters the most and that is your Spiritual Relationship with your creator. However; on the contrary, for those who have mastered the ability to control their emotions…the positive impact is key to personal, professional and spiritual success.

There are two categories with respect to achieving Emotional Intelligence and that is:

Personal Skills and Competencies

Social Skills and Competencies

Personal Skills and Competencies

Self Awareness and Self Mastery

  1. When one is aware of self, one knows their triggers. When a person is aware of their triggers they can learn when to walk away before a situation escalates. This does take practice; however, if one wants to master Emotional Intelligence this is something that if done over time…can be a personal deficiency that one can overcome. If you know your trigger words, if you know what your body feels when a situation is getting out of hand then you can MASTER the art of walking away!

Self Regulation

  1. My mother used to say, “when you know who you are dealing with, you act accordingly.” In essence, you can adapt to certain individuals if you know how they operate. Knowing how one operates allows you to have an upper hand so that what once would have been a trigger is now your weapon of defense. You have taken the sting out of what could have been a potentially toxic situation by becoming desensitized to it due to being prepared.   This allows you to develop self control.

Motivation

  1. When you achieve something that at one time you felt was impossible…i.e. Emotional Intelligence, it gives you motivation to continue that good behavior. You realize you are developing good character and self control which is a reason to feel motivated and inspired. It also supports the idea of commitment; commitment to continue this course of action.  This is truly transformational.

Social Skills and Competencies

Empathy

  1. Hurt people; hurt people! When you can empathize with someone else then you can ignore certain behaviors. Our society promotes having to have the last word and not letting someone have a “one up” on you. In reality being able to walk away shows strength!  When you can put yourself in someone else’s shoes even in their darkest hour says much more about you then the person who is the oppressor.  This is also an opportunity to be a wayshower to those who have never seen what that looks like.  This brings life to the phrase, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”  Develop others while you are developing yourself.

Social Skills

When you master Emotional Intelligence it allows you to learn skills that for some they will never learn in a lifetime and that is Conflict Resolution and Collaboration and Cooperation. This also develops Leadership Skills.  This brings about an opportunity to strengthen your position and not your argument.  Articulate how you feel, not show it in a negative way.  This helps you to be the change agent.  As Ghandi said, “be the change you want to see in the world.”  There can be no conflict if you do not take part in it.

When you continue to strive to master Emotional Intelligence, you learn to manage and lessen negative relationships with others, yourself and your Lord. The negative impact that it has when you choose to give in at every comment or action made against you looks like this:

Say things that are hurtful vs. helpful: We have all said things that we wish once they have exited our mouths; it could be taken back. Words hurt, damage and can even kill.  Even if not physically which we know can happen; the internal damage to the soul can actually kill a person to the point of being in essence the Walking Dead.

Allow Shayton (Satan/Devil) to take control: When you don’t master yourself; someone else will. Our sworn enemy will use this as long as he sees this is a weakness within you.  Not having Self Control or Emotional Intelligence will cause you to do things that are not pleasing to our creator which will be something we will have to answer for eventually.  The absolute goal of the devil.  You would never follow the footsteps of an open enemy, so think about this each time you want to give in to your “emotions.”  Ask yourself, if I do or say this…who am I really following?

Oppressive to others: This is something that even God has made impermissible to himself. Although he is control of ALL creation, he never oppresses them and thus have commanded us not to as well.  Being oppressive to another one of God’s creation can and will only hurt YOU in the end.  Whether you believe in “you reap what you sow” or “karma”…either way, you will pay for that action, so be clear to make a good spiritual reputation with others and our Lord.

Damage Relationships: Ever realize after doing or saying something damaging to a friend, spouse or colleague…the relationship is never quite the same? When we fail to display Emotional Intelligence we damage relationships and at times we don’t have the opportunity to make it right ever again.

Personal Stress/Poor Health: When you allow yourself to be controlled by our open enemy and you are screaming, yelling and fighting it can cause heart complications and high blood pressure…all things that can cause tremendous health issues and worst; death. Is what that person said or did worth your very life?

Here are some tips to help overcome being reactive versus being proactive:

  • Pay attention to how you react/behave
  • Take ownership for your behavior
  • Acknowledge your emotional “triggers”
  • Healthy eating
  • Positive Thinking
  • LISTEN (Active Listening)
  • Avoid complaining/drama
  • Read Qur’an, Islamic Studies or Self Help Books, Listening to Motivational Lectures & Speakers
  • Surround yourself with others who are Emotionally Intelligent-Study their behaviors/responsesSo get EMOTIONAL about Emotional Intelligence so that it can motivate you towards positive change.

 

  • So in closing, we cannot simply pray for Emotional Intelligence…it is something that we have to also work towards in order to HONOR that prayer of wanting to be a better person. Allah (God) says that he does not change a condition within a people until they FIRST change it within themselves. In other words, once he sees the effort…he will make it easier for you.

May The Negative Force Be With YOU: 8 Tips for Avoiding Negative Thinking

November 27, 2017 by  
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So often we are affected by negative thinking; not realizing that what you think about you bring about!  The great thing about the mind is that you can reprogram it for positivity and productivity.  Here are 8 tips to help you avoid negative thinking and give it back to those who want to give it to you:

Tip #1: Set Clear Boundaries

You have to have clear and set boundaries for yourself with regard to allowing negativity to be in your midst, your mind, your heart and your soul.  No one has the right to dump their negativity on you.  So often we feel we have to listen to someone’s negativity in order to be considered a good friend…WRONG!

You control your space and what goes in it.  If the conversation is not serving you well, not elevating your mind, your thought process in life, then WE don’t need to engage in this type of dialogue.  Your mind is like a computer, when a virus enters the hard drive everything in it becomes corrupt and as a computer has Anti Viruses to keep what you have stored from being damaged…so you must have such blockers to preserve all that is positive within you. 

Now don’t get me wrong, at times we all need a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear…but it should NOT be a free for all to allow someone to simply dump that type of energy on you.  You cap it, you limit when you say…ENOUGH! Which brings me to my next tip…

Tip #2: Avoid Complainers-Focus on Solutions

You will be amazed at how so many individuals just like to complain.  It’s almost as if they live for negativity and are addicted to it.  We all have that friend/relative that no matter the time, day of the week, month or even year…when you see their name on your phone as it rings you almost have to brace yourself and say a little prayer as to if you are going to answer the phone or not and if you do; after speaking with them you feel like you need a therapy session.  This is where you apply BOUNDARIES!  Once you see the person repeating what they have already complained about, this is your cue to ask…so what’s the solution?  Then offer to brainstorm together ideas to look  at it from a positive perspective and seek solutions to get out of a negative one.

This also teaches people how you are to be dealt with and how you will deal with them.  If they want to remain negative, they will stop calling you.  PROBLEM SOLVED!

Tip #3: Pick & Choose Your Battles

Everything does not require a response, not everything requires your energy.  When you devote so much time to the non-essential, the non factors…it WILL drain you.  Be clear on what and who needs to be addressed. The rest…continue to observe and make mental notes.  Silence truly is GOLDEN and not saying anything IS saying something.  Sometimes less is more.

Tip #4: Change Your Language

Words have POWER!!!  Avoid using absolutes such as NEVER & ALWAYS because the reality of it is…it isn’t ALWAYS & NEVER.  When you use words like that it distorts the truth and can have you assessing a situation in a skewed view.  Remember, when you speak…YOU are also listening.  So don’t be your worst enemy!

Tip #5: Don’t Take Things Personal

Sometimes your perception of something can be so off the mark because you made something about you and it truly has/had nothing at all to do with you.  That other person may have had a bad day, received some bad news so their interaction with you may be off.  ASK and assess if it is about you or something else. 

Also, when someone does/says something negative towards you, if you know in your heart of hearts it is untrue then do not internalize that.  Hurt people, hurt people.  Bring clarity to each situation so that you do not take someone else’s negative behavior/speech/tone personally.

Tip #6: Be The Positivity You Want To See

Just as a grumpy person can bring moral and a mood down, so does a happy, positive person.  Energy is felt and it is contagious.  Be infectious with positivity.  Give a compliment, a smile, say good morning, ask someone how are they doing and truly LISTEN to the response.  This will keep your mind off of the negativity you see/hear daily just by bringing a little sunshine to someone else’s life.

Tip #7: Let Go & Move On

Sometimes we bring about our own pain and negativity by holding onto things and people who evoke less than happy emotions.  For example, if you have photos of someone who hurt you…why are you still in possession of those photos?  Release the negativity by getting rid of its reminder.  Delete that number, text messages from that individual because each time you look at it no matter the time…it will bring you back to that space in time and with all its negativity.  CLOSE that chapter.  Let go of people who hurt you, who no longer serve you well.  Remove them internally and then externally from your circle.  Negativity is like a malignant cancer, it will get worse unless removed.  Move on!  Sometimes we hold unto things/people who God is trying to protect us from.

Tip #8: Prayer

When you pray, you are asking the one who knows and sees all, the one with Infinite wisdom.  Ask the thing we are most afraid to ask and that is to allow you to see things for what they really are and to see people for who they really are.  Pray for guidance, discernment and then ask for acceptance.  You can never go wrong or live a negative life when taking HIS lead!

Maintaining a Mental Space of GRATITUDE

November 14, 2017 by  
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As I sit in my office…I’m thinking and reflecting on the fact that November is the month known for its infamous holiday…Thanksgiving and it amazed me how many can think of things they are grateful for on that particular day; yet throughout the year suffer with depression (not due to mental illness), unhappiness and just feelings of sadness.

So I thought to myself how can one remain thankful EVERYDAY?  I came up with 5 Daily Tips one could utilize in order to stay in a state of Gratitude, Positivity and Productivity.

Tip #1: Never Compare Yourself To Others

Never compare yourself to others because you have no idea what that person has gone through in order to achieve what they have.  It’s similar to an iceberg.  While you only see the tip, underneath the surface lies a VAST block of ice.  So while you compare yourself to someone else, you may not see the vast block of possible childhood trauma, financial difficulty, personal sacrifice and hardships that person has had to endure or is enduring.  Remember, you are not in competition with anyone but YOURSELF.  If you focus on you, you will see your own personal growth in one area or another and isn’t that the goal??  Isn’t that what you want to see?  Your progess?  As long as that is occurring; you are moving in the right direction.  This takes us to the next tip.

Tip #2: Acknowledge Your Growth (No Matter How Small)

Far too often we minimize the necessary steps needed in order to achieve the final destination.  Those “small” steps as you call them are CRUCIAL to your personal development in every way.  When you minimize them, it takes away the joy of the journey, thus your proper gratitude to the situation, the moment and your life’s journey.  Imagine your FAVORITE cake!  Now it doesn’t just miraculously appear.  It took the baker to implement just the right amount of ingredients…the flour, the eggs, vanilla and whatever ingredients is required and if this cake were to be missing any one of those things and even if the amount of each ingredient were off…that cake would NOT be the same.  It would not be that masterpiece you just envisioned.  Such is the same with you and I.  Without each step, each accomplishment…the end result would not be the same.  It will not be whole, nor complete.  Each small step in the right direction is an indication that you are one step/ingredient closer to your goal.  It’s all in your perception.  Change the clouded lenses of which you are seeing your accomplishments (large or small)  Celebrate them and see how your level of gratitude increases daily. 

Tip #3: Volunteer

When you think you have problems, take a look, or step in the shoes of someone less fortunate than you and see if you really have a reason to complain.  Volunteer at a homeless shelter and see if the apartment you wished were a house is now not that bad after all.  Volunteer at a Food Pantry/Soup Kitchen and see if you’re not grateful for the items you have in your cabinets/refrigerator and that they are not suffice for you.  Even better; that you yourself have enough to even donate.  Volunteer at a hospital/hospice and see how blessed you are to be of good health.  When you walk away…AHHH there it is, you CAN walk away; there lies the blessing and the moment of gratitude.  If possible, take your children to volunteer so that you can plant the seed of consistent gratitude in them as well.

Tip #4: Watch Motivational Videos/Read Positive Quotes

Make it a point to google a motivational video about life, achievements, not giving up, self-esteem and the list goes on at least once a day or every other day in the morning or before you start your day.  Make this part of your routine to get your day started on the right foot and on a positive one.  It has a way of changing your mood as you face that boss or that contract you want to close.  Build up your defense for the negativity that you will encounter throughout the day so that you will not be void of what is necessary for you to accomplish your goals and daily tasks.  Do not hoard this piece of advice for yourself, share it in the workplace and write a daily positive quote in the staff lunch area.  At home; write a positive/inspirational quote for the entire family to benefit.  Put in on the refrigerator for everyone to see prior to going to work/school.  You never know…that positive quote may be just what someone needed for that boost of confidence to take that test or put in that request for that promotion at the job.

Tip#5: Nightly Journal

Each night before you lay your head to rest…obtain a journal where you can write down ALL that you are thankful for for that day in spite of the fact that the day from the outside looking in…may have looked like a bad one.  When you can remember things such as…I woke up this morning, I drove to work, I came home, I hugged and kissed my family upon return.  These are the things that for some…no longer have.  So it leaves you in a state of gratitude, a state of half full vs half empty.  Not a bad way to end the day!!!