It’s all well and good to talk about how we raise our emotional intelligence. But what happens when you leave the dedicated self-development space and go back to your Real Life? How can you remain emotionally intelligent under stress? Don’t those tips and tricks just go flying out the window as your Real Life takes over? They might. But they don’t have to.
Keep Calm and… well, keep calm
Yeah, right. If it were just that easy, we wouldn’t even be talking about it. But easy and simple are not the same thing. It is simple. But we have to find the ways to make it doable for ourselves. Here are a few steps to help you find your path.
- Pick a situation in your Real Life where you get triggered. Something that derails you from being your calm, natural self. Play it out. Feel the feels. But not too much.
- Now take a step back. Pick apart that situation and really look at it. What is it that triggers you? What does the trigger look like—does it shut you down? Does it make you feel like you can’t think clearly? Does it cause your hair to catch on fire?
- Take another step back and ask, WHY does this trigger me? Follow the rabbit hole and explore. Is it the person? Is it the environment? Is it related to past trauma? Be brutally honest here. Why does this situation trigger you?
- What’s the logical conclusion? When you understand what triggers you and why, it often becomes clear what needs to happen instead. If it doesn’t, use your resources. Phone a friend. Invest in some coaching. Journal. Do something to help you sort through what some alternative options might be.
- Action plan that bitch. You’ve now got the what, the why, and some options. Time to make it into a step-by-step plan you can follow.
Seem like too much? Make sure you’re not looking at too big of a problem. If you end up in a place that feels overwhelming, chances are good that you’re trying to tackle something too big. Try taking just a piece of the situation. Something that really bothers you in terms of causing a reaction you don’t like.
All that professional development you’re doing doesn’t amount to a hill of beans if you can’t put it into practice outside of the session. Ask yourself how it applies to the next interaction, and go from there. You got this. Change is tough, but so are you.