Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence.

By David Joel Miller.

Characteristics of emotional intelligence.

What is she feeling?

Emotional Intelligence.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The whole concept of what intelligence is has changed over the decades.  The idea of having an intelligence quotient or IQ was meant to be helpful in deciding how much someone was capable of learning.  We thought if we knew exactly how smart they were, we might be able to help them learn better and faster.  Knowing someone’s absolute IQ might also keep people from having an unrealistic expectation of people with an intellectual disability.

In practice, this concept has proved to have some problems.  There is some question about written IQ tests and exactly what it is the are measuring or not measuring.  It would appear that the thing we measure as an intelligence quotient may not be a single quality.  Someone’s intelligence may, in fact, be made up of the number of separate intelligence’s, skills, that involve different abilities. Their abilities in each of the skill areas May be quite different.

Which brings us to the idea of emotional intelligence.  I think we all have seen examples of people with a presumably high IQ and high educational levels, who lacked very much in the way of social skills.  This has given rise to the idea that there may, in fact, be a thing called emotional intelligence, the ability to understand and read emotions which are quite separate from what we measure when we test for IQ.

Part of this belief that there is an emotional intelligence includes the concept that emotional intelligence requires development.  Whether emotional intelligence is, in fact, an intelligence or more like a skill, there do appear to be some things you can do to increase your ability to recognize emotions in yourself and others.

If you’ve always felt at a disadvantage when it comes to recognizing and dealing with emotions, take a look at the list below of ways you might go about expanding your emotional skills.

Practice generosity to develop empathy.

Try giving without expecting anything in return. Generous people seem to be able to recognize what other people are feeling.  If you give with the expectation of getting something back, this is all about you.  Practicing acts of kindness can help you to understand what it would be like to be in that other person’s position.

Let it go. No anger or grudges.

Being able to let things go, reducing your anger, will improve your ability to recognize and identified emotions.  Anger is such a powerful emotion that it blocks out everything else.  When you hold onto your anger, you stay focused on yourself which prevents you developing an understanding of how others feel.  When we look closely at anger, we often find pain and sadness hiding underneath it.

Be thankful and practice gratitude.

Practice being thankful for the things you have.  Create a list of things you are grateful for.  Your feelings vocabulary should include a lot of positive emotions.  Learn to recognize when you are thankful or have things you could appreciate.

Acceptance of self and others.

Learning to accept yourself and see your positive qualities will increase your ability to see the good in others.  People who see only the bad in others reduce their ability to recognize when others have positive emotions.

Keep life in balance.

People who maintain a proper life balance can feel what they feel when they feel it.  Increasing your knowledge about your own feelings will help you to understand what others are feeling.

Be present where you are.

Learn to shift gears.  Holding onto thoughts and feelings from another situation prevents you from fully participating in the situation you are in.  The more you experience where you are, the more easily you will recognize appropriate emotions, both yours and others.

Be curious about everything.

Nurturing curiosity will result in you learning new things.  Hold on to the childlike quality to want to know about everything.  Maintaining a curious point of view opens you up to learning more.  Be especially curious about feelings and how others experienced them.

Are you OK with change?

Can you adapt?  People who resist change become fearful with the unfamiliar.  Work on your acceptance of new experiences and people.  Novel situations present the opportunity to learn about yourself about others and about the emotions these situations create.

You don’t need negative people.

Surrounding yourself with negative people drives away positive feelings.  Emotionally intelligent people learn to recognize when others around them are needlessly and excessively negative.  To become more emotionally intelligent, you need to get out of that negative space and experience some appropriate emotions.

You attract positive people.

People with high emotional intelligence can experience positive emotions and be happy.  Happy people tend to attract other positive, happy people.  Work on enlarging the number of positive feelings you can feel, and you will become a positive feelings expert.

You know and accept yourself.

Emotionally intelligent people can accept themselves and others.  Feelings are not automatically good or bad in and of themselves.  Feelings should be guides to experience.  The more you know about yourself, the more you can correctly identify what you’re feeling when you were feeling it.

You don’t do things half-hearted.

To learn more about emotions, you need to live life.  Don’t skim through your experiences, do what you do fully.

You can wait for what you want.

Develop the skill of patience.  Don’t let yourself get carried away by your wants and desires.  Cravings can come and go.  Just because something seems important or desirable in the moment does not mean that is the best thing for you.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Selfishness.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Waste dump.

Selfishness and Waste.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Selfishness.

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

― Oscar Wilde

“We all should rise, above the clouds of ignorance, narrowness, and selfishness.”

― Booker T. Washington, The Story of My Life and Work

“Selfishness and greed, individual or national, cause most of our troubles.”

― Harry Truman

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you. Today’s is less about happiness and more about motivation us to do what we should.

Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Why taking a job doing anything is a bad idea.

By David Joel Miller.

You need a job and are willing to do almost anything, should you?

No Job

No Job
Photo courtesy of Flickr ( Hopefoote, Ambassador of the Wow)

People in early recovery frequently are looking for a job.  When we ask them what kind of job that would like they often say “anything.”

When you’re short on money most people are willing to do just about any job in the short run.  But over the long haul many jobs doing anything burn people out and lead to unhappiness.

In your search for a job, before you take that job doing anything, here are some things you need to consider.  If you take a job that is a bad idea, you are unlikely to be successful and may not be on the job very long.

Here are some things to consider before you take that job doing “anything.”

Is it a job or a career?

Is this job you’re looking for going to lead to something else?  Something you would be willing to do the rest of your life?  When possible consider pursuing a career.  Ask yourself if there are possibilities for advancement?  Can you see yourself doing this week after week year after year?  People who have careers can see how what you’re doing today can lead to a better future.  People who only work a job, hope that they will make enough money so that they can enjoy what they do when they’re not working.

Will you like it?

Is that job you’re looking at something you will enjoy doing?  Or is this something that will be unpleasant and you’ll have to put up with in order to get that paycheck.  Will this job doing anything support or hinder your recovery. People who have happy lives derive a lot of pleasure out of what they do during the workday

Can you do it?

It’s a really serious mistake to take a job knowing you won’t be able to do the job when you get it.  Some jobs require are a high level of physical strength and you can hurt yourself trying to do something beyond your abilities.  To be successful on some jobs you will need skills or academic degrees.  It’s really embarrassing and bad for your resume when you end up getting fired from a job because you exaggerated your qualifications.

Will the hours kill the rest of your life?

Some people can do shift work, stay up all night and still have a life.  Other people find that the rest of their life, their family their friends, suffer as a result of the hours their job requires.  If this job involves working weekends, evenings or an odd work schedule, consider the impact it will have on your family and the rest of your life.

Will it make you sick?

Some jobs can be outright health hazards.  Think about the working conditions you will be exposed to.  Can you take the heat or humidity?  Will you be exposed to dangerous chemicals?  Do you have any medical conditions that would be aggravated by being out in the sun?  Think about whether this is a fast paced or stressful job and how that might affect your emotional health.

Can you stand the people you will have to work with?

Who you are going to be working with is almost as important as the work you’re going to be doing. Being with a group of people you like can help make a routine, boring job go better.  Many jobs involve teamwork and to do that you will need to fit in with a group.  It can be really stressful to work with a group of people you would not want to associate with outside of work

Is this job a stepping stone or end of the road?

It’s not unusual to start out at an entry-level job.  Ask yourself if this job you’re considering could lead to something else or will you be stuck doing a routine boring job the rest of your time with this company.  For some people if the pay is high enough they can be content to spend their entire careers on a routine job.  But if what you are doing and are being paid to begin with is not acceptable, and there’s no chance for advancement, you are likely to burn out quickly.

Would you want their reputation?

Companies consider your reputation when they are decided if they should hire you.  You should do the same.  Working for a company with a bad reputation can be a really trying experience.  You don’t want to work for a company that you would be embarrassed to tell your family and friends about.

Is there more than money?

Some jobs are strictly for the money.  Low paid jobs often come with little or no benefits.  When considering a job ask yourself does it include paid holidays, sick leave, or other benefits?  If you miss some work because you’re sick that paycheck may be less than the amount you need to live on.

The next time you have to do a job search spend some time thinking about exactly the kind of job you want and avoid the trap of taking the first job you find doing anything.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Letting go.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Letting go.

Letting things go.

Letting go.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“There’s an important difference between giving up and letting go.” – Jessica Hatchigan

“Letting go does not mean you stop caring. It means you stop trying to force others to.” – Mandy Hale

“Pain will leave you, when you let go.” – Jeremy Aldana

“Letting go may sound so simple, but rarely is it a one-time thing. Just keep letting go, until one day it’s gone for good.” – Eleanor Brownn

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.

Why your life’s going nowhere.

By David Joel Miller.

You can’t get very far with a flat tire.

Life out of balance

You can’t get very far with a flat tire.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

The circle is a very ancient symbol of a balanced life.  To keep your life in balance, you need to keep all the different parts of your life in their proper size.  It’s easy to focus on one part of your life and neglect the others.  It helps to think of a well-functioning life as a wheel with many spokes. Look at each of these life segments and see if there are areas of your life that need improvement.

Instead of starting this new year off with a lot of resolutions that are likely to be quickly discarded, try making some small improvements in each of the major areas of your life. Take small steps repeatedly, and you will go a long way.

Physical health affects your life.

Your body and your mind are not two separate things.  They are interconnected.  When people are in the problem, mental illness, substance abuse or any other issue, they tend to neglect their physical health.  Attend your physical health is an important part of recovery.  Working on your physical health may include going to a doctor, improving your diet, drinking more water and getting more sleep.

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you can’t be happy because you have health challenges. Make every effort to do what you can to take good care of your physical body.

Emotional and mental health are important.

Problems in your emotional life will interfere with all the other areas. If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, anger issues, or a drug and alcohol problems you need to attend to those issues. Trying to struggle through life with one of these weights on your back is not a virtue. You can only drive your car so far on a flat tire. Being willing to get help for your emotional problems is a sign of strength and a first step on the road to a happy life.

Your Financial Life shouldn’t cause you unhappiness.

When life’s not going the way, you want it to; it’s very tempting to try to make yourself feel better by treating yourself. Those little splurges add up over time. The majority of Americans, then this is true of many other developed countries, have little or no savings. In the short run, it’s hard but over the lifetime learning to earn more money, spend a little less, pay off your bills and develop a financial cushion results in a life that’s in much better balance.

Job and career activities should be more than just income.

If you don’t have a job getting one is important. Somehow everyone needs a source of income. If there’s any way, you can work you will feel better about yourself earning your income. If you have a disability that prevents that working look for a volunteer opportunity or some other way to be productive. Going each day to do something you enjoy filter life with happiness. Once past that initial job, it’s important to look at your career. Where will this job take you in 10, 20 or 40 years?

Family and friends can support your success or your failure.

Humans need positive, supportive relationships. Try to resolve differences with those that are close to you. Work at creating friendships that support you and in which you’re able to support your friends. If you have family members who have their own emotional problems, you may need to limit your time and exposure to them. Invest some time in creating new friendships. Time spent in enjoyable activities with friends is not wasted time. It is time invested in having a quality life.

Your spiritual or religious life is important.

Having a spiritual or religious belief can be a source of strength and support in the difficult times. If you have a faith or tradition that enriches your life, invest time in your practices. Many people find they need to re-examine their religious beliefs. If you’ve adopted a faith because it was what your family or someone else believed you need to ask yourself this is what you believe?

A spiritual or religious belief should make you a better person and a happier one. If you find that the religion you are following makes you feel bad about yourself or makes you angry and hate others, you may need to take another look at whether this is what your higher power wants for you.

Many people find that they benefit from time spent with other people who have the same faith. Just as it’s often helpful to get financial advice, see a counselor for emotional help, or get career guidance many people find that their lives are enriched by having a spiritual adviser.

Want to sign up for my mailing list?

Get the latest updates on my books, due out later this year by signing up for my newsletter. Newsletter subscribers will also be notified about live training opportunities and free or discounted books. Sign up here – Newsletter. I promise not to share your email or to send you spam, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

For more about David Joel Miller and my work in the areas of mental health, substance abuse, and Co-occurring disorders see the about the author page. For information about my other writing work beyond this blog check out my Google+ page or the Facebook author’s page, up under David Joel Miller. Posts to the “books, trainings, and classes” category will tell you about those activities. If you are in the Fresno California area, information about my private practice is at counselorfresno.com. A list of books I have read and can recommend is over at Recommended Books

Hope.

Sunday Inspiration.     Post by David Joel Miller.

Hope.

Hope tiles.

Hope.
Photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

“Hope

Smiles from the threshold of the year to come,

Whispering ‘it will be happier’…”

― Alfred Tennyson

“I like the night. Without the dark, we’d never see the stars.”

― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

“Hope is a waking dream.”

― Aristotle

Wanted to share some inspirational quotes with you.  Today seemed like a good time to do this. If any of these quotes strike a chord with you, please share them.