Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook - Gill Hasson - E-Book

Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook E-Book

Gill Hasson

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A practical "how-to" guide to changing the way you think about your emotions Bestselling personal development author Gill Hasson is back with this pocket sized guide to dealing with your emotions. Learn how to understand yourself and those around you with practical tips and tricks that will help you be more assertive, forge stronger relationships and manage anxiety. Did you know that the way you approach your own thoughts and feelings determines your happiness and success in every area of your life? Just think about it for a second, it's not necessarily the smartest people that are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life, being clever or highly skilled isn't enough. Your ability to manage your feelings, other people and your interactions with them are what makes all the difference. This highly practical book is full of advice, tips and techniques to help you: * Understand and manage your emotions * Become more assertive and confident * Develop your social skills and your interactions with others * Handle difficult situations, events and other people The Emotional Intelligence Pocketbook is your practical "how-to" guide for understanding yourself and those around you.

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EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE POCKETBOOK

LITTLE EXERCISES FOR AN INTUITIVE LIFE

Gill Hasson

This edition first published 2017

© 2017 Gill Hasson

Registered office

John Wiley & Sons Ltd, The Atrium, Southern Gate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8SQ, United Kingdom

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is available

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

ISBN 978-0-857-08730-0 (pbk) ISBN 978-0-857-08729-4 (ebk)

ISBN 978-0-857-08732-4 (ebk)

Cover Design and Illustration: Wiley

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

PART 1 UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

KNOWING WHY WE HAVE EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING THE ASPECTS OF EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING THE POSITIVE INTENT OF EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING HOW EMOTIONS ARE RELATED

TUNING INTO YOUR INTUITION

UNDERSTANDING NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION

FINDING THE WORDS FOR EMOTIONS

OWNING YOUR FEELINGS

MEETING EMOTIONAL NEEDS

RECOGNISING BELIEFS AND EXPECTATIONS ABOUT EMOTIONS

UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS

PART 2 MANAGING EMOTIONS

HAVING CONFIDENT BODY LANGUAGE

DIALLING DOWN HEIGHTENED EMOTIONS

MANAGING STRESS

MANAGING DISAPPOINTMENT

MANAGING REGRET AND REMORSE

FORGIVING

MANAGING JEALOUSY

MANAGING ENVY

MANAGING BLAME

MANAGING SADNESS

MANAGING EMBARRASSMENT

MANAGING LONELINESS

MANAGING WORRY AND ANXIETY

MANAGING ANGER

MANAGING GUILT

MANAGING EMOTIONAL EATING AND DRINKING

MANAGING CRITICISM

PART 3 DEVELOPING YOUR EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

PRACTISING POSITIVE THINKING

MANAGING CHANGE

HAVING COURAGE

KEEPING AN OPEN MIND: BEING CURIOUS

DEVELOPING PATIENCE

DEVELOPING WILLPOWER

MAKING DECISIONS

ACCEPTING

ESTABLISHING BOUNDARIES AND LIMITS

ASSERTING WHAT YOU WANT

BUILDING CONFIDENCE

ACTING ’AS IF’

PART 4 DEVELOPING YOUR SOCIAL INTELLIGENCE

LISTENING FOR FEELINGS

EMPATHISING

MANAGING SOMEONE’S DISAPPOINTMENT

BEING KIND AND CONSIDERATE

MANAGING SOMEONE ELSE’S ANGER

MOTIVATING AND INSPIRING

MAKING COMPROMISES

DELEGATING

UNDERSTANDING AND MANAGING GROUP DYNAMICS

SHUTTING SOMEONE UP. NICELY.

MANAGING THE SILENT TREATMENT

GIVING CRITICISM

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

MORE QUOTES

USEFUL WEBSITES

EULA

Guide

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INTRODUCTION

It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of head over heart – it is the unique intersection of both. – David Caruso

What’s emotional intelligence about? Emotional intelligence is about using your emotions to inform your thinking and using your thinking to understand and manage your emotions.

For many of us, with so many competing demands, concerns and commitments in our lives, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed, to become unsure and confused, to misunderstand or be misunderstood by others.

With emotional intelligence, by understanding your emotions and how to manage them, you’re better able to express how you feel, what you want and don’t want, while at the same time acknowledging and understanding how others are feeling and behaving.

It’s a dynamic process; the extent to which you can understand and manage your own emotions influences your ability to understand and manage other people’s emotions. And the more you understand other people’s emotions, their intentions, motivations and behaviour, the more appropriately you can respond and the more effectively you can interact with them.

Emotional intelligence can help you to live and work with others more easily; forge stronger relationships, both in your personal life and at work. You’re more able to sense and manage the emotional needs of others. You’re more able to think before responding and know to give yourself and others time to calm down if emotions become overwhelming.

Developing your emotional intelligence can help you to lead a happier life because thinking and behaving rationally and calmly in difficult situations puts you in a better position to handle feelings and situations that you may have found difficult and challenging in the past.

But emotional intelligence is not only about understanding and managing difficult situations and emotions. It’s also about knowing how to engage the ‘feel good’ emotions that can give you and other people positivity, confidence, support, motivation and inspiration.

HOW TO USE THIS BOOK

Life will continue to throw us the same lessons until we learn from them. – Rachel Woods

There are four parts to this book:

Understanding emotions.

Managing emotions.

Developing your emotional intelligence.

Developing your social intelligence.

Within each part you’ll find particular situations or circumstances and for each situation or circumstance you will find practical ways – ideas, advice, tips and techniques – to help you to understand and apply emotional intelligence.

If you want to understand what emotions are, where they come from and why we have them, read the chapters in Part 1, ‘Understanding emotions’. If you want to develop your emotional intelligence and learn how to manage emotions – yours or other people’s – Parts 2, 3 and 4 of this book will help you. Whether you want to learn how to manage difficult emotions such as anger and disappointment, build your courage and confidence or motivate and inspire others, whatever the issue, simply pick out a few ideas, tips and techniques that appeal to you and give them a try.

Some of the tips and advice will be particularly comfortable and helpful to you in certain situations and with particular people. Use them. The more often you use them, the more you’ll know that events, feelings, other people and yourself can be managed better with emotional intelligence.

If you feel that difficult emotions – stress, sadness, loneliness, guilt, regret, disappointment, anxiety, depression or anger – are overwhelming you and you’re really struggling to cope, do turn to the back of this book where you’ll find a list of organisations that can give you information and advice online or via their helpline.

But for everyday situations, do keep this book in your bag or your pocket whenever or wherever you need emotional intelligence. You’ll find that the tips, techniques, ideas and suggestions in this book really can help provide you with a sense of calm control, perspective and understanding.

PART 1

UNDERSTANDING EMOTIONS

KNOWING WHY WE HAVE EMOTIONS

Everyone knows what an emotion is until asked to give a definition. Then it seems, nobody knows. – B. Fehr and J. Russell

Emotions play an important role in how we think and behave. Emotions help protect you and keep you physically safe by prompting you to react to the threat of danger. Basic emotions such as fear, anger and disgust don’t wait for you to think, to reason and process what’s going on. In circumstances where rational thinking is too slow, these emotions instantly warn you of danger and get you to react – through fight or flight – immediately.

Other emotions – social emotions – enable people to live and work with each other. Social emotions such as guilt, shame, gratitude and love guide and maintain interactions and bonds that bring people – families, friends, neighbours and communities – together.

Emotions also allow us to create and express ideas and thoughts that wouldn’t necessarily come about through rational thinking. Anger, for example, can inspire a dramatic painting. Despair and sadness can inspire beautiful, moving poetry, songwriting and music. Art, music and literature all provoke and inspire emotions and create an emotional connection between the art, music or writing and the viewer, listener or reader.

Emotions then, all have a positive intent; they help keep you safe, help you establish and maintain connections with others, and inspire creativity. On the one hand, emotions can focus our thoughts and behaviour and on the other hand, can enhance and widen thoughts and experience.

In Practice

Nothing vivifies and nothing kills like the emotions. – Joseph Roux

Be more aware of and develop your understanding of the physical safety and the social and creative purposes of emotions:

Think of situations when an emotion prompted you to do or say something automatically, without thinking. Where you acted instantly, for example, out of fear, disgust or anger, you responded without thinking.

Think of times when you’ve experienced a social emotion; an emotion that has prompted you to do or say something to manage the interactions between you and someone else.

Have there been occasions when, for example, you’ve tried to put things right because you’ve felt guilty about a wrongdoing?

Think of a time when someone else has shown you empathy, compassion or kindness. Did it help you to feel understood, comforted or supported?

What about the times others’ emotions have influenced you? Perhaps you’ve noticed that someone was frustrated and upset and it prompted you to offer them your help.

Think of the songs and music you like to listen to. How do particular songs or pieces of music make you feel? What music, films, poems, books, paintings inspire you? Which songs and music lift your spirits? What films, music, poems, etc. make you feel sad and reflective?

Over the next few days, notice when your emotions motivate your action, save you time, help you get something done, or help you to reach out and respond to someone else.

UNDERSTANDING THE ASPECTS OF EMOTIONS

Emotions bridge thought, feeling, and action.– John D. Mayer

Whether you’re aware of it or not, when you experience an emotion, it is made up of three aspects: thoughts, physical feelings and behaviour.

There’s no one specific order in which the aspects of an emotion occur, but any one aspect can affect the others. What you think can affect how you feel physically. It can also alter how you behave. Equally, what you do – how you behave – can affect how you feel and what you think.

Imagine, for example, that you came home to discover that the shower wasn’t working or the heating had broken down. Again. You’re angry. Your angry response could have begun with a physical reaction: tense muscles, increased heart rate and rapid breathing. This triggered a behavioural reaction – you thumped the table – followed by the thought. ‘Oh no! Not again. I’ve had enough of this!’

Or, perhaps you thumped the table first which triggered a physical response: your muscles tensed and your heart rate and breathing increased. Again, your thoughts follow close behind.

Or the angry response could begin with the thought ‘Oh my God! Not again. I’ve had enough of this!’ This thought triggered an increase in your heart rate, rapid breathing and tensed muscles. And then you thumped the table.

When it comes to emotional intelligence, it helps to be more aware of and understand these different aspects or parts of an emotion.

In Practice

Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realising it.– Vincent Van Gogh

Each of the situations below has provoked an emotion: anxiety, joy and disappointment. Each emotion has possible physical responses and possible cognitive and behavioural responses.

Imagine what those physical feelings, thoughts and behavioural responses might be for yourself. Could they be different for someone else?

Situation: Giving a presentation at work

Emotion: Anxiety

Physical feelings:

Thoughts:

Behaviour:

Situation: Passing a test, exam or receiving a job offer

Emotion: Joy

Physical feelings:

Thoughts:

Behaviour:

Situation: An event you were looking forward to being cancelled

Emotion: Disappointment

Physical feelings:

Thoughts:

Behaviour:

Next time you experience a strong emotion – for example anger, joy, guilt, embarrassment – try to identify each aspect – the physical feelings, the thoughts and behaviour. Breaking an emotion down into smaller parts makes it easier to see how the different parts are connected, how they interact and how they can affect you and other people when they experience an emotion.

UNDERSTANDING THE POSITIVE INTENT OF EMOTIONS

Never apologize for showing your feelings. When you do, you are apologizing for the truth. – José N. Harris

We often think of emotions as being either positive or negative. But the idea that we should aim to only have ‘positive’ emotions such as happiness, hope and compassion is not helpful because it suggests that we should try to avoid or suppress ‘negative’ emotions such as resentment, impatience and jealousy.

The fact is, all emotions have a positive purpose. Emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and regret might not feel good but they do have a beneficial purpose.

Fear is a clear example of an emotion that has a positive purpose: to protect you. Anxiety also has a positive purpose. Anxiety about an exam, for example, can motivate you to focus, to cut out all distractions and revise. Anxiety only becomes negative if it so overwhelms you that you’re unable to think clearly enough to do the revision.

The problem is, when we experience a ‘negative’ emotion, we often have a tendency to enforce it with negative responses. Take regret, for example. The positive intent of regret is to prompt you to learn from and avoid making a similar mistake in future. Regret is only negative if you become stuck in negative thoughts, self-blame and inaction. But it’s not the emotion that is negative; it’s your thinking and lack of action!

In Practice

Your intellect may be confused, but your emotions will never lie to you. – Roger Ebert

Try to keep in mind that emotions serve a positive purpose. Emotions are your mind and body’s way of communicating with you. They’re trying to get you to take positive, helpful action in response to something that has happened, is happening or could happen.

What, do you think, might be the positive purpose of guilt; the feeling of responsibility or remorse for some offence or wrongdoing that you believe you’ve committed?

What, do you think, might be the positive purpose of anger; the strong feeling, the sense of injustice, in response to the feeling that you or someone else has been wronged?

What, do you think, might be the positive purpose of envy; feeling resentful because someone else has something you don’t?

What, do you think, might be the positive purpose of disgust; a strong aversion, a feeling of revulsion, nausea or loathing in something or someone?