Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand emotions, feelings, and experiences – your own and others’. It allows you to make the full range of emotions your assistant for achieving goals and performing any tasks.
We rarely think about what causes irritation, joy, or anger. A person with developed emotional intelligence is able to read these signals and reacts not to actions and emotions, but to the reasons behind them. Even the most intense experiences do not obscure such a person’s eyes.
Who needs to develop emotional intelligence?
Today the world is changing very quickly: to achieve success it is no longer enough to be a specialist in one area of knowledge or to receive one diploma of higher education. Therefore, it is more important than ever to develop so-called soft skills, among which are those that can be ranked as emotional intelligence. This is true for people of any age, but especially for teenagers.
Adolescence is a time when there is an active process of building external communications. If up to this point the child’s world was sufficiently defined, and almost all problems were solved by adults, then in adolescence a person enters a new stage of communication and socialization. He himself begins to make decisions: with whom to communicate and who to be, for the first time difficult life situations arise.
Therefore, you need to help a teenager develop several aspects at the same time, namely an understanding of their goals, intentions, experiences and the ability to build communication with peers, parents and other adults. Well-developed emotional intelligence contributes to this.
How to do it?
It is important to understand that work on emotional intelligence awaits the parents of teenagers. In puberty, hormonal changes take place, as a result of which children become very difficult to communicate: it seems that adolescents do not hear adults at all, and there is almost no talk of transferring experience. This requires the developed emotional intelligence of the parents themselves.
Most importantly, do not forget: the intentions of a teenager are always positive, no matter how negative actions they manifest. The wisdom of the parents at this moment should be not to react to harsh and, at times, inappropriate actions, but to try to understand the intentions, and also to reconsider the requirements for the teenager.
Parental assistance will include completing tasks with the child to develop emotional intelligence. Here are a few practices that I recommend. Invite your teen to do them. By the way, there are no age restrictions for these practices: for many adults, they will be no less useful.
About understanding yourself
Exercise “Square of moods”
Reading the mood of the interlocutor allows you to assess the prospects for communication and quickly find an approach. Below is a diagram that will clearly show why it is sometimes so difficult to establish communication and agree on something.
It is a square of emotions or moods. The mood can be determined by two criteria. Pleasure is an emotional component. Energy is physical. Try now to assess your energy and emotion levels. What sector are you in?
By the way, a person can act effectively in any of the four states, examples of suitable activities for each are inside the colored squares.
Gradually, you can learn to recognize in which mood sector the interlocutor is, and then it will become easier to communicate.
About communication with peers
Exercise “Do not be offended!”
When someone says offensive words or tries to offend, it is important to remember that all nicknames, “name-calling” have nothing to do with reality. From being called an elephant, ears or trunk will not grow. This is just a “distorting mirror”, which you can always pass by, ignoring the strange image. Ignoring is another way not to be offended and not “feed” the offender with your reaction. To make it easier, you need to ask yourself the question: “Is the opinion of the person who says this so important to me?” Then step back completely.
The associative chain helps to switch to ignore mode. Look around you. What do you see? For example, you see a table, chair, wardrobe. Emotions zero. And you continue – the offender. Table-chair-wardrobe-abuser – no emotions. And you can also imagine the offender in some funny or stupid situation so that you simply could not get angry with him. In fact, you still have to try not to laugh.
About communicating with parents
Words often cause a negative reaction only because of their coloration, although their meaning is neutral or even positive. The most striking reaction is usually to the word “must”: “you must study”, “must clean the room”, “must walk with the dog”, “must listen to what they tell you.”
To tell you the truth, nobody owes anything to anyone. You are nobody, but you are nobody and nothing. Realizing this helps to look at many things in a new way. Here’s how you can decipher a few of your parents’ familiar lines.
1. “You must learn” = “I am worried about your future.”
2. “You must clean the room” = “You will be more comfortable.”
3. “You must walk the dog” = “your dog is also alive and he misses you.”
Sounds much more optimistic! And now for each “must” in the left column, you can write on the right why you should want it. For example, “You must study” may mean “I want to study well in order to have a good job and a decent standard of living in the future”.
I am sure that the conscious development of emotional intelligence in adolescents and adults improves the quality of life, relationships in the family, in addition, developed soft skills are a good foundation for the successful life of a child, no matter what field of activity he chooses.