“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
- 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!
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.