by Justin Bariso / © 2018, Mansueto Ventures, LLC. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
Our emotions influence practically every decision we make.
Instead of leading a robotic existence, our feelings and emotions motivate and inspire us. The problem is when we become victims of emotion.
In my new book, EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence, I compare your ability to direct your thoughts to a set of controls on a media player. Just like these controls can help you get the most out of a movie or song, these methods help manage your emotional reactions.
Take time to stop and think before you speak or act. Doing so can prevent you from doing something you’ll regret—like sending an angry email or posting something regrettable on social media.
How to use it: If you feel your emotions getting out of control, pause. If possible, go for a short walk. Once you’ve calmed down, decide how you want to move forward.
Have you ever noticed that when speaking with someone, the other person usually responds in the exact same style or tone? If you’re calm and rational, they’ll respond in kind. Yell or scream, and they’ll do the same.
How to use it: If a discussion begins to escalate, dial it back by softening your tone or lowering your voice.
If an interaction turns emotional, and leaving the situation is not an option, you might need to put yourself on “mute.” In other words, stop speaking.
Hitting mute is helpful because often sharing your point of view when your partner is emotional won’t help the situation.
How to use it: Take a deep breath and remind yourself that both your mood and that of your partner are temporary. Remember, much of what they say at this point may be extreme or exaggerated; resist the urge to respond in kind. In many cases, once the person has let everything out, they’ll calm down.
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