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"Emotional Intelligence: How to Manage Emotions and Improve Your Responses"

Emotional Intelligence Managing Emotions and your Response

This week, I want to discuss making emotional decisions without succumbing to your emotions. I thought about this topic while working through a few situations this week. I've dealt with challenging moments before, and this wasn't anything different. My response to how I was feeling and my actions made me pause. I remembered how I would have immediately gone to the most extreme scenario and allowed my emotions to consume me. These days, I'm a little different, thank heavens. Previously, my approach to dealing with stress was having a total meltdown, acting like a whiny 6-year-old, and sulking for days. I won't lie; most of my week has still been sulking, but if I didn't tell you I was, you wouldn't know it. So, with this week's post, I want to walk through some tips to deal with stress and, hopefully, responsibility.

Let's jump into my happy bulleted lists: 3 emotional management tips.

  1. Gain control, stop talking, and walk away - When emotions and stress levels are high and thoughts unclear, you can expect reckless words. I've learned to have a plan-ahead strategy that helps me anticipate situations that can be potentially volatile. In the heat of the moment, take a moment to get your thoughts together and temper yourself before adding fuel to whatever is already burning. If you are typically a hothead, perhaps the best solution is to take a moment to walk away. Create space and find calm. If you can't get physically away, emotionally create a routine that tells you to find calm. For me, I rub my thumb and middle finger together. It's touch, it's soothing, and it's discrete. You can also create a diffusing phrase. Some of my go-to's are "Okay, hold on," "Okay, let's take a beat," or "I appreciate the passion in your voice, but let's take a minute." It's a sign that things are about to go left quickly, attempt to change the pace of an oncoming trainwreck, and it helps me gain control over the moment. If I can manage the energy, I can find a resolution.

  2. Be clear about the issues - It is one thing not to manage your emotions, but it is another issue entirely to allow emotions to cloud your judgment and not be clear about the reason behind them. Before making a hasty response or decision, it is vital to clearly understand the situation and what is at stake. No one is more annoying than a person who is loud and wrong! To avoid an emotional argument lacking facts or context, take the time to understand all sides of the situation. Details matter. Understanding the facts and context before making decisions or offering responses will avoid potentially damaging outcomes. Again, a go-to of mine starts with an OK..." okay, I'm trying to understand what's wrong." I won't ignore that often, this is a hurdle itself because it's easy to misinterpret my intention, but ultimately it works. Usually, an argument is because someone feels misunderstood. I make it my focus to assure them that, at a minimum, I'm trying.

  3. Have a plan to move forward—Dealing with our emotions can be challenging, especially in the aftermath. Regardless of how we react, tomorrow is coming, and we need to know how our decision will affect it. Either we handle the situation well, walk away from the conflict, and express ourselves without causing additional stress. Or, we choose violence and deal with the destruction.

Ask yourself if your choice adds value to the relationship or situation. If yes, great. If not, weigh the moment. Can you come back from this? Do you care? When emotions lead the conversation, planning for what's next always matters.

I understand stress and anxiety can make it hard to respond to stressful situations. It's okay to take a step back and not say anything. You might not realize it, but sometimes it's more valuable. You can say that you need time to think about what has happened before making a decision or offering a response. Make sure you are prepared for the outcome and have a plan to move forward once the dust has settled. Remember, your emotions are yours. So, take care of yourself. These are my thoughts, as always.


*Disclaimer - The thoughts contained in these posts are my own. The advice and tips shared are based on my experience as a working professional. As a certified career and organizational coach, I do share this knowledge with my clients. I do not guarantee any particular results, as results and experiences will vary. Some of my blog content is for entertainment purposes only. Nothing in my blog is intended to be used to diagnose or treat any emotional, mental, or medical condition. For that, please see the appropriate professional. For additional information, please refer to the Terms of this site.

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