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Thursday
Dec212017

« 18. EQ skills: Do you take things personally? »

Written by Rachel Green. Director, The Emotional Intelligence Institute. Author of "How to develop emotional resilience and manage your emotions".

Can you keep your cool and not hook into or get hurt by other people's emotions, actions and moods? It is an essential life skill if you want to stay emotionally healthy and resilient.

Taking things personally can leave you feeling insecure, dejected or lonelyThis all relates to the fifth emotional intelligence competency: Emotional self-management. 

A critical element of emotional intelligence and EQ is the ability to separate out your own emotions from those of other people. How well can you do this?

Do you get irritated if someone is irritated at you?

Do you get defensive if someone is angry at you?

Do you feel dejected if the person you are talking to feels dejected?

If the answer to any of these is yes, it means you are taking on board someone else's emotions, as if they were your own. This may not help you or them.

It may also mean you could benefit from developing more emotional intelligence and EQ in this area.

Interactions with another person, whether a boss, customer, stakeholder, partner or friend, always has the potential to lead to feelings of hurt, upset, guilt or irritation, especially if there is negativity coming from the other person.

However, some people get hurt more easily than others.

They can take things to heart and even be affected by actions that have nothing to do with them, in other words they take things personally. Is this you?

If so, this is an area in which developing greater emotional intelligence and EQ skills could help you.

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EQ skills: Five ways to know if you take things personally

Let me clarify what I mean by taking things personally. Here are five case examples, all of which are true examples I have heard from people. Do these apply to you?

For example, you may presume that:

  1. An angry customer who is being nasty when making a complaint is blaming you, when really the customer is angry at the organisation or system, or had been involved in an argument with his family before calling and is angry at everyone.
  2. When seeing two staff whispering together in the corner of the staff room as you walk in, they are spreading gossip about you, when in reality they are planning a surprise birthday cake for you.
  3. People don't like your idea when they talk over the top of you in meetings, when really they were anxious about making their point before they forgot it and it was nothing to do with your idea; in fact they hadn't even taken in what you said because they were so distracted by their own worries and insecurities. 
  4. You have done something wrong when you are not chosen as the supplier of choice for a particular project for a company you work for, when in fact they have always used two equally good suppliers so they are not dependent on one person, and they intend to use you on another project later.
  5. The people who vote against your motion in a meeting are trying to undermine you, when really they are just trying to suck up to the CEO and are yes-men who would vote against anything the boss may not like irrespective of who proposed it.

EQ skills: Three more ways to know if you take things personally

  1. The changes being imposed within your organisation which prevent people from using the systems you have developed over the past 20 years, mean that all the work you have done has come to nothing and is not appreciated; when in fact the decision was taken for economic reasons and technological changes and the organisation had benefited enormously from all the work you had done to get them to that point.
  2. When your husband forgets your birthday that he doesn't love you, when in fact he loves you every day but just doesn't think birthdays are worth celebrating!
  3. When the traffic light changes to red just as you approach it and you are late getting to work, the traffic light is deliberately holding you up - when in fact, traffic lights aren't intelligent!

I am sure you have the idea now and can see how this relates to emotional intelligence! Do you recognise any of these examples, or similar ones, as being typical of what you do?  If so, you may be taking things personally.

If you are, developing your emotional intelligence and EQ even further could be just what you need to have greater emotional resilience.

Learn to protect your own emotions better and separate them from other people's.

Want to develop your emotional resilience, our unique 2 DVD set, plus ebook, plus MP3s are here to help you.

Emotional resilience premium bundle $317 $189. Add to Cart

                   Save $128. Free shipping worldwide

How high is your emotional intelligence & emotional resilience?

There is so much that you can do to develop your emotional resilience and the E.I. Institute has a number of options to help you:

Worried that you don't have enough emotional resilience and that you need to develop your emotional intelligence more? Our unique, practical, 5-star emotional intelligence coaching package is available for you and includes the opportunity to have your emotional intelligence assessed. Boost your resilience now. Find out more here.