book now


Learning emotional intelligence

How often do you share your feelings with those around you? Or how often do you suppress what you really feel for fear of how it will be received? Learning to express your emotions is a valuable part of being an evolved human being. We no longer need to roam the earth grunting at each other and clubbing each other around the head. We are intelligent beings and have developed intricate words to express in great detail how we feel. Its through this expression that our world becomes safe. It’s so important to put words to our emotions and then be able to convey them to those around us.

Emotional intelligence is like learning another speaking language. You don’t suddenly go to France and expect to speak French. You practice before you go, maybe for years. You go through your oral conversations with your tutor, you study the vocab and how to say the words, so that way when you arrive on holiday you are fully equipped with the language to meet the demands of the situations you might encounter. So why do we think that we will have the vocabulary to discuss a struggling relationship or a trying friendship if we haven’t practiced sharing how we feel beforehand? Learning the words that help you express how you feel and having deeper conversations with people in your life is a key part of emotional intelligence. For example instead of just saying “I feel sad”, can you express the emotion in a more detailed way, are you lonely, feeling isolated, embarrassed, hurt, guilty, vulnerable…..

You see, I believe we have to practice this emotional language on a daily basis. We are not taught emotional intelligence as children. We don’t grow up and suddenly expect to know how to convey our feelings and emotions with others and be able to hold others when they are in crisis. In fact it’s more the opposite. Being an emotionally intelligent person takes time and doesn’t just happen, it has to be learnt and then practiced. Practiced with those that you feel emotionally safe with and if you have no one in your life that provides a safe emotional space for you, it might mean talking to a therapist. When you share your daily emotions, such as gratitude, love, happiness, stress, tiredness, when life gets more challenging you are then more capable of sharing the more difficult emotions. The feelings of hurt, betrayal, jealousy, resentment. They are much harder to share than those of happiness. You don’t have to hold onto negative feelings and have them sit in your body. If you are feeling hurt by someone’s behaviour, let them know or share it with someone else first. If someone is adding to your life in a hugely positive way, let them know too. Sometimes expressing love and joy can feel very vulnerable, but they are exciting emotions to practice opening up to.

I find it easiest to start with the emotions that come freely, the love and the joy. I tell me children I love them all the time, I share my positive and negative feelings with my wonderful boyfriend so openly and freely and it feels wonderful to speak from the heart. Ask yourself when was the last time you truly expressed to a loved one how they made you feel? Why not tell some one close to you how much you love them, how they make you feel when you are with them? Can you revel in the feeling of joy?

Also, another way to learn to vocalise your emotions is to begin with people that don’t have such a strong emotional connection with you. Are you able to speak your truth to a stranger when they do something you don’t agree with. For example, I used to struggle with trades people coming into my house and walking their muddy boots up the stairs. I would want to say “Please can you take them off”, but I didn’t want to upset them or create and awkward situation so I never spoke my mind. Now I am able to voice my feelings and ask guests to take their shoes off when they come into my house. It feels empowering to be able to speak your truth.

It’s about taking smalls steps. It’s not about making grand gestures with loved ones, or yelling at everyone from your past that has ever caused you pain. Simple begin to get in tune with how you feel, you may need to take some quiet time to reflect, sit and just be and be curious as to what comes up. You may feel the emotion on a physical level, lightness in your chest, anxiety in your belly. Remember you hold your issues in your tissues, so try and share these feeling with someone. You do not need to keep emotions suppressed in the body. Speak your truth and you will feel so much lighter in your life. You will feel space in your heart where so many great things can flow in.

Comments are closed.