how's your feelings?
Most people have heard of “Intelligent Quotient” or “IQ” but what about “Emotional Quotient” or “EQ?” As it implies, Emotional Quotient measures your emotional intelligence. Stereotypically for men, we might not score as well in this category than our IQ. This carries tremendous influence in our most significant relationships and roles in life. For some men, the lack of emotional maturity may have started from hurtful feedback from our loved ones that cut to the soul of our pride, and from that wound led to actions that ultimately left the relationship in ruin. How do we recover and reconcile? For some men, perhaps we fear if this could happen and there’s room for improvement. But where do you start? Emotional Quotient, or EQ, goes beyond knowing and saying what your feelings are. They involve self-awareness and regulation, a motivation to learn and improve, empathy and refining your social skills to be a better you.
Our culture and masculine messaging have told men that showing your feelings is weak. Not showing what you’re really feeling and powering through is part of how a man is strong and courageous. What our culture fails to recognize is that the task and ‘powering through’ was accomplished with the costly trade of self-neglect and forgetfulness.
We are created to be fully human. We are made with intellect, emotions, a body and a soul. Like everything else in this world, our humanity is designed to reflect the seasonality of life, harmony in all the function, unity in its parts, and ultimately show how we relate and care.
Growing one's emotional intelligence can feel vulnerable for anyone. The fear or conditioning can be powerful enough to where we ultimately limit our emotional voice. But with that voice, comes an invitation to show yourself, risk being understood, and build an interpersonal relationship. This is the power of courage, and in this case, courage is synonymous with vulnerability. That is not weakness. We are simply doing what we are wired to do and how we are meant to be.
So take the time to evaluate your EQ. How aware are you of your emotions, motivations and moods? How are you with your words and actions? Are you open to change and taking responsibility? How’s your empathy and attunement skills, especially if the other person is being behaviorally or emotionally challenging? How are you with conflict resolution and the communication that comes with that? You’re not alone in your imperfection with this. You can stop the damaging trade of self-neglect and forgetfulness. Seek understanding, support and growth. I'd be honored to help you. This is the most intelligent first step you can do for yourself.
Andy is a therapist who provides positive, helpful, thought-provoking information and tools for you