What does it mean to be ‘Emotionally Intelligent’? How can this help you in motherhood and your life?
I’m sharing the basics of Emotional Intelligence (aka EQ) and giving you my take on where each Enneagram Type can develop and round out their EQ
The basics of emotional intelligence
In a nutshell, EQ is being aware of feelings and managing those feelings in yourself and in your relationships (socially).
I’m looking at the info out there on this topic and summing it up into four major themes of what Emotional Intelligence includes:
- Emotional Awareness
- Emotional Self Control
- Social Skills
1. Emotional Awareness
This is being aware of WHAT you are feeling, WHY you are feeling it, and HOW it affects you and your life.
This is foundational in coaching because it brings in a piece of the puzzle to the thought-feel-act cycle (as per the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy model).
We aren’t often paying attention to the low-level emotions we feel through the day, but there is a lot of leverage and power we can gain from practicing emotional awareness of all our emotions.
2. Emotional Self Control
This is how we cope with our emotions, what we do about them.
When we feel big emotions we can fight, flight or freeze. This might help us in the short term but they are not ideal ways to cope and move through the emotion.
It also keeps the stigma of this emotion being a negative experience and something we ‘shouldn’t’ feel and don’t really know how to tame.
This is the main theme in ‘how we move forward’.
We are often looking for motivation (how to get more of it, how to harness it) from somewhere outside of us. We are looking for the ‘thing’ that will make us naturally motivated and therefore disciplined and crushing our goals.
We don’t see that motivation is an inside job. Rather than wait to feel it, we need to learn HOW to generate it in ourselves.
Don’t use shame as a shortcut to learning the skills of developing internal motivation.
4. Social Skills
I am most focused on personal emotional intelligence, but there is a big emphasis on how we relate to others in the field of emotional intelligence.
Social skills include empathy, communication, conflict resolution, influence and good leadership.
Why does emotional intelligence matter?
Which also implies the question, why do emotions matter?
EQ matters because our emotions matter because we DO what we FEEL like.
As the CBT model outlines, our feelings inform our actions. We act based on how we feel. And how we act is what gives us a correlated outcome in our life.
So if we want a different outcome, we need to take different actions. Emotional intelligence allows us to manage our emotions in a way that supports the actions we want to take.
The benefits of high emotional intelligence
- You can tolerate emotions in your kids/partner, you don’t need them to be happy for you to be happy
- You can grow in conflict resolution than stay in conflict avoidance
- You have healthy coping skills
- You have healthier relationships, you can navigate your own emotions and others
- You can do the inner work of self- motivation and use EQ to move towards the things you want in life
Welcome to the No Shame Club
If you are feeling some grief or upset over where your EQ is at, I want to welcome you to the No Shame Club. This is a place where we see WHERE we are and choose to not shame ourselves for it.
EQ is not a moral issue, it does not make you better or worse, good or bad, right or wrong. It is just another tool available to us.
So, if you want to grow your EQ, let’s do it from a positive and self-honouring place. No shame allowed.
Emotionally Intelligence by Enneagram Type
Our emotional intelligence can vary in how we relate to ourselves and others. Some enneagram types are very ‘others focussed’ and can have high social skills. Some are very self-focused and are aware of their inner experience more than what is happening around them.
I have generalized my take on each Enneagram Type and the spots where they can develop their EQ to round it out to include all the 4 categories of EQ I mentioned today.
SIMPLE PLEASURE OF THE WEEK
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Is popcorn, it is part of our family routine and an easy healthy snack (as verified by Olivia Pope and Jessica Penner from Smart Nutrition.
If you are interested in trying this awesome addition to your popcorn, I suggest Nutritional Yeast. It gives everything a richer cheesier flavour.
This past week, I also ran the mom on purpose boot camp, and it was so great, we covered so much. And I’ve been doing follow up coaching calls with each of the attendees. And what I loved is that they all took away something different, they all have something different that they have been wanting to work on. And I know we worked through so much content. And as we were going through the content, I thought a lot of this is covered in what’s called emotional intelligence. And I’ve never done an episode on that before.
So I thought it would be really interesting, because emotional intelligence is a pretty broad concept. But all of the components come up in coaching, emotional intelligence, it’s the basis for how we relate to ourselves and others. And all of that forms kind of the reality that we live in.
So emotional intelligence is your relationship more specifically to your feelings in yourself and others and who else was raised to just like feelings? Let’s talk about feelings, ‘please’.
Emotional intelligence is the awareness of your feelings, and management of those feelings in two categories, personal and social. So how we are aware of our feelings in ourselves and how we manage them in ourselves, and how we’re aware of feelings and other people, and how we manage the relationships of feelings between us.
This is not your IQ. This is called your EQ. It’s not about intelligence, it’s about emotion. Instead of intelligence quotient, it’s emotional quotient. And there is a lot of research that people are saying that EQ is something that’s of more importance or more value to you as a person than IQ.
So I’m going to lay out four of the main components with emotional intelligence. And if this is something you read about, there’s a lot of variations on them, they list a whole bunch of skills or competencies of what is involved in having emotional intelligence. Some lists are like 20, long, some lists are like far long, but I just want to lump them together here in the main themes that I see.
The first one is being emotionally self aware. What am I feeling? What emotion Am I feeling? Why am I feeling it? How does it affect me, and a lot of this is the basis of coaching. Because right here is where we can start to understand this thought feeling act cycle that we get in this, this is the CBT model, the cognitive behavioral therapy model, my thoughts, create my feelings, my feelings, create my actions. So knowing your feeling is a piece of the puzzle. And we can start to spot the cause of the feeling. And we can see on the other side, what actions are happening from this feeling.
In my experience, and I kind of mentioned like how many of us are taught to think about our feelings or talk about our feelings is we kind of shut down that part of our self, we have a poor awareness.
And all day long, we’re feeling things. These are things that are happening at a pretty low level, we don’t quite register them. But as they grow and grow to either the positive or the negative extreme, then they start to get our attention. So we don’t usually register something like boredom. But we definitely register going to bed feeling unproductive feeling, maybe even disappointed at the end of the day.
And when we have these more extreme emotional experiences that we’re suddenly getting our attention, we can start to feel like we can’t handle our lives or something is wrong with us as a person. The more emotionally aware we get, the more leverage we have over what impacts our emotions, how we act because of them and how far we let them get before they get overwhelming.
The second component is in emotional self control in at the end of this episode I’m going to talk about the different enneagram types in their relationship with EQ. And I think emotional self control is really interesting because there’s some types, who just learned to shut down their emotions to deny their own emotions to ignore them to focus on facts. And that’s definitely a way I was raised that neutral was optimal that being rational with optimal.
Emotional self control can also mean the the other side of the spectrum where someone has big emotions. And this means not letting those emotions drive the bus, so to speak. So we need to have emotional awareness, like what our emotions are in order for us to grow the skill of controlling them, because we need to practice this at lower levels, and then work up to those bigger feelings.
If we have poor emotional self control can make emotions feel scary, because they’re like a wild animal, we don’t have control over them, we’ll avoid them, we won’t know how to talk about them or allow them, we might talk ourselves out of our feelings, we might just do a lot of avoidance altogether, to never feel that feeling. And then additionally, we might feel shame for experiencing them. Or we might turn this shame outward, and we blame others, we make them responsible for our feelings.
Emotional self control also includes how we cope with our emotions. So when we have these big emotions, we almost fight flight or freeze. So we might try to bully the emotional way and fight it, we’re like in this constant state of resistance with it, we might let it drive the bus, we might flight with it, we might start stressing and spinning, this is draining, right. And it also causes us to become very anxious in how we cope with things in, in the actions that we take. And we all almost develop this personality trait around anxiety, because that’s how we’ve coped with these emotions. Or we might freeze try to ignore it. This is when we turn to things that numb us, like TV, the phone, food and shopping.
All of these actions that we try to take in manage our emotion, they might work in the short term, but they don’t actually help us move through it. And they also still kind of keep the stigma that this emotion is something that shouldn’t feel. And I don’t know how to feel it, it kind of just keeps the stigma there.
The third component is how you move forward. So I’ve got these big emotions, I’m aware of them, I see what’s happening. Now, what do I want to do with this information? How will I move forward. And there’s components of resiliency components of having a positive outlook. But there’s also a big component of motivation in here.
And motivation is something that I used to Google all the time how to be more motivated, because it seems like motivation, it’s just outside of me, like it’s just available out there. And when I find it, everything’s going to work, meet my goals, or have the discipline. So we wait to feel it, rather than learn how to feel it.
Because motivation is an inside job. And emotional intelligence gives you the ability to motivate yourself from within. And keep in mind, it’s a skill you learn. And often, we will take the shortcut of just using shame to motivate us, which is effective, but also defeating.
And the fourth component, the fourth theme, is social skills or relationships. And there’s components of communication and conflict management, a big emphasis on empathy in here. And I’m not going to dig into all of that today. There’s so much great information out there for leaders, there’s lots of training, because high emotional intelligence is associated with good management, good leadership, good relationships.
But why do emotions even matter? Like why should we be emotionally intelligent? The simple answer is that we do what we feel like doing. I’m gonna say it again, we do what we feel like doing. And what we do gives us an outcome in our life, right?
If I don’t feel like decluttering, or I feel overwhelmed, I’m never going to declutter my home. If I don’t feel connected to my partner, I will never be open to them and allow connection to happen. If I feel angry all the time in motherhood, I’m going to be an angry Mom, I’m going to show up from that place and probably not have the motherhood experience that I want.
So if we want to be doing something different, we need to know how to work with our feelings and manage them in a way that moves us towards the actions we want.
I mentioned the CBT model, and that tells us that our feelings inform our actions. When you feel patient, how do you act? When you feel fearful? How do you act? When you feel hopeful? How do you act?
And I think for a lot of us, this component of we do what we feel like doing it can be a little bit unseen. Maybe we focus too much on the action, and we’re not aware of the emotion driving it. Or we’re taking action almost as a reactive hustling like This emotion is so uncomfortable, I need to get rid of it. But either way, knowing our emotions, coping with them, learning how to manage them, rather than them managing us will change how we show up. And when we change how we show up for ourselves and others in our lives. We change everything we change our relationships with others with ourselves, we change our lives.
So you can probably put the pieces of the puzzle together that there are benefits to emotional intelligence. When we have good emotional intelligence, we can start to tolerate emotions in our kids or partners. We don’t need them to be happy for us to feel happy, we can grow in conflict resolution, rather than stay in conflict avoidance, we can have healthy coping skills, we can have healthier relationships, we can navigate our own emotions and allow others to navigate theirs. And we’re doing that inner work of self motivation, we’re using emotional intelligence to move towards the things we want in life.
Okay, if you have listened this far, I’m officially extending an invite to you into the no shame club. Because if you have listened and you feel like I don’t have high emotional intelligence, maybe you’re feeling upset or helpless or disappointed. And so often, when I coach women, there is a little bit of a mourning period where the client realizes they don’t like where they are. And then they shame themselves and blame themselves. As if they willfully put themselves in this position, like they should have just done better.
And I don’t want you to ever use what I share here to beat yourself up. I don’t want you to feel behind, I don’t want you to feel like you’re not enough. Because emotional intelligence is not a moral issue. It does not change your inherent value. You aren’t good or bad, you aren’t better or worse. There is no hierarchy of humans and their emotional intelligence, giving them more value. We all have equal value inherent value that cannot be changed, regardless of how we relate to our emotions.
I have always loved this analogy of I have a pocketful of $100 bills, there’s some that are crumpled, there’s some with stains, or some that have like ripped edges. But they’re still $100 bills, right, their value doesn’t change. So if you never change a thing, you’re still every bit is awesome, and wonderful, and valuable.
If you want to change something, do it from this place, what’s possible, what can I still learn, and never from shame never from being behind, or doing it wrong, or being bad. Welcome to the no shame club, where we make change from positive and loving, empowered emotions and not from shame. I want to wrap this up with my take on emotional intelligence by enneagram type.
So as I went through this list, I felt this a little bit too guys like I felt, okay, some of this, I’m good at some of this. I know I’m not like big fat blind spot, especially within my own home. I think that there’s some enneagram types who are others focused. And they might have a good social emotional intelligence, but not really an internal one. And I thought that’s probably common for type nines like I am. And I also thought this also shows up in a lot of type twos that I coach as well, they, they have really good empathy, they’re pretty aware of what others are going through. So I thought I would just run through the list and know what any commonalities that I would stereotype each enneagram as in. So this is just my generalization, it might not feel true to you.
The type one emotions can be a moral or character issue. Anger is a big emotion that’s often running the show. They use that for motivation, and they might spend a lot of time using it to motivate others to make change as well. But it won’t always be positive motivation.
The type two like I said, they’re more aware of others emotions, they’re very empathetic, but they might not be aware of their own emotions, where they are on the scale of how big their emotions are. They might be prone to emotional outbursts and burnout and then self care and coping becomes an issue.
The type three will tune out their emotions very often deny their own emotions at the sake of achieving something, and they will look to others to determine how to feel good about themselves, others opinions of them will supplement their own emotional opinion of them.
The type four they’re very aware of emotions, but maybe they’re not skilled in the self control of their emotions, or in managing them in relation to others.
The type five emotions are generally replaced by logic and emotions and other people might be a deterrent to wanting to build an intimate relationship with them. So their social emotional intelligence probably needs some nurturing.
The type six they are known for their decent social skills, they really like to have a village but they might not be very well versed in Their self control and how they move forward in positive outlook and motivation. They might be someone who commonly complains, blames or has a negative outlook.
The type seven, they love to feel good, and they can run with those, they can motivate themselves with those good emotions. But when it comes to being aware and controlling and managing negative emotions in themselves and others, this is something that needs to be developed and grown in the type seven.
The type eight emotions might make them feel vulnerable or weak. So they aren’t well tolerated in themselves or in others.
And the type nine they they fall asleep to their own emotions, to what they feel. And they look to others to determine them. And they regulate their emotions often by ignoring them. That’s been my favorite strategy over the years.
So in the future episode, I’m going to talk about emotional intelligence as a mom and teaching it to our kids. So if you have questions you want me to cover on that, please send them my way on Instagram at simple on purpose dossier or in the Facebook group, the simple on purpose community. And remember, if you want coaching from me, check out my coaching packages, you pick the topic, I have life on purpose, mom on purpose, and love on purpose, you pick the topic, and you pick the program length. And we will get started from there.
And I’m going to wrap everything up today with a simple pleasure. I was in the shower, thinking about well, what simple pleasure Could I share, and this has kind of become a very exciting component of this podcast for me. And I just thought, you know, it’s got to be popcorn. This is such a simple pleasure. Because I grew up with popcorn being kind of like a big event like, dad’s putting the oil in the pan and he’s gonna pop in and we’re like, wandering through the kitchen watching him do this. And then he puts like, you’re responsible amounts of butter on it, but gives us our own dish with a little bit less butter. And it was just this kind of event like it was this big thing. I went through a phase before COVID where there’s just been a lot of neighborhood kids in and out of the house and I would make popcorn for them. Like they’re all here. I got to feed them popcorn so easy. So I’d make a big bowl and I would like put it on the back porch and shut the door and back away like, like a zookeeper feeding hyenas or something. And then it just became a Friday tradition. And I am big on traditions and routines. So our Friday tradition is popcorn and a movie. Sometimes we would have smoothies with it. But now we also have pizza because these kids are just eating so much. And when I heard Jessica Penner from smart nutrition, she’s been on this podcast before I’m going to link her Instagram in the show notes. She was going over her favorite healthy snacks and she said popcorn is a healthy snack. So I was like yes, so one for us. And Olivia Pope because she’s eating that too on her couch with her wine. We like our popcorn with nutritional yeast, which sounds gross, but it’s really tasty. It’s kind of like cheese. And it is a dry yeast flake that they’ve added in vitamin B to it. I’m I’m not not selling it. Well, I’m aware. But I’m going to link to some nutritional yeast and Amazon if you want to try that out on your popcorn. I highly recommend it. I’m a convert.
Alright guys, I’ve had so much fun with you today. Keep your messages coming. Keep your reviews coming. I love to hear from you and have a great