I’ve met quite a few creative and intelligent people in Second Life. What I have seen a few less of is people with emotional intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not claiming to be on the Mensa list for emotional intelligence quotient (EQ), I’m just saying at times people truly cause me to stop and pause. In layman’s terms, emotional intelligence is our level of ability to recognize and understand our emotions and reactions (self-awareness), manage, and adapt our emotions, mood, and responses (self-management), harness our emotions to motivate ourselves to take action, and work toward the achievement of our goals (motivation), understand the emotions of others, and utilize our understanding to relate to others more effectively (empathy), and build relationships, relate to others in social situations, and work as part of a team (social skills). Did you know your EQ has been found to be more of an indicator of your success than your IQ? An emotionally savvy and intelligent leader is able to build stronger teams by strategically utilizing the emotional diversity of their team members to benefit the team as a whole. (boo-yah! How’s that sentence for having earned a business degree? At times, I are smart. 😉 ) Why is this important to you specifically? Well possibly not much a’tall. But to those that are managing people, productions or events, even if just in a virtual world, alignment of people is often the key to success.
Hat: Lode, VLora *L’Accessoires* . Shoos: Miamai, Jackie O’s Wedges *L’Accessoires . Bag: [Gang/Cold], Brocadia *L’Accessoires . Necklace: Azoury, Heima *L’Accessoires* . Skirt: Ricielli, Highwaist . Shirt: Baiastice, Mjrie *NEW* .
But, even if you aren’t managing people, if you notice people are avoiding you lately, perhaps you need to learn at least the first pillar of emotional intelligence, self-awareness, because sometimes it’s not just them, it’s you. You may think you are as steady as a rock, but your emotions guide your behavior more than you know. What’s wrong with using emotional knowledge to guide you? At times nothing, sometimes that hunch is right, but at other times, emotional knowledge is often fast, intuitive, and impulsive reactions to our environment, and thus they can be prone to error. Sort of like getting stuck in traffic can lead to a very bad day all around. You let an emotion, frustration, color the entire day’s decisions.
How? I thought you’d never ask! Self-awareness is the process of better understanding your feelings through self-observation and self-inquiry. It requires that we look at our emotions from an objective viewpoint, and then be honest about what’s causing them and how they are influencing our actions. Step back and ask yourself “what am I feeling?” and don’t be black or white and say good or bad, answer with a specific feeling, i.e. angry, sad, frustrated. Once you have the emotion, ask: “When did I first feel this feeling?” was it something that arrived at the door today, or has it been ongoing for a while. You’d be surprised how often I embarrassingly realize I’ve been angry for days. Ask further, “What caused the feeling?” Try to remember the event that caused the feeling to start rolling over you, but add into it the other little events that made it grow bigger and bigger, snowballing down the hill. Once you know the emotion and the events that created the catalyst, add in whether you are currently stressed or tired because those two feelings? They can have an extreme amplifying effect on life. I’ve gotten to the point where if I am going to argue with someone and I am tired, I ask for a timeout until either the stress or fatigue is gone, because that kind of foot in mouth argument? Lots of those things you say can’t really be taken back. The best part about being right here? Is now that you know what you are feeling you can make a SANE choice about what to do about it. You can ask the important self-awareness questions like: What’s the best course of action to take in response to this emotion? Should you talk to someone, listen to music, go for a walk, or do something productive? Or even, should I just wait for this feeling to pass? Just because you feel something doesn’t mean you need to act on it. Sometimes it’s better to just “ride out” an emotion until it subsides. Our feelings are only temporary, if you work through them, identify them, seldom do they hang around for very long.
Take from? Sure. Let’s put it together. All this doesn’t have to be about complex life choices we make. It could be something so simple, like: I took an hour to get ready for date night and Taylor didn’t notice how I looked. Then the next day he was thirty minutes late to pick me up. Upset, I started the whole “sigh” to his “what’s wrong?” to my “nothing” routine. This of course would have eventually rolled down hill into a colossal pile of, erm, doo, ruining the entire weekend, if not the entire relationship. When I sat down to figure out what I was feeling I realized it kind of hurt my feelings he didn’t notice the care I took in getting ready. The next day, still disappointed, I added on the crime of tardiness as another sign of disinterest. Do I think it was intentional he didn’t notice? Not at all, he consistently does notice, this time perhaps he had a lot on his mind, I’m not the center of his world, after all. I’ve identified the emotion, the best course of action for me? Let it go and chalk it up to “this too shall pass.” I get to keep my dignity by not looking like an overzealous shrew and he gets the boost of thinking the “nothing” exchange hadn’t even transpired. So next time someone inworld has you ready to blow, instead of sounding like a prima donna diva or shrew to people you don’t really know (yes, this is a live example concerning a person speaking to me inworld this AM), step back and try to discern your right course of action, before things get out of hand, because sometimes you are both trying to work towards the same end, the communication is just a little awkward at the moment. Just a thought. Take it for what it’s worth to you.