Put simply, EQ is the awareness and control of emotions. It has been found to determine overall life fulfillment. So learning EQ is crucial for everyone. In this post, I tell you the current state of EQ education, why it isn’t working and how EQnow is revolutionizing the way we learn and increase emotional intelligence.
Importance of Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is considered a predicator of success, in both life and work. Introduced in the 90’s, EQ makes so much sense it’s kinda crazy we weren’t focused on it before. Read more about the benefits here.
EQ is important now more than ever. And while research is catching up, we have another, more pressing issue to focus on: How do we actually learn EQ? And then after we learn it, how do we incorporate it into our lives?
Current State of Emotional Intelligence
There aren’t many learning resources available:
Therapeutic practices like CBT aren’t easily accessible or feasible with everyday use. (Think of those thought journals everyone sells but the large majority of buyers ditch after a couple weeks.)
Self-help and business books (while likely written with good intentions) don’t give any lasting or long term success. As Daniel Kahneman explains inThinking, Fast and Slow, “Books available to us are tailored to reassure messages of illusion to us.”
Recycles inspiration quotes create a momentary positive outlook but fall flat. Recycled so many times they start to lose meanings. They don’t tell us anything useful like how to do something. Yeah, yeah, love yourself.. but how?
Products marketed to help are only helping opportunists and capitalism. Self-help has become a booming industry and marketplace, but people are still lost.
A lot of experts or those offering help don’t know how to. They are trying but their applications are falling short.
Desired, Future-state of Emotional Intelligence
While beneficial, CBT and therapeutic techniques aren’t practical. They don’t easily incorporate into our current, fast paced lives. Business books and quotes aren’t helping either. We need something that we can apply and develop. We need something that will help us incorporate EQ into our lives.
Thats where EQnow comes in. After decades of research, experimentation and trial and error we have created a modern day, comprehensive resource for learning EQ. With EQnow you will not only learn EQ you will incorporate EQ into your life and create a lasting and positive impact.
How EQnow works
The idea is simple. Learning EQ requires concentration on two processes:
Learn the vocabulary (EQnow Glossary of terms here.)
Practice and change habits
Learn the Vocabulary of Emotional Intelligence
Think of it, anyone can critique food, but there are professional food critiques. The differentiation is due to the professionals ability to put their pallet into words. They’ve developed a certain vocabulary. Learning the vocabulary around EQ is based on the same reasoning.
We need to learn the vocabulary to define our experiences, thoughts and emotions. Defining them is part of the process of being aware of them. When we are aware of our thoughts and emotions we are able to then determine how to effectively manage and control them. We are able to communicate what we are thinking and feeling to ourselves and others.
Practice and Change Habits for Increased Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence also involved emotional regulation, response and control. This will likely involve ditching some bad habits. And as the saying goes, old habits die hard.But don’t fret!
EQnow has created repeatable daily habits that can be practiced anywhere by anyone to help them ditch bad habits. We will guide you and help with this very changeling and rewarding process.
Get Started Now
No matter where you are starting, you can increase your EQ. You can have a better, more meaningful life. Start now by learning the vocabulary and incorporating positive EQ habits.
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Emotional intelligence (EQ) is a term that is often heard but rarely understood. Put simply, EQ is the ability to be aware of and to control feelings and emotions. A more detailed description would mention a full range of abilities regarding emotions including: awareness, control and management. It would not be complete without reference to our ability to relate to and have empathy for others.
EQ contributes to how we handle ourselves. It involves understanding what we are feeling and why we are feeling it. It determines how we cope, express ourselves, develop & maintain friendships and perceive the world around us. It can be the difference between finding fulfillment and feeling hopeless. It is considered a predicator of success in life and work.
It doesn’t take much to find indicators that EQ is needed more now than ever. Emotions are getting out of control in dangerous ways. New terms such as “Ken” and “Karen” define those with low EQ who flip out in the public arena. At the time of writing, 20 people a minute are physically abused by an emotionally ignorant partner. The drug and overdose epidemic, skyrocketing depression, anxiety and suicide rates – all results of poor emotional management.
Whatever their upbringing, background or story, it is important for every person to start learning about their emotions and to focus on emotional management and development.
EQ is inviting us to start the conversation. To learn about our emotions and to understand the inner-working of our minds. To reflect on our thoughts, and to make sure we are utilizing them to our advantage so we can live a fulfilling and successful life.
With emotional intelligences one would hope that abusers would learn that there is no justification for their actions. However, the biggest impacts lies in EQs ability to empower the victims and survivors of abuse so that they may reclaim their right to be who they are and live comfortably without fear. To let a bullied school child know they are not alone. To help those who are sad or silently suffering and let them know they are not alone either.
EQ will guide and introduce us not only to ourselves but to one another. It will give us the courage to say, “hey, I don’t know what you are going through but I can understand what it is like to feel like crap.” To find unity and togetherness in a world where we are so easily turned against each other. To find a semblance of hope in an otherwise seemingly hopeless situation and to retain clarity in an uncontrollable and unpredictable world.
To learn and understand emotions we need to know the vocabulary around them. For the EQ glossary of terms click here.
From 2014 to 2020 the self-care industry has seen a 4400% increase in estimated value jumping from $10BN to $450BN.
Books, journals, sleep remedies, crystals, CBD products, bath bombs, the commercialized aspects of self-care seem limitless. And while the things we buy for self-care can help us tremendously, self-care doesn’t need to cost money.
Since free self-care can’t be commercialized, it isn’t publicized but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t add value. In fact, there is something to be said for self-care that doesn’t cost a dime.
Free self-care will have lifelong lasting positive impact on your general health and emotional and mental well-being. It will even help you appreciate the self-care that you buy.
In this article we are going to discuss what I consider the most important self-care practice—free or otherwise. It changed my life and that I think everyone needs to incorporate it into their life.
When put into practice, this self-care technique is going to:
improve your mental and emotional well-being
help you create connections
build stronger relationships
bounce back quicker (build resiliency)
increase your emotional intelligence
stop taking things personally, and
create healthy mental habits that will positively affect every area of your life including your physical health
In this article we are going to talk about….(drumroll)…:positive intent.
What is Positive Intent?
Positive intent is assuming people act from a well-meaning place and that they are doing the best they can with what they have.
So if someone cuts you off in traffic, instead of thinking “what the fuck, that person’s an asshole,” you would think “they might not have seen me,” or “oy, they must be a bad driver,” or “maybe they’re tired, I hope they get home and get some sleep.”
How to Practice Positive Intent
Last week I wrote an article about ghosting and why people ghost (check it out here). Ghosting is when someone stops all communication without explanation. It can hurt. And when we are hurt we likely look for closure.
If we are ghosted we may ask ourselves questions like: Why did they ghost? What did I do? Why would they act like that?
There are many directions your thoughts can take you but it is likely you will think the ghost is a “bad” person or you will think you are a ”bad” person and don’t deserve to have a relationship—yikes!
However, there is another option. You can assume the ghost is doing the best they can with what they have, they did not mean to hurt you, and you are deserving of love and a great relationship.
As you go about your day, pay attention to how you judge others and their actions. If you believe others have negative intentions, think of positive intent for why they did what they did.
Of course sometimes someone does something that is blatantly vindictive or rude. In that instance you can consider that they do not know any better, are doing the best they can, and that their actions are not something you want in your life. Bye, Felicia!
Benefits of Positive Intent
When we assume others are doing the best they can with what they have we remind ourselves that we are doing the best we can with what we have. When we come to this realization we slow down. We reflect on our actions. And we can decide to fine tune our thoughts processes to help us get in alignment with what we are trying to attract (our goals).
By giving others the benefit of the doubt, we generate a thought pattern that will increase our self-compassion. So when we make a mistake we give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. Just like others are doing the best they can, we are too.
No only will you have compassion for yourself and others, you will realize the underlying connection between you and others. Since humans are social creatures this is a primal need that you may ignore or reject in today’s world where we are encouraged to think in an “us” vs “them” mentality.
With positive intent there is no us vs them. There is us and them and we are all doing the best we can with what we have. This line of thought is going to help take away the stress of everyday life and to not feel you are alone or that the world is against you.
Because you are not alone and the world isn’t against you. There are kind people out there but the focus has been on the negative for so long you might have forgotten or never even known.
Heart racing, blood boiling, muscle tightness, stomach ulcers galore, our mind and bodies are connected. And when you feel mentally stressed your body responds by releasing stress hormones and clenching up.
Say someone cuts you off in traffic. As you yell “fuck you asshole” your blood pressure rises. It likely will not go down once the other person drives off. You can end up coming home still rattled and full of stress hormones.
So it might just take you over the edge when you see your kid or your partner forgot to thaw out the chicken for dinner. Yelling or passive aggressive comments may ensure which can hurt your relationship and will contribute to more stress.
All this stress increases your stomach acidity which may cause heartburn that can keep you from sleeping properly. Oy. What a mess.
With positive intent you will keep your blood pressure in control while you think “eh, they are probably just a shitty driver.” So then the unthawed chicken will go into the microwave for a quick defrost or maybe it will be pizza for dinner!
No, You’re Not a Push Over
When you assume positive intent you will be more accepting, less affected by the actions of others and you will be more compassionate and forgiving.
This can get confusing. Because people who are forgiving and accepting can be misunderstood as weak or a pushover. In order to practice positive intent we need to remove the limiting belief that people who forgive and understand are being pushed over.
Just because you forgive someone for something they did does not mean you need to continue a relationship with them or you are allowing them to take advantage of you. For example, if a friend stole money from you and then lied about it you can assume they were desperate for money and then lied because they were ashamed.
You can forgive them and move forward, but you don’t need to still consider them a close friend. The connection can move to acquaintance level, or if you determine the relationship is bad for your health, you can decide to sever the relationship altogether.
Positive Intent for All
Since it cannot be commercialized free self-care is often overlooked. But positive intent is a life changer. It will help you generate a new perspective and positively impact your mental, physical and emotional well-being.
While it may sounds simple on paper, positive intent can be difficult in practice. It will be difficult for some more than others depending on where you are coming from. If you were encouraged to assume positive intent as a kid then positive intent may be easier for you.
But if you were like me and grew up in an environment where people were tough on you or assumed other people were unkind, then positive intent may take more effort and practice to become habit.
Similar to any new thought habit, practicing positive intent takes repetition and patience. So pay conscious attention to how you judge yourself and others. If you judge yourself or someone else harshly, stop yourself and find positive intent.
“Ghosting”, by current socially accepted definition, is when a person abruptly ends a relationship by stopping all communication without notice. The ghost hopes the person being ghosted (the ghostee) gets the hint and moves on.
Unfortunately, ghosting has become common.
Some people defend ghosting and say it’s an honest and drama free way of ending a relationship. Some even suggest that the ghostee shows no emotion or response to being ghosted or else they give the ghost power.
But even though ghosting—abruptly ending a relationship by cutting off contact—has been somewhat normalized, it’s not normal. In fact, it’s fucking weird and borderline emotionally abusive.
Similar to emotional abuse, ghosting can be negatively impactful to mental and emotional well-being. It can be a traumatic experience. And victim shaming ghostees is only making it worse.
Because we don’t give the ghost power by reaching out to them, we give ghosts and ghosting power by incorrectly identifying them.
(Just like we got the definition of ghosting wrong, we’re defining “narcissist” wrong and it’s negatively impacting us, read more here.)
So let’s redefine ghosting and call it out for what it is: drama. With a new definition and some reeducation we will stop ghosting in its tracks, or at least be better able to recover if it happens.
Ghosting is when someone (ghost) ends a connection with another person (ghostee) by stopping all communication. It is extreme and dramatic.
Depending on the level of attachment, ghosting may be a traumatic experience for the ghostee. Ghosting may lead to stress, anxiety and fear of abandonment.
To avoid blame or feeling bad some people will fight like their life depends on it to sway a term in their favor. So the ghost may try to self justify by suggesting they didn’t have a connection with someone to ghost them.
“Connection” is an ambiguous term. And of course there is room for reasonable people to disagree.
But for this definition, connection means that you’ve met someone in person, hung out with them, text them and showed interest in them and/or forming some type of relationship with them: friendship, long-term dating or casual sex, etc.
Negative Impacts of Ghosting
Ghosting leads to compacted rejection.
Rejection triggers a pain sensor in the brain. So if you get rejected by a potential love mate or friend or whoever, it can literally hurt.
If not manage properly, rejection cuts deep. Ghosting ensures the cut is as deep as possible. It can damage our self-esteem and make us feel depressed and angry. Because not only are we being rejected, we are losing the possibility of a relationship. And we are being treated less than human.
Similar to rejection, abandonment is when we feel deserted and treated less than human. If you feel abandoned, it can create issues in your relationship with yourself and others. It can lead to insecurity, jealousy, people pleasing tendencies and difficulty creating intimate relationships.
I refer to ghosting as compacted rejection because the rejection is prolonged and also includes characteristics of abandonment. When the ghost stops communicating, the ghostee is not aware they have been rejected.
This could go on for days. The ghostee is left in a state of confusion. They may wonder if something is wrong. They may make excuses for the ghost, “oh they’re just busy,” or “I’ll hear from them soon.”
So when the ghostee finally realizes they have been rejected they make this realization alone while already stressed and confused. They realize they have been living in denial, and a person they liked did not have any concern for them. All of this compacting the already adverse psychological effects of being rejected.
But Wait, There’s More!
The ghostee may also question their own intuition or why they would attract someone who would treat them so poorly. It can hurt their social confidence and keep them from trying to connect with others which may contribute to loneliness.
All of this may lead to ruminating thoughts, self-sabotage, and if not managed properly, can negatively impact future relationships.
Compacting the already compacted rejection and the extreme intensity is that the ghostee is then expected to be nonchalant, invalidate their natural emotions and just disappear.
There’s No Excuse for Ghosting, Except…
Some people may try to justify ghosting and act like it’s not a big deal. But when you break it down, ghosting is extreme and dramatic. Think of it, you’re hanging out with someone, texting them every day and then boom they disappear. That’s intense!
People who ghost because they don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings are actually doing more damage. And those who ghost because they aren’t considering anyone else’s feelings lack empathy which is a pivotal part of emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) is the #1 determinate of success and people with higher EQ have better sex, make more money, are better leaders, parents, lovers and friends.
I’d like to say there is absolutely no excuse for ghosting but life is complex and ghosting is a complex topic. Sometimes it is OK to ghost. These circumstances include if someone is being manipulative, abusive, or endangering you. In that case, the ghostee is the drama.
In my view it is also OK to ghost someone if you went on a date with them or your first time hanging out and they were creepy or inappropriate. With online dating you may not filter out all the creepers. And you don’t need to continue to subject yourself to them just because you made the mistake of going on a date.
It is also OK to ghost someone who has ghosted you. Yup, sometimes the dramatic person returns from the dead. I don’t consider that ghosting since the connection was already broken by them.
Why People Ghost
Ghosting is extreme and incredibly dramatic. People who ghost may simply just be drama. They could have low self-esteem and an unhealthy need for external validation—negative validation being all they are used to.
People ghost for many reasons including that they:
lack emotional maturity
have an avoidant attachment style
have low self-esteem or self hatred
want to end the relationship but don’t to know quite why
don’t want confrontation
assume there will be confrontation
have poor communication skills
met someone else and legitimately don’t care
did it because they can
don’t realize how negatively impactful it is
didn’t realize how connected you felt
were lashed at before for ending a relationship
want to feel powerful
were ghosted so they are lashing out at you
don’t think ghosting is a big deal
are emotionally illiterate
have a perceived slight and instead of communicating, left
were lied to about you and believed the lie
are too scared to be vulnerable
Note: there may be many reasons why people ghost but the reasons are not excusable. And if you were ghosted it’s not about why they did it, it’s about how you move forward productively.
How We Stop It
We can stop ghosting or reduce its power by correctly defining it, having forgiveness and reeducating.
Ghosting is dramatic. It’s extreme. People don’t want to be labeled as either of these things. So when we call ghosts out for their drama it will probably shame them into not being so dramatic a.k.a. not ghosting.
If you ghosted because you didn’t know how negatively impactful it was, work on the forgiveness part. See if you can offer an apology or what you can do differently in the future.
Literally you could say “hey, didn’t want to ghost but don’t know what to say. Sorry.”
Some other things to say if you’re not into someone are:
“I had fun, but I didn’t feel a strong connection.”
“I don’t think we are a good fit. I’m sorry. Good luck!”
“You’re great and I really want this to work but I’m not feeling it.”
If you have been ghosted, work on forgiving yourself for trusting someone who didn’t have your best intentions in mind. Forgive yourself for being vulnerable with the wrong person and allow yourself to be vulnerable again.
The reeducation part is letting others know that ghosting is negatively damaging. Ghosting is hurtful and I genuinely believe that people are kind and don’t want to hurt others (or at least I continually tell myself that so I don’t fall into a pit of despair).
With this education we also need to make sure we appreciate when someone doesn’t ghost, even though us appreciating someone not ghosting means we’ve been rejected. Ugh. Look at us being all mature and shit.
Sample response when being rejected to help discourage ghosting: “Thank you for letting me know!”
With a more accurate definition we will gain clarity, understand how ghosting affects us and better manage when it happens to us. With forgiveness and reeducation we will hopefully encourage others not to ghost and stop this harmful trend in its tracks.
A Note From Lyndsey:
Recently I met someone who disclosed that they ghost people. When I asked why he said he knew it was wrong but he didn’t know what else to do. I told him I get that, and I understand he doesn’t want to feel uncomfortable, but it’s important to let people know you are no longer interested.
Ghosting is a sign that as a society we do not focus on emotions and being emotionally kind to others. I really hope we can change this soon!
Learn about how to effectively cope and move on after being ghosted here.
To have success in any type of personal development we need to know that we are deserving. Sounds easy but it may be more difficult than it seems. Learn how here so you can confidently build your confidence.
“Can you handle it” is a valid question when used to plan and make decisions. For instance, as a kid if your parents gave you a new task they may have asked if you could handle the responsibility, or at work your boss may ask if you can handle the added workload before giving you a new project.
“Can you handle it” can also be a hostile and demeaning question meant to provoke. The question can be toxic. And depending on how you respond, can keep you stuck or from focusing on what really matters.
In this article we talk about how “Can you handle it?” can be toxic and how it is used to provoke so you can know when someone tries to provoke you, reject it and respond in a confident and empowered way.
Real World Examples
A few months ago, there was a video circling the internet of a millennial woman singing about other millennials. The song was demeaning and poking fun at people who are in touch with their emotions.
It included the singer calling millennials “snowflakes,” insinuating they were overly emotional and at one point she commented they could not take a punch.
This morning I was in a meeting with other entrepreneurs. They set the meeting up so one entrepreneur presents their business model and attendees give feedback.
The host of the meeting commented that only constructive criticism should be given and if you want to give negative criticism, you need to reach out to the presenter directly. He then gave the disclosure that he thought the presenter “could handle” negative feedback.
The presenter smiled with pride.
My friend’s cousin is a personal trainer. My friend asked if I would like a free training session. Since I already have a routine, I politely declined. My friend insisted.
I finally said OK. My friend then responds, “do you think you can handle it?” He then went on about how his cousin is the “real deal” and that when my friend worked out with him he was sore and had trouble walking for over a week.
Behind the Scenes
The singer and meeting host were using the phrase “Can’t handle it” to show bravado. The presenter was using it as a validation of his own bravado. My friend could have been asking for valid reasons, but the manner in which he said it made it clear he was trying to show his own or question my bravado.
They are trying to assert their strength and self-worth by creating a power struggle.
This is likely a result of the cultural narrative being influenced by toxic masculinity. Toxic masculinity is when people feel the need to assert themselves by showing their aggression or strength.
It is a limiting belief that stunts personal growth and development. Even though masculine is in the name, toxic masculinity shows no bias and can be apparent in any gender.
When we are asked “can you handle it” in a demeaning, manipulative way, it can strike our ego. Meaning, it may produce a desire for us to respond defensively to preserve our self-esteem.
However, if we respond to the toxicity we are contributing to the poor behavior and getting off track. This stunts our growth and hinders our emotional and mental well-being.
Because in the moment it may feel powerful to respond with bravado, it is actually taking away power.
In the context where “can you handle it” is used to poke or insinuate weakness, you may be tempted to prove yourself. But the empowered response is to know that true strength would be rejecting the narrative, holding your own and managing your ego.
Toxic masculinity misinterprets strength as physical power and relies on the idea that we need to be physically aggressive in order to have power. Since we live in the industrialized world, that mind frame is no longer necessary or productive. Frankly, it’s obsolete.
Bravado is out, emotional intelligence (EQ) is in. EQ is the #1 determinate of success and employers are literally looking for it in the interview process. People with high EQ are better leaders, have better relationships, get more promotions and make more money.
Part of EQ is managing your emotional responses, which includes removal of the ego response and rejecting when other people try to poke your ego.
So the empowered response to “you can’t handle a punch” would be: “Why would I need to?” or “Why are people punching people?”
When you are confident and comfortable with who you are, you do not need to go around trying to fight people. You know there is no need to fight, unless your life is in danger, of course.
And the empowered response to “you can handle negative criticism” would be to ask for only constructive criticism. Negative criticism is mental garbage. It’s worthless and a waste of time.
Constructive criticism is valuable and can help you grow and progress. Asking only for constructive criticism shows that you value your time, are focused on growth and will not get caught up in the garbage, negativity of others.
Regarding the training session, the empowered response would be “best I don’t.” Any kind of athletic environment where you are being coerced to force yourself beyond your limits to prove bravado is not healthy for your body or your mind.
It will likely result in an injury because you are listening with your ego and not your body. If you are trying to train, it’s counter to your goals because if you’re sore for a week you can’t workout. It’s stupid. You can work out without being in severe pain afterwards and still gain muscle.
Why Would I?
I’m from a city whose slogan is “fuck around and find out.” I’ve been boxing for over 8 years and have been doing Olympic lifts for about 6. The woman singing, I could probably deadlift or bench press her.
And I wouldn’t worry about taking a punch from her because I would dodge it. But again, why is anyone throwing punches?… it’s weird.
The last person who gave me negative criticism got called out for their limiting beliefs, cognitive distortions and they annoyed me with their fixed mindset. Even so, I wish I had responded better.
Afterwards a friend suggested that when I face negative and deconstructive criticism I simply reply, “thank you,” and move forward instead of calling it out. I now heed that advice while fighting the urge to tell the negative Nancy to go away.
The non-aggressive and compassionate responses are typically viewed as being weak, but in reality, they are strength. And we need to know this if we want to maintain our power and progress forward.
I hope this article helps you reconsider the things that are being asked of you and if they are controlling, manipulative, toxic or keeping you from growth.
When you are asked if you can handle something, take a minute before you respond. Ask yourself, or ask the person asking, some questions like: