So much has happened in this last year for our family. Some really hard, difficult and emotionally stressful events could have completely torn apart our family. But, I think that my daughter’s emotional intelligence has developed enough that it kept us all from falling apart.
So, yeah, that title sucks. But, I’m tired of trying to make everything all SEO’d. I wanted to get the point across and talk about what I need to talk about.
In December of last year (2015) their (my daughters’) father died suddenly in his sleep. It was difficult in so many ways, just like any death would be. We had no idea if she could comprehend that he was gone, or what reaction it would elicit. Sorry, I should explain why. Nove has autism, anxiety and oppositional defiance disorder, along with type 2 diabetes.
It took months before she could say that she missed him when asked, but she talked about him and the things they did together and with her sister for the entire time. It was like she understood he was gone forever, but the sadness took much longer to actually sink in.
Until now, I’ve not been able to talk about it much myself. There were many things I did not like about him, but many more that I did. More than anything, I knew my girls were going to hurt and have heart ache from missing him during the important parts of their life. I knew this because I still miss my own dad and he didn’t pass until I was an adult.
I mentioned emotional intelligence earlier. Until a few years ago, I wasn’t aware that this was a “thing”. Lets take a look at it, because it is something we all have a certain level of regardless of age, ability or disorders.
Wikipedia describes emotional intelligence (EI) as “the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.” Today it is thought to be an essential component to both personal and professional success – even more important than typical intelligence such as IQ.
Traits of Emotionally Intelligent People
People who have high emotional intelligence:
- Are positively focused
- Choose to be with positive people
- Set healthy boundaries
- Can be assertive as needed
- Do not focus on the past
- Know how to enjoy life
- Tend to be interested and interesting
- Describe their self as happy
- Demonstrate a high degree of empathy
- Know when to say yes or no
Emotional intelligence is an important thing to learn if you lack in this area. Thankfully, unlike IQ, you can raise your EI easily with practice and focus. Most people don’t realize they have it or don’t have it.
If you want more information, you can take a free EI test here and find training programs too: Free EQ Quiz
Books about Emotional Intelligence
You can also read some books about emotional intelligence. Start with this list:
Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child, by John Gottman, PhD and Daniel Goleman
Emotional Intelligence: 10th Anniversary Edition, by Daniel Goleman
All these books can help you not only raise your own emotional intelligence but also help you coach your children to naturally have a higher EI as they get older. Even if all you do is get better yourself, that will help your kids too.
Websites about Emotional Intelligence
SixSeconds – This is a great resource to help you build your emotional intelligence. The site is focused on positive change and making the world a better place if people have higher emotional intelligence which they call the emotional intelligence quotient or EQ.
The Emotional Intelligence Consortium – This is an excellent website that offers reports, references, books and even a membership for people and organizations who are interested in the idea of emotional intelligence.
MindTools – This website has many different intellectual tools available, some of which are devoted to developing emotional intelligence. This is focused on business and team building through improving emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence & MSCEIT – If you want academic information, tests, workshops, schools and more related to emotional intelligence this is a good place with reliable information.
Yale Center for Emotional Intelligence – This is an excellent center with a program that seeks to improve the emotional intelligence of future generations through incorporating EI training into the community through schools and the community.
Practical Emotional Intelligence – A website by Chris Golis that offers practical help for people wanting to learn more about EI. He is a speaker and trainer in emotional intelligence for individuals, businesses and teams and offers a lot of different training options and information regarding EI. He has a good list of resources and infographics about emotional intelligence.
Don’t let all that be overwhelming. Dive in if you want to, or skim if that’s all you can manage right now.
I just had a conversation about Nove’s ability to work. Apparently, she heard us when we said you can start working at 15, but we were talking about the law, not her ability or readiness, specifically.
She’s getting closer, but we have many more conversations before she’s ready.
However, let me return to the original thought here – her loss of her father, and then her sister moved 4 hours away within 6 months. That’s a lot of loss in a short amount of time. However, her level of EI (emotional intelligence) has grown enough that she’s not a total wreck. We’ve not really seen too many regressions in behavior. I think she’ll be okay.
Let me know in a comment if you knew about emotional intelligence and how you’ve improved it in your life. Or anything else – I’d love to hear from you.