Part 2 -Emotional Intelligence- We Want, Crave, Hurt, Love
Updated: Sep 7
In Part 2, of my Emotional Intelligence post, I’m talking about the last two building blocks of emotional intelligence - social awareness and relationship management. In the previous post, I dived into the topic of emotional intelligence with the foundational building blocks of self-awareness and self-management.
Why is this important? Imagine having that friend or actually being that friend that runs on pure emotion
24/7. You spend the day with them and their intensity, which initially can be fun and inspiring, but it turns into a ticking time bomb situation when you don’t know which emotion is coming and they refuse to take the time to understand and be accountable for it. Your friend starts to lash out at anyone who will listen, including you. They are so hyped up that there isn’t an ounce of social awareness in sight. No empathy for the people around them, and no interest in seeing the bigger picture. They end up burning bridges left and right.
I’m not judging. I’ve witnessed and have been the highly emotional and passionate woman that burnt a couple of bridges and had to dial back and deal with the consequences. Most of us have at some point or other. The problem is when it’s a cycle that doesn’t stop and becomes hurtful to everyone involved. It sabotages relationships.
Unless you plan on becoming a hermit or living on an island alone, be thoughtful of this. In a perfect world social awareness takes our well-regulated, self-aware minds and places us in the company of others.
It takes empathy, organizational awareness, and a service orientation to have social awareness and thrive. Through empathy, we understand people and their perspectives. We practice reflective listening to be thoughtful and sincere. For example, reflective listening is like this - “So if I understand correctly, you’re saying that….” and so on. We take into account social cues like verbal intonation or body gestures and predict reactions. We consider our words and the consequences to those that hear them.
Social awareness doesn’t mean pleasing people, it means that you take the time and respect to build understanding with others. Understanding usually leads to increased trust. Trust builds community, love, and the desire to serve. Social awareness means you know you are about to drop some impactful words, you also know their effect might be severe, and you’ve planned for that. When we are confident in our own 1. self-awareness and 2. self-regulation, we are able to master social awareness.
The thing is, many have not been successful. Maybe they haven’t taken the time to work on building blocks 1 and 2. They're stuck in a repetitive cycle of misdirected emotions in the wrong place and wrong time. Nowadays it’s a proven possibility that they might have a chemical imbalance that makes it almost impossible to get to the social awareness phase. They start on mind-altering pharmaceuticals or take the latest mood-stabilizing vitamins, CBD, etc. This is a modern reality. It’s an upgrade from years ago when nobody dealt with it. We need to get right and get balanced to thrive. Social awareness gives back through the growth of healthy relationships.
Modern (not necessarily new) problems like racism, non-stop technology, and overuse of drugs and alcohol are examples of how empathy can be muted and we might find ourselves on an island alone or with a few people that claim to be the same. These conditions can encourage selfishness that can chip away at communities. Relationships and thoughtfulness become low priorities and social awareness isn’t valued. Community synergy and cooperation are not of interest and the quality of life for all can be diminished. Racism puts you in a bubble of only your kind and alienates others. Spending days on video games, you tube, or social media can skew your reality if you’re not careful, making your only relationships the pretend alliances you have formed virtually. People often turn to excessive drugs and alcohol because they can’t deal with themselves and haven’t done the “work” to figure out why or how.
Social awareness is crucial as we navigate the world. It's how communities and businesses are built and also how healthy families thrive. Organizational awareness, service to others, and empathy is key.
I’m pretty sure there are emotional intelligence tests for anyone that wants to lead. Whether you want to be the president, a CEO, or some type of manager you need to be emotionally intelligent about influencing, mentoring, managing conflict, building teams, and overall inspiration. Actually, this should be a prerequisite or goal for parents too. Family Management 101!
The building blocks of emotional intelligence are self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management. If we want to be healthy and thriving members of our community, it wouldn’t hurt to try a little everyday to be thoughtful of these things. We are all a work in progress and the journey with intention is what it’s all about.
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