How Does The Subject Of Vulnerability Relate To Emotional Intelligence?
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Recent studies have shown that people who are able to recognize when you’re not in control of something are less likely to feel hurt or offended by your actions.
Instead, they will try to understand why you made the decision you did instead of being upset about it. This ability is called emotional regulation or restraint. It can help you avoid lashing out at someone after they make an unexpected comment or do something that hurts your feelings.
You may know some people like this already — friends or family members who could probably always tell when you were down and needed their attention, and would never make you feel bad unless you didn't invite them to an event or asked them if they wanted to go somewhere first.
Emotional intelligence (or EI for short) was coined back in 1990s academia, but it has since become one of the most popular concepts in psychology. Since then, many professionals have studied ways to improve individuals' levels of EI.
Overall, researchers agree that higher levels of EI are related to more happiness and success in life. But they also note that while everyone needs some level of empathy to succeed, too much can be a problem if it distracts you from getting things done.
There are several reasons why having high levels of EI can be a challenge.
The relationship between emotional intelligence and vulnerability
While both concepts are described as opposite traits, they work in tandem with each other. When we are vulnerable, it can sometimes be because we do not know how to feel or cannot seem to find the right feelings.
Emotions suchas sadness, fear, anger, happiness, and joy help us define who you are as a person.
They also give us insight into what is going on in people’s lives, helping us understand their behaviors and potential weaknesses.
Vulnerability is also a way to connect with others. We learn about someone when they show some parts of themselves to us.
But understanding vulnerability takes practice. It does not occur easily or without struggle.
We get some sense of this when children grow up experiencing frequent loss due to death of a loved one, natural disasters, or financial hardship.
Ways to improve your emotional intelligence
Developing your emotional intelligence is not easy, but it is something you can work at consistently. It will take time to see changes in your EQ.
One way to boost your emotional intelligence is by practicing acceptance and mindfulness. Both of these skills help you to recognize and manage your emotions.
Practicing acceptance means acknowledging that things are just not working out today and learning how to let go and move on. This helps you to reduce stress and avoid acting upon or responding to negative thoughts and feelings.
Mindfulness is also referred to as meditation because it involves focusing on what you're doing right now while reducing distractions. You can do this short focused breathing exercises, thinking about one thing for a set amount of time, or listening to music.
Another way to increase your emotional intelligence is to learn more about yourself and who you are. Ask yourself questions about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, and dreams, etc.
You can also read books and articles about various topics related to emotional intelligence.
Ways to become more vulnerable
Being able to identify your vulnerabilities is a very important part of emotional intelligence. When you are aware of your weaknesses, you can work on them to be better versions of yourself.
Many experts believe that we lose touch with our own strengths as we focus on our weaknesses. By doing this, we stop ourselves from living in our natural state which is self-aware and confident.
Becoming more aware of your vulnerabilities can also help you connect with other people. Once you recognize what things make you feel bad about yourself or nervous, you will learn how to avoid those triggers.
You will also have to acknowledge these weaknesses though so that they do not keep piling up. It is best to do it slowly so that you do not get overwhelmed.
There’s no need to address every weakness, but thinking about some areas is okay. Try asking yourself questions like “What am I good at? What makes me happy?” If you cannot come up with anything, look into why that is.
Your subconscious mind works automatically without you having to think about it, so looking there may reveal something you want to know.
A few years ago, I was talking with one of my very best friends about how we could make each other’s lives more fun by doing things that made us feel uncomfortable or nervous. We discussed our fears and what kind of risk we were willing to take in order to try something new.
She mentioned that she sometimes watches scary movies because they scare her but also give her inspiration for possible future projects. She said she would like to do photography but doesn’t want to start until she buys her first camera, which she feels is a little expensive.
I asked if she ever thought about getting a cheap point-and-shoot camera as a way to motivate herself to invest in a nicer model.
My friend laughed and replied “That’s so Aly!”
We both started laughing because we realized that she would get motivated just from having access to a nice camera.
It took me a minute to realize what she was saying, but when I did I got really excited.
This conversation inspired me to talk about another topic — emotional intelligence (or EQ).
Emotional intelligence is your ability to recognize and manage your emotions. It looks at how you handle yourself in situations and applies this to people.
One of the most important reasons why emotional intelligence is such an integral part of leadership is due to its link with vulnerability.
Vulnerability means admitting that you don’t know everything.
Connecting with others
Developing your emotional intelligence means learning how to connect with people. This is not only important in relation to career success, but also personal life happiness.
Running away from emotions can sometimes make you succeed because there are times when being totally controlled is what's needed. But this doesn’t last very long before you burn out and lose motivation.
By acknowledging and understanding your own feelings, as well as other people’s, you will be more able to deal effectively with situations that require communication or influence.
You’ll achieve this by incorporating certain concepts into your lifestyle. For example, practicing acceptance and letting go of perfectionism could help you relate to other people more easily.
Another concept is mindfulness – paying attention without judgment for an extended period of time. Both acceptation and mindfulness promote calmness and self-control which are essential qualities in emotionally intelligent people.
Do not hold your breath
Developing emotional intelligence is like developing muscle control – it takes practice, repetition, and reinforcement. The same goes for vulnerability.
It’s easy to talk about vulnerability as something that should be practiced (and praised!), but actually engaging in vulnerable behaviors is difficult. It requires motivation, strategies, and someone who is willing to help you when you are struggling with this aspect of your EQ.
That person can be yourself or another individual, but it takes more than just a few moments of exposure to open up emotionally.
Avoid comparing your own level of vulnerability with those who seem “more” vulnerable than you are. You may feel discouraged by their lack of fear, while also feeling insecure because you do not understand what has made them less fearful.
Instead, think about all the things you have learned from others.
Look on the bright side
One important thing about vulnerability is that it can be a powerful tool in helping you gain emotional intelligence. When we are vulnerable, we open up our shields and defenses so those around us can get close to us.
Emotionally intelligent people understand how to use their vulnerabilities for good – they learn from them!
By acknowledging your weaknesses, you give yourself permission to have more exposure to what makes you uncomfortable or even hurt you. This helps you grow through experiences that are outside your normal zone of control.
You also become aware of how others’ perception of you shapes your self-image and confidence.
It may help you realize just how much of an overachiever or underachiever you really are. Your strengths and weaknesses reveal things about you that you don’t know already.
Embrace your emotions
Developing emotional intelligence means learning how to handle your own feelings, as well as recognize and understand those of others.
This is different than what many people think of when they talk about “emotion” or “feeling things out.”
They believe that being aware of your own feelings is a key part of developing emotion intelligence. But it's not just that — you have to be able to identify other people’s feelings too!
It can feel like a daunting task, especially if you're not used to acknowledging and understanding your own feelings.
But practicing self-awareness and empathy are integral parts of emotional intelligence. And while they may seem unrelated at first glance, they go hand in hand.