Rotary Peace Center at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

Emotional Competency

From my work and time as a Rotary Peace Fellow, it is clear that we all are emotional people. Emotions play very important roles in our lives. Therefore, I would like to reflect here on what it means to be emotionally competent in our lives and work.

A person who is emotionally competent can live his life to the fullest, and achieve important life goals. Emotions are always true and natural. We have a tendency to either deny, justify, condemn, reject and/or to avoid them. Most of our energy goes to doing all of these things. Let emotions flow forward and try to accept them. We often do not allow emotions to come forward through us. When we feel a negative, we sometimes feel anxious and attempt to block this emotion. Temporarily, this may give us comfort.  But, this is always only short-term comfort. Socially we are taught not to express unaccepted emotions (e.g. envy, resentment, disgust, jealousy, etc.).  So, we normally suppress our emotions. Such emotional suppression, ultimately, hinders our ability to think clearly.

Emotional competency requires that we handle our emotions very effectively–that we do not allow emotions to overpower us. It is said that emotional quotient is vital to ensuring a good life. With emotional competence we can cope more effectively with our lives and situations we are bound to confront daily, yearly, etc..

The following are the key components required for balanced emotional competency:

  1. Self Awareness: Most of the time we are unaware of our own selves. Knowing ourselves, understanding our own personal thinking patterns, emotions, strengths and weaknesses is vital to the achievement of emotional maturity. When we know ourselves, we reduce our mistakes and inherently any resulting disturbances from that evolve from mistakes. We can more easily remain productive.
  2. Self Regulation:  We face many ups and downs in our lives. Instead of carrying these episodes with us, we can work through and rearrange our lives in order to avoid long-term emotional challenges. This comprehensive process is called self regulation.
  3. Empathy: Exploring and connecting with empathy is one technique to  ensure sensitivity to ourselves and others. If we start understanding our own and others’ emotions as if they are ours, then we will understand the similarities between and ourselves and others.
  4. Motivation: We keep ourselves emotionally healthy when we have a motivation for living. If we have something to look forward to, we keep our lives moving forward, otherwise we become stagnant and our emotions start overpowering us.
  5. Social Skills: To live life effectively we need social skills. These skills always help us to reduce the stress of our work. When we lack these skills we find that we may become emotionally stressed due to challenges in the way we interact with ourselves and others.

The aforementioned leads us toward higher levels of emotional competency. It is said that emotions come in clusters. We should learn to identify and understand our emotions. Only then can we deal with our own and others emotions more effectively. Every emotion has a function and it motivates us into action. Emotions are based on our beliefs. As we carry our rational beliefs, then our emotions flow forward resulting in positive personal actions. If we carry with us irrational beliefs, then our emotions move us toward more self -doubting or -defeating.

We should first learn to identify our emotions. Then, accept them for what they may be. Once we accept our emotions, we must try to remain and not run from our emotions. When we learn to stay in our emotions, we are not restless. We can make the appropriate choices and actions to come move forward and out of a difficult situation toward a healthier feeling and life.

Emotional competency teaches and enables us to effectively deal with ourselves and others in a healthier way in life.

Anuradha Karkare, India
Rotary Peace Fellow
January 2014

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This entry was posted on February 17, 2014 by .
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