Growing your emotional intelligence; Respect


Have you ever been so angry at a mate you ‘screamed’ so hard at him/her to let out all your frustration? However, after the scream, you got even angrier for having to scream so hard? Well maybe it was not a scream and maybe it was not even someone you could potentially scream at to hold accountable for your misery but hopefully you get where I am coming from. In this modern world where the vitriol spewed out, particularly online, seems like a second language, it might be time for people to pause and ask why things seem to be getting worse, instead of better.

I do not know about you, but there are two things that make me disinterested in any subject or human; lies and disrespect. I often find people reacting to disrespect with disrespect but like Benjamin Rush quoted in his letter in 1783, ‘two wrongs don’t make one right’. I do find it interesting whenever I have the pleasure of visiting social media, particularly Instagram (In 2019, I started regulating my social media usage and I will probably share more on this in another blog post). I’m often quite motivated to leave usually after a few minutes because I do not find many edifying feeds.

I’d like to think that the rationale behind the display of anger is to transfer emotions to potential receivers but I do find this logic rather flawed and sad, considering each human is so different. For instance, insulting someone with a higher emotional intelligence might only get you more frustrated as they are more likely to rationalize and comport themselves better in a way that might actually seem irritating. Secondly, there is also the question of; what if you achieved your aim and the receiver got hurt or angry. So now what? Did it resolve your problem? If yes, at what cost? If no, was it worth it? The time spent scheming (or maybe not, since some reactions tend to bypass the brain somehow), the time spent in delivering the offense, and the time spent in brooding over the lingering hurt or anger you are still feeling. Was it really worth it?

I find respect to be the most attractive trait in a person (you can imagine why my close circle keeps shrinking over the years). There’s something about mastering this virtue! It takes patience, discipline and a deliberate effort to want to treat people like you would want to be treated (this assumes that you actually KNOW how you want to be treated from prior healthy relationships).

Practically;

  1. Sometimes it is rather easy for me when I realize where people are coming from and what experiences might be influencing their behavior! Being rational means that you can help to bridge the gap rather than flame a fire.
  2. Sometimes an irrational and predominantly emotional behavior (I call this retiring the brain and thinking with your heart) may be detached from a persons age and seen as an area of potential growth. Here, patience and love are other virtues needed to forgive this offender.
  3. Your reaction to the person growing his/her emotional intelligence, teaches them how to react to YOU and OTHERS! It might seem counterintuitive to be kind to a person with evil intentions but people aren’t born evil. They become what their environment teaches them to be! If they encounter you, will you contribute positively to their lives?

PS: I do need to add that showing respect does not mean entertaining disrespect! There are people you encounter in life who may or may not be respectful. There are also people who STAY in your life. I’ve learned that being universally respectful does not mean the world around you will conform to your ways. However, being selective about your IMMEDIATE environment leaves room for you to be poured into POSITIVELY!

…When your well is full, you can graciously ‘show off’ your beautiful values to those in and beyond your close circle! … Kukua Anthonyin

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