How To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Join Tamara and Sheena as they talk about How To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence in this episode of Les Talk About It.

Episode: 5 of 12 of the Relationship Season

The 6 areas that help you improve your emotional intelligence and how to:

  1. Reduce negative emotions
  2. Stay cool and manage stress
  3. Be assertive and express difficult emotions
  4. Stay proactive, not reactive in the face of a difficult person
  5. Bounce back from adversity
  6. Express intimate emotions in close personal relationships

Listen here

Find the first episode of EQ here

Les Talk About It Series: Relationships

Relationships are important for humans. We need them to survive, never mind thrive. In this series we delve into relationships and break down some statistics and realities because, let’s face it, most us just muddle through and don’t necessarily have the skillset to rally make a relationship work.


please note this transcript has not been edited and is automatically generated meaning certain words will be incorrect

welcome to Les Talk About It. I’m Sheena and I’m Tamara and today we are talking about how to improve your EQ which is like the second part of the two part mini series ok so last week we spoke about what EQ is and what it means for your relationship and this week we’re going to be looking at how to actually improve it EQ with practical methods so there are six areas in which you can do exercises and pay attention in order to improve your EQ so if on the last episode you listened to the patron exclusive but where we did the questionnaire and you came out with less than seven this is a great set of exercises and even if you came out with more than that this is really cool stuff to just be aware of in relationships with yourself with other people mm-hm if you’re catching up now and you didn’t listen to the previous episode in which we talk about what EQ is and how it manifests in your relationships go back and listen to that first because this episode will make a lot more sense if you do that so the first of these six areas is to reduce your negative emotions so that’s thoughts that you have about your world and your environment and things that are happening to you that feel personal so for example having a car accident and having the reaction of Oh why’s everybody out to get me is a really negative way of looking at the world okay so there are two things here to be able to reduce your negative emotions the first thing you need to do is reduce your negative personalisation this is what I was just talking about when you feel like somebody else’s behavior is negative the very company gives you yes so the first thing is to realize that people are not doing this about you nothing is about you unless you’re doing it so it could be that your partner in the morning was very rushed and your thought is she’s angry with me she hates me but in the meantime it could have been that she’s distracted because she’s got an important presentation at work exactly that’s the first part of this the second thing is to reduce the fear of rejection so your fear of rejection will make things feel a lot more personal so if you don’t get that job you want it will feel like it’s against you okay so how do you actually manage rejection though well don’t stick with you eggs in one basket figure out how to split something that you really want for example let’s talk about the job okay instead of applying for just one job and going this is my dream job and I’m gonna be devastated if they don’t hire me decrease your fear of rejection by saying I’m gonna apply for three exciting positions and if one doesn’t pan out then there’s two more that I’m equally well-qualified for so it’s defusing your expectations for things that you’ve got you don’t really have control over that’s exactly it okay so if you’re aware of these situations the things in which you turn around and and have negative emotions about you are able to control your thoughts and by reducing your negative personalization and by reducing your fear of rejection you’re actually taking control and you’re increasing your emotional quotient as a result mmm I suppose if you look at it the fear of rejection can also you know play into the negative personalization especially if you’re looking at the way people react towards you as you’re as rejection of you like absolutely if I don’t know people at work don’t invite you to lunch with them yes absolutely I’m like you know there’s the rejection that an ad can also search because they hate me or whatever it is and it could just be that they saw you bring lunch and so didn’t ask you to join oh it could be that the car is small and happened to be in the room got invited if you understand that it’s not about you life will be easier okay so the second thing is the ability to be assertive and express difficult emotions and we necessary it in the right way this is all about being able to not only openly talk about things that are important to you but that you can actually clearly articulate your position and the way you feel about these things as well okay so say for example you’re in the relationship with someone and it’s very important for you that you have crunchy peanut butter at home okay and your partner keeps buying smooth peanut butter mm-hmm okay and crunchy peanut butter is extremely important to you do you get upset do you get angry do you – you take a personally throw the jar of peanut butter onto the floor okay all of those are very negative ways to handle a situation okay so how do you handle that situation what’s the best way and how do you speak to the other person in a way that will get you what you want without causing a fire without causing a fight okay well that’s a really complicated question so do you have an answer for us back to jars of peanut butter actually exactly what we did I like the crunchy you like the smooth and so we keep both of us no not really okay so the answer to this question is actually all about the way that you speak when we spoke a few weeks ago about the Four Horsemen of the relationship apocalypse we spoke about how to fight well and how to communicate your feelings when you’re angry because if you don’t do it in the right way you’re blaming someone now she also ran the risk of seeming like you feel like you’re better than the other person so this technique helps with that okay all right it’s called the X Y Z technique alright and how it works is as follows I feel X when you do Y in this situation so in situations II yeah did yes depending on where you’re so for example I feel strongly that I should get crunchy peanut butter when you go shopping crazy peanut butter to the base say please not okay so but this can apply in all sorts of situation can so if we were to apply the XYZ technique to work mm-hmm I feel strongly that I should receive recognition from this company based on my contribution exactly so you’re telling them how you feel okay you’re telling them what you want and you’re telling them the specific situation that you’re having those feelings about okay so this is great because it actually will defuse the thing and make it not personal yeah so it’s not personal it’s murder attacking and it’s also made a very neutral position you’re not saying that you’re worse than the other person you’re not saying that you’re better than the other person you’re just being matter-of-fact also because you’re making it situational so you’re saying in this situation this is happening and this is how I’m feeling about it it’s a really clear statement exactly and the thing is I mean even if you do like I feel frustrated which is a much stronger emotion in something like strongly about whatever it is you’re you know linking their frustration to a super specific situation so I feel frustrated when you get peanut butter that is smooth and you know I like crunchy peanut butter exactly I know that it’s just about the situation it’s not about frustration in general with me it’s just really like crunchy peanut but I think your ass is adding a situation is a great technique in editing situation I feel X when you do Y in situations it mm-hmm I mean that’s a great shorthand way of doing this so this will help you be assertive and express difficult emotions when you need to yes and not in the negative way which is what’s important right and being aware of all of this also makes you understand yourself better so you can understand I’m feeling this in this situation when you’re doing this here so it’s all about being constructive and not destructive remember we’re trying to build strong relationships we’re not trying to break down each other I think that’s a great way of looking at in cue actually so my next point is the ability to stay cool and manage stress this I think is one of the things that I suffer with the most I tend to be a hothead if I’m feeling irritated about something especially when there’s something feels really personal about somebody that I care about so how we handle stressful situations makes a huge difference between being assertive and reactive poised and frazzled here’s two quick tips that I found the first one is a situational thing put cold water on your face get some fresh avoid caffeine okay so you literally staying cool you literally staying cool so do I need to follow you around with like a little spray bottle so the bringing your own core temperature down getting fresh air avoiding caffeine what it does is it actually affects your body so physically on a physical level you are reducing your anxiety and your nervousness and your stress by cooling down your body temperature making sure that you’re getting enough oxygen and avoiding caffeine which is actually a stimulant to your nervous system and the problem with stimulants is it heightens your stress it happens your anger it heightens all of those you know so if you’re someone that’s prone to anxiety paranoia nervousness stay away from coffee from tea tea cold drinks energy drinks anything with caffeine oh so they are teas herbal teas that you can have without caffeine just make sure that they don’t have caffeine but regular tea has caffeine lots of it’s more than coffee off sometimes so tea drinkers out there yeah and if you feel like you need those things to stay awake and cope with your life or get more energy seriously consider more rest and sleeping is very important to looking after yourself right okay so the second thing to be able to manage Jason stay cool is when you feel fearful or depressed or discouraged any kind of really deep negative stuff try aerobic exercise mm-hmm okay cuz we prepare our leotards you know what even if you’re an office try ten jumping jacks just go somewhere where nobody can see you that makes you wearing a sports bra I just I’ve just imagined egg like standing up like in your cubicle and doing jumping jacks go to the basement go to where the cars are parked do you know I mean just take a few minutes for yourself jump up and down fear depression discouragement the emotions are of the prison of emotions are aggravated when you don’t have good blood flow in your body mm-hmm so the aerobic exercise actually helps lift those emotions if you get your heart pumping and your blood flows to your body you get more oxygen in your body and it actually helps with those feelings and releases endorphins and it releases endorphins so just go for a brisk walk do something that makes you pent because that’s how you know your heart is written yeah and if you’ve got you know a set of stairs in your office just to run up those yeah that’s an easy and non weird way of getting man that quad you know like the idea of jumping jacks I think jumping jacks are great just make sure you wearing a sports bra that is my only thing you’re listening to the news being talk-show the lesbians all choke on your hub of podcast information the next point is the ability to bounce back from adversity this is all about how you deal with when something bad or negative has happened or some initiative went to happen or something unexpected has happened how’d you come back from that are you depressed does it create more anxiety do you also do this thing where you feel like it’s a personal attack against you I’ve seen people like oh no I didn’t get that job I feel so depressed everything in my life is going to hole yes I mean it does start to feel like it’s all about you and it’s you know this happens to you and why does it only happen to you where the other person who’s not as good as you seems to be always get what they want right yeah so how do you do that how do you come back from adversity what is a great advice for bouncing back I think the best advice for this is to again step back from the situation the way you would with personalization and look at it for the fresh set of eyes and say what can I learn from the situation so what’s the lesson how can I do better next time what is maybe the advantage to whatever happens sometimes there is just stepping back and looking at a few ways that this is not as bad as it seems to be so saying something like what’s important now what’s the next step yes also seems like a good idea let’s do a few examples okay so you didn’t get a job that you wanted okay what are the some positives that could be from it maybe there’s a different opportunity out there for you yeah there could be a bit of opportunity this might have been a greater dry run for an interview process and now you know what to do better next time it could be that you’ve heard that this opportunity actually was not as great as you thought it was originally maybe you’re not quite ready for it and this gives you more time to increase your management skills exactly so there are a few ways there and in your personal life maybe the fact that you keep getting the wrong peanut butter means that I have the opportunity to increase my EQ and talk to you proactively about it yes and maybe because I don’t get you peanut butter eating less breads and therefore less carbs oh great disappointment of quite cheap either I like the crunchy you like to hate crunchy peanut it’s like a heavy weights and it’s not it’s delicious it adds a textural sensation smooth could have it just sticks to everything it sticks to the roof of your mouth I think you’re putting way too much okay so my next point no the rule for the grand peanut butter debate which we neither of us will ever win just buy more money okay so the next thing the the fifth point is the ability to stay proactive not reactive in the face of a difficult person this is something that takes great mastery for me because when somebody is challenging me and it is right in my face about something not getting angry and upset is a skill that I need to breathe through right I’m a fighter not a FLIR I’m spraying you with my support so here are two steps you can take okay to help you master the skill okay so the first one is when you feeling angry and upset take a breath counselor leta – this is one of those things where you remove yourself from the situation so that you’re not reactive you’re proactive okay so pretty much like before you speak or do something take a moment yes formulate how you gonna say something so you know those moments were you thinking it’s funny that you should say that because mm-hmm don’t do that breathe through it and then it’s practice you XYZ technique okay so this comes back to that to technique you can yes the next thing you do the this next step you can do is put yourself in the difficult person’s shoes okay so this is really difficult because you’re in this situation and you’re feeling angry and you’re feeling upsetting you wanna just punch them but if you think about why they’re being the way they are mm-hmm and a way to do this is to use the phrase it must not be easy okay so this is kind of a personalization thing again exactly so my boss is really demanding it must not be easy to have such high expectations placed on her performance by management okay so the way to do this wouldn’t be to say it must not be so easy being such an asshole know that sort of defeats the purpose so you need to put – 10 points empathetic statements is what we’re going for here okay so you don’t want to excuse and reasonable behavior but you want to sort of think about what could possibly be driving this especially in circumstances where this person is not necessarily always an ass okay right so it must not be easy going shopping every day and therefore you know forgetting the crunchy peanut butter yeah oh I know she’s got like a lot on her mind so you see the easy to just forget it must not be easy being in a difficult work situation and so I can understand why she would forget the crunchy peanut butter okay cool and then if you take this a step further to help fix the situation so it might not be easy for you to have so much on her plate and work and therefore she forgets the crunchy peanut butter maybe I can send her a reminder text just before she goes shopping that’s a great way because it’s very proactive and constructive so you’re in and you know especially if he’s saying that takes in a way that’s not like I know you’re gonna forget this but more like hey just a heads up this is what we need and have more than just a crunchy peanut butter on that yes do a full shopping list including your crunchy peanut butter it makes it sound like we really have a problem we don’t we just buy both actually you’re really great at making sure how crunchy peanut butter you don’t always have smooth peanut butter but you make sure I have crunchy you know but it’s so sweet wine are you really like not a fan of the smooth stuff so you know I appreciate you appreciate you okay so the last point which I’m gonna jump in here because this actually ties into a patron exclusive that we’re gonna do okay at the end of the section we’re gonna do a patron exclusive which will appear only on the patron version of this podcast so check out the show notes for a link or go to if you want to become a patron get exclusive content behind-the-scenes peeks and things like what kind of DNA what’s to do next but let’s talk about this point okay so the last way to improve your EQ is the ability to express intimate emotions in close personal relationships so a lot of people struggle with effectively sharing how they feel in intimate relationships but also accepting how somebody else feels when they shift okay so for example when a person says I love you okay yeah the person might turn around and make a joke out of it like oh I you know adore you oh you’re such a dork exactly right because that’s an inability to cope with those intimate scary feelings than we have so be aware of that in close personal relationships and acceptance and share it okay so need to learn to deal with those kinds of emotions yes all those scary feet big feelings that you have about that squishy person who sleeps next to you at night I’m going to deal with those feelings and don’t be afraid to have feelings no I think that might be part of the issues absolutely what happens when you have this feeling it’s like all your Pantera trick to rejection it does well it does it does open you to rejection that you’re not gonna be able to build a good solid foundation of love and respect and so on without acknowledging these feelings and sharing them because what you’re gonna lose out on is that very close connection which is actually what we’re gonna talk about next we’re gonna talk about some research that Dr. John Gottman did which if you recall we actually spoke about the slack in one of our previous episodes but I’m gonna talk about the bidding that happens between couples next okay so that’s all for this week’s let’s talk about it I’m Sheena and I’m Tamara graces on Apple podcasts because then we get to spread the love to all the other people who want to listen to awesome podcasts and if you know anyone who needs to increase they eat through all and you know that they need to help someone else increase it please share this podcast with them to become a patron cuz you get awesome awesome behind-the-scenes stuff link is in the show notes I think that’s it for this week bye [Music] English (auto-generated)