Do you know someone who seems to always respond appropriately in every situation, even when emotions are running high? Chances are, this person is high in emotional intelligence, which refers to an individual’s ability to accurately read and manage their own emotions and those of others around them.
Emotionally intelligent people often remain calm in even the most aggravating of situations and, as a result, their relationships are often harmonious. Here is one technique commonly employed by these socially smart folk.
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Whenever you are in a situation that causes you an extreme emotional response, give yourself 24 hours before you make your opinions and feelings known.
When you are under pressure, your nervous system kicks in and your body is flooded with adrenaline, cortisol and other chemicals that prevent you from acting in a rational manner.
Emotionally intelligent people know that even those who usually remain calm struggle to control their feelings when provoked, and they act accordingly. They know that time is a valuable tool in handling problems.
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Taking time out to process your emotions and look at the bigger picture prevents you from lashing out in frustration, anger or grief. Any urge towards a knee-jerk reaction will dissipate within a few hours, and you can then think carefully about how next to proceed.
This approach to conflict and problem-solving can go a long way in protecting your most important relationships from unnecessary disputes. By taking time away from the person who has aggravated you, you demonstrate respect both for their feelings and the gravity of the situation.
So the next time someone annoys you, simply remove yourself from their company without making a fuss and sit on the problem for 24 hours. Your emotions will settle, leaving you free to devise a rational response to any type of problem.
This article was first published in Life Hack.