ByCindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C.

The Emotional Intelligence of Feeling Embarrassed

emotional intelligence of feeling embarrassed leadership character trait humility

What good could possibly come from feeling embarrassed?  All feelings have intelligence and serve as guideposts to tell you something about yourself.  When you feel embarrassed, it helps you develop humility which is a sought-after leadership character trait.  I read recently that humility is knowing that you are nothing more and nothing less than the other people around you.  (Just think of the vibe you would send out if you possessed this character trait and the positive results you would see in return.)  I’m going to give an example of an embarrassing situation from my adolescent years.  I’m using this example because I’ll never forget it… It was that embarrassing!

At age 16, I got a job as a CNA (Certified Nursing Assistant) at a local health care facility in my hometown.  This particular facility specialized in providing care for the developmentally disabled.  It was divided into four distinct units/floors.  The units were divided up based on the level of care the residents needed on a daily basis.  The floor I worked on was for residents who needed care with daily living activities.  They were not quite to a self-care level that they could live on their own.  Part of my job was to provide some of these daily living activities like transferring the individual into their wheelchair from their bed or putting away their laundry into dresser drawers.  Each individual had their own unique abilities and disabilities, and each individual had their own story as to how they came to live there.

One day, I was in one of the resident’s rooms.  I had just finished putting his clean laundry away.  He was lying in his bed, and we were having a conversation.  He was probably in his early 30’s.  He was a youthful, smart individual with extensive physical disabilities.  His wheelchair was next to his bed.  I decided to sit in his wheelchair while talking to him. (Remember, I was 16 years old.)  While we were conversing, I was maneuvering around in his wheelchair and ended up messing something up on it.  I think the foot pedal fell off.  The resident saw what I did and right away asked, “Why did you do that?”.  My response (which to this day I still remember like it happened yesterday) was, “Because I am retarded”.  It was the 80’s, and this was a term that we would throw around regularly in conversation with our peers.  But, once those words came out of my mouth, I was completely mortified and wished that I was dead, right there on the spot.  The milli-seconds after, once I realized what I had said, was a blur.  There was no way that I was going to be able to fix this.  I remember quickly trying to minimize/rationalize by thinking, “Maybe he didn’t hear me” or “I hope he knows that I didn’t mean it that way”.  But, the truth of the matter was no amount of rationalizing or minimizing would take away what I did and my complete embarrassment.  I ended up apologizing to him, saying that I didn’t know why I said that.  I owned it which was probably the best thing to do in the situation.  But, it was one of the most humiliating moments in my life.

If we don’t feel and own our feelings of embarrassment, we’ll feel like we always need to be perfect which is an unachievable objective.  We are human.  We make mistakes.  Owning them is what gives us the character virtue of humility.  Humility and self-acceptance are the benefits of the feeling of embarrassment.

Another feeling I felt that day was Shame.  Next week, we’ll look at the feeling of Shame and what intelligence it has to offer us.

This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing professional success and personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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ByCindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C.

The Emotional Intelligence of Envy

emotional intelligence envy

The feeling of Envy is a motivational feeling, and its purpose is to give you the energy to make a change. If you don’t feel and “use” the energy behind the feeling of envy, you’ll become stuck and remain jealous of what other people have. Here is an example…

I personally like the look of Audi cars, especially the sport sedans. Every time I see one on the road, I feel a tinge of envy inside. The purpose of my feeling of envy is to get my attention to let me know that I feel positively towards that car and that I’d really like to be driving it. I have two choices at this point. The first is to use the energy created by my feeling of envy and figure out what it’s going to take to be able to drive that car. To start, I need to research how much that car would cost. The Audi S6 Sport Sedan starts at $70,900. Next, I need to figure out what the monthly payment would be. If I get 72-month financing at 0% interest, my monthly payment would be about $985. Now, I need to figure out if I can afford that or not. If I can’t, then I need to make a plan of how and when I can afford that payment, if that’s what I still want to do. If I decide that the payment is not something I want to undertake, then I learned that the Audi S6 Sport Sedan is not something that I can afford, and I maturely decide that I do not wish to dedicate that much of my monthly income to that car payment.

This is the purpose of the feeling of envy… to give me the energy and motivation to pursue something that I want. My second choice is to block my feeling of envy and the energy associated with it. Then my inner dialogue would be something like this… “Oh, man! I LOVE that car. That lucky bastard! I could never afford a car like that. I bet his life is so much better than mine. I’ll never have anything that nice in my life.” The emotional block that goes with this inner dialogue is jealousy. Jealousy is a sign that you are not utilizing the healthy, motivational feeling of envy.

The next time I see someone driving the Audi S6, I’ll say to myself, “Well, I could be driving that car if I wanted to. I’d have to make lots of sacrifices in other areas of my life, but I could afford it. I choose not to because I don’t want to spend that much every month on a car payment. I’ll just enjoy the look of the car. I feel good about my life and the decisions I make.” I’m now back in harmony and feel good.

That is emotional maturity which is achieved through increasing my emotional intelligence. Next week, we will explore the feeling of Embarrassment. What good could possibly come from that emotion? Stay tuned…

This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing professional success and personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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ByCindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C.

The Emotional Intelligence of the Feeling of Disappointment

feeling of disappointment

The feeling of disappointment is a normal and natural feeling that arises when things don’t go as you expected, desired or planned. Disappointment is the body’s way of telling you that it’s time to move on. Your desire, expectation or plan is done…whatever “it” is has ended. If you ignore the feeling of disappointment and do not fully accept the “ending”, you will most likely act indecisively and feel discouraged. And, this indecisiveness and feeling of discouragement will continue until you deeply accept the ending and are able to detach from the situation (a.k.a. let it go).

For those of you who have gone through a divorce, you know the feeling of disappointment. When I got remarried in 2010, I was 40 years old and truly thought I had found the person that I was going to spend the rest of my life with. Not only was there both a physical and spiritual attraction, but we were both career-driven, goal-oriented, and shared a lot of the same values and beliefs with regard to family, parenting, finances, travel, etc. Fast-forward a few years…things weren’t so great. (I’ll spare you the details and drama.)

There came a point when my therapist asked me why I was staying in the marriage. I said, “because I love him”. In truth, there were a few other factors going through my mind like: I had committed in my wedding vows that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I didn’t want to get divorced. I didn’t want to fail…again. I didn’t want to quit. I didn’t want to accept that it was not going to work. Instead of feeling the disappointment of us (in truth) not being a good fit, I continued to stay and talk and fight and rationalize and minimize and deny. My days were filled with indecisiveness, and I constantly felt discouraged. I was unhappy. I was trying to hold on to something that my body was sending me clear signals that this deal is OVER! But, I didn’t want to listen. I didn’t want to let it go for the reasons I mentioned above.

I finally listened to my body and acted on the feeling of disappointment. I admitted it was over. I accepted that the marriage was going to end in a divorce. There… that was the cold, hard fact that I was avoiding. Of course, the divorce process totally sucked. It didn’t become easy because I accepted the truth of the situation. It was painful as hell, honestly. But now, coming up on three years later, I can see how much I’ve grown. I now know how important it is for me to listen to my inner guidance. I have a sense of peace and humility within which came from making yet another mistake in life and forgiving myself as I learn the lessons I am here to learn.

Next week, we’ll explore the feeling of Envy. Yes, it’s a feeling and it also has intelligence attached to it. Until next time…

This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing professional success and personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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ByCindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C.

The Emotional Intelligence of Frustration: Feeling Judgmental?

The feeling of frustration arises when you are dealing with something that is taking much longer than you expected. The purpose of frustration is to help you to persist. The uncomfortable energy/irritation you feel when you are frustrated is intended to help motivate you to stay with the project/situation until it’s completed or until you decide that it’s not going to be resolved how you had hoped. In other words, it may be time to come up with Plan B. If you don’t use the feeling of frustration to help you persist in a situation and you block, repress or ignore your feelings, you will usually become judgmental of yourself or others.

Think about the situations you are currently feeling frustrated about. If you are judging others or yourself instead of persisting to reach a resolution, you know you are blocking or ignoring your feelings (a.k.a. your emotional intelligence).

What better example of feeling frustrated than dealing with Christmas tree lights? My goal yesterday was to set up and decorate the tree. I had a concert to attend in the afternoon at 2pm. I planned on starting the tree at 10am which would have given me plenty of time to decorate the tree, shower and get to the auditorium. As soon as I opened up the box of lights from last year, I remembered that one of the five strands was pretty much shot. The feeling of frustration arose right away because I meant to replace that set last year at the end of the season. “Why didn’t I do that?” (The self-judgment was setting in.)

Rather than run to the store, I decided that four sets would suffice, and I could use the fifth set for spare parts. After testing the remaining sets of lights, only one strand was working properly. Two of the strands had half of the lights out. A fuse maybe? To make a long, irritating story very short, the entire morning was spent repairing the lights. By the time I had to get ready for the concert, only three sets were working. You can imagine the lack of joy for the holiday season that I was feeling at this point, but I had persisted.

When I got back to the project later that evening, I decided I’d put the three sets of lights on the top three-fourths of the tree and then buy another set at the hardware store in the morning. (I needed to have some sense of accomplishment for all the time spent on those damn lights!) I put the three sets on, plugged them in, and enjoyed the soft glow of the multi-colored lights twinkling in the now dark living room. I sighed deeply and felt the feeling of frustration fade away and turn into an inner sense of calm. I went to the kitchen to make some tea. When I returned to the living room, I sat in the chair and gazed at the tree, reveling in the payoff of my tenacity. My eyes were drawn to the top quarter of the tree which was now dark. Half of the first strand of lights went out again. I sipped my tea and decided it’s time for Plan B… all new lights for the tree this year. My calmness returned. Problem solved.

Next week, we will learn about the feeling of Disappointment which is a normal and natural feeling, but how do we deal with it? Stay tuned…

This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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ByCindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C.

The Intelligence of the Feeling of Anger: How it helps you protect your integrity.

When the feeling of anger arises (a.k.a. annoyance, irritation, impatience), it is an indication that your boundaries are being crossed. We have both physical and emotional boundaries. Your physical boundary is the three-foot invisible bubble that surrounds your body. This is your personal space. Anytime that someone who you are not comfortable with enters that space, you are likely to feel discomfort. Your emotional boundaries consist of your values, beliefs and life experiences. This makes up who you are and defines your integrity. When your emotional boundaries are crossed through thoughtless or intrusive actions on the part of others, anger in some form will (and should) arise.

Anger is the energy that bubbles up inside, letting you know that whatever is going on is not in alignment with you, your values and your beliefs. This doesn’t mean that the other person is right or wrong, it’s just an indication that whatever they are sellin’, you ain’t buyin’, and that’s okay. The feeling is there to let you know that the situation is headed down a path that doesn’t align with your values and beliefs.

Unfortunately, none of us were taught the purpose of anger… why it arises within and what we are supposed to do with such strong, uncomfortable feelings that make us feel like ripping someone’s head off (OK… that’s accumulated, repressed anger). In its simplest form, the feeling of anger is a warning emotion. The purpose of it is to get your attention and let you know that you need to set a boundary. If you ignore the feelings (repress, minimize, rationalize), you will block the intended warning message, stuff the uncomfortable energy, and fall into a state of feeling helpless or powerless, blaming others (or yourself) for your dissatisfaction.

Setting boundaries isn’t easy. To paraphrase a quote from Aristotle, “Anyone can have an adult temper tantrum…that’s easy. But, to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, for the right purpose, in the right way in order to protect your boundaries…that’s not easy!”. Your challenge is to pay attention to when you start feeling irritated and to notice what is going on around you. Remember, there is a reason for the discomfort.

Next week, we will learn about the feeling of Frustration. Ever feel judgmental of others? Stay tuned to see how that’s related to you feeling frustrated with the person or situation.

This blog post was provided by Cindy M. Nelson, M.B.A., C.S.L.C. from Anakh Leadership Coaching LLC. We specialize in developing business leaders and professionals by increasing their self-awareness, emotional intelligence, and overall effectiveness thereby increasing personal satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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