The Emotional Intelligence of Frustration: Feeling Judgmental?

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

Emotional Intelligence: How your feelings can help you make better decisions

Your emotional intelligence is a type of IQ. When you think of IQ, you think of your brain and how smart you are. This translates into how well you are able to solve problems and figure things out using your brain or intellect. Your emotional intelligence, referred to as your EQ, is your ability to decipher the emotional clues you are getting from within and applying that information (intelligence) to your decision-making process. Your emotions serve as an internal compass. Think of emotions as the internal warning system that safeguards your integrity. Your integrity is made up of your values and beliefs and your life experiences. Think of your integrity as invisible packaging that surrounds who you are as a person. It’s your bubble. And, everyone has their own, unique bubble.

Anytime you make a decision, you are in essence supporting who you are and your integrity. Any decision you make that doesn’t support who you are is going to feel uncomfortable and will create uncomfortable feelings inside of you. Feelings are there to clue you in to the fact that whatever you are doing (or not doing) is not aligning with your integrity.

Feelings are designed to come into your radar for the amount of time it takes to get your attention and clue you in to the action you need to take in the situation. If you listen to the feelings (and their intelligence) and take appropriate action, the feeling will go away naturally…and quickly.

In this series, we will look at 12 individual feelings and define what each one’s purpose is and the action it’s trying to tell you to take. We will start with the feeling of Anger. You’ll be surprised at how beneficial anger is when used properly. It is the main emotion present when your integrity is being threatened.

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 self-awareness and emotional intelligence to achieve better results and satisfaction in their lives. For more information, please go to aleadershipcoach.com.

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