Emotional intelligence is a buzz word right now. People are talking about emotions and feelings more than ever. When it comes to men, however, there is a lot of stigma around helping them feel capable of addressing their emotions in a healthy way. Executive functioning in the boardroom is different than the emotional capacity to listen well to others in day-to-day life. Learn some tips on how men can increase emotional intelligence one step at a time.
Think in Feelings
Men, especially at work, are used to thinking with their heads and being in their cognitive brains to think, process, and analyze things. One of the ways men can tap into the potential and power of thinking in feelings is to develop this capacity with:
- Thinking about where the feeling comes from in the body (neck, head, back, etc)
- Feeling it like it has texture and whether it feels hard or soft (like a hard lump in the throat, or a softer feeling)
- Identifying the intensity of the emotion and how it makes them feel
Once a man knows how to tap into some words around how he feels, he is more likely to know what is rising up within him and build emotional intelligence.
Learn to Communicate
Men communicate differently to colleagues at work than women in their lives, friends outside of work, and family members. Everyone has differing communication styles but men, especially, can get used to communicating one way with everyone and forget emotional intelligence is studying, learning, and increasing vocabulary to describe an experience or listen well to someone else when they need it.
Know How to Respond
Men can be reactive from their bodies when they hear something being said. It is a natural instinct to defend themselves, but it can kick up adrenaline and cortisol which make them think ‘fight or flee,’ and they begin to get their dukes up for a fight (physical or verbal). Intelligence responds with slower, less reactive ways of thinking. Communication means tapping into emotions and seeing what is coming up before striking. Rather than lashing out at the first person that says something, they learn to tap into a deeper sense of themselves, take a deep breath, and listen first, then respond more openly with feelings. It may seem really touchy-feely, but it can be immensely helpful when working through recovery or encountering difficult people and circumstances. Emotional intelligence is about connecting better with others, not just learning how to be a better person. It is learning how to live in the world less highly charged and more in control of the words and thoughts flowing through the brain and body in an intelligent way.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Emotional intelligence is only part of what we help teach men about themselves and the world around them. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.