Emotional Intelligence – Authenticity

How authentic are you when it comes to showing your emotions?

A Japanese proverb says you have three faces. The first you show to the world. The second you show to your close friends and family. The third you show to no one. But to be an emotional intelligent person, you need to share your innermost feelings from time to time.

But how?

Through authenticity.

Authenticity in emotional intelligence refers to expressing your most genuine feelings in an appropriate time, place, context, and to the appropriate person.

Aristotle said, to be angry is easy. But to be angry in the right way, at the right time, and to the right degree, is difficult.

To authentically express your feelings, first stop and label the emotion you feel. Am I angry, slighted, or hurt? Do I feel pressured, coerced, or goaded? I know a colleague whose team sensed something was wrong with her. They asked whether she was angry. “No, I’m not,” she said. “But I am frustrated.” Knowing how you feel is half the battle.

Next, think of the best way to express it. Consider the best time, place, context, and right person to express it to. Maybe it’s a Friday afternoon, when team spirits are up. Perhaps you should not speak to your direct supervisor but to a coworker first. Think. Take your time. You will know what’s right.

Once you express your genuine self in an appropriate way, you become true to yourself and feelings. You will feel better. Embrace your emotional authenticity. It is another step on your way to becoming an emotionally intelligent person.

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