Home Research Emotional Intelligence: EI/EQ Emotional Thinness: When Relational Connective Tissue Needs a Workout

Emotional Thinness: When Relational Connective Tissue Needs a Workout

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To overcome ET, what do you do? Connecting with others starts with connecting with yourself. The right coach or a therapist can help you better understand yourself. Also, EQ assessments like Learning in Action’s EQ Profile can help you see the emotions you experience and those you don’t access, measure your ability to empathize and see things from others’ perspectives. Such instruments can help you access and understand your internal experience, and then provide you with choice as to whether or how you act on it.

Only by understanding yourself can you make the changes you need to establish relational connectivity and create the meaningful relationships that can withstand minor setbacks and what I call the thousand tiny paper cuts of being in relationship.

Epilogue

For most of us, our internal experience is the wallpaper of our lives, something we don’t directly look at, see, think about or question. It just is. And often once we do examine it, we can easily justify it. We’ve consciously or nonconsciously spent a lifetime constructing it. It’s how the child in us learned to survive and defend itself. And that child isn’t always the best person to trust in a relationship under stress.

Most of us don’t magically transform overnight, and neither did Tom. He was quite shocked and confronted by his EQ Profile report. And initially, he pushed back mightily on his results. He didn’t see himself as emotionally thin at all. He saw himself as generally happy and optimistic, with some good relationships.

However, the EQ Profile provided him with a snapshot of what goes on inside of him when he is stressed (which was a lot of the time in his role as CEO of a struggling company). And once he accepted the truth of it, he was able to understand why people reacted to him the way they did. And why small issues quickly became big ones.

The EQ Profile provided Tom with an awareness about himself that was new and impacted his entire life. Like all of us, he took his internal experience with him everywhere he went. And understanding that experience – his gut reactions, his tendencies, the emotions he did and didn’t access, his focus, his beliefs about himself and others – empowered him with the information he needed to know about himself to begin to make more relational choices.

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