Relax, no one expects you to smile all the time !!

Life by design will always be a roller coaster and there will always be pleasant and unpleasant events in one’s life. Being happy all the time, especially during prolonged unpleasant times is cruel to expect from a common man on the street. The great philosophy of psychology, the Bhagwad Gita mentions the word sthitpragya as the emotionally intelligent person. Sthitpragya is a person who is balanced as happy and unhappy emotions. Even uncontrolled happy emotions can also lead to mistaken expression or decisions which can lead to problems later on. Sthitpragya is a person who is balanced in success and failure both because such a person operating from the vantage point of abundance knows how to deal with both.

No one says you keep smiling even if you had a bad day at the workplace. Whether you suffered some bottlenecks in your business or you had a conflict with your boss or sub-ordinate or your client got pissed off for some reason, you have the right to feel bad. To expect from you at that time to keep smiling is unwise.

Never has a criteria been accorded that an emotionally intelligent person must not feel sad or happy. In the binary world of dwait that we live in, every positive is coupled with a negative so that in the end it is all shunya. So, sadness will always be a part of life. As Osho says, happiness is shallow, it is the sad moments which bring in the necessary depth in our life. Only when we are sad we want to ask the W’s and H of life and understand and discover the ways of life.

Even to control and inhibit an expression to occur is a very dangerous practice. It can lead to pent up emotions erupting in a highly intense moment and lead to disaster. When you are sad, you may not sound gloomy and pathetic as the social order expects you to remain stable but internally we need to accept that we are not happy right now and that is alright. Now from here we must search solutions for the current situation at hand and try and rectify it as well as our mood.

An emotionally intelligent person is a person who is aware of everything in the scope of emotions oozing out and is just a bystander to the emotional state of cognitive existence.

Having said that, even this is difficult to achieve just as the previously discussed goal of being happy all the time. To be detached from emotional expression, one needs to be detached from the event horizon itself which is a herculean task and that is where emotional intelligence starts looking as a myth to the common man and the whole purpose of academics related to emotional intelligence seems to have been defeated.

Practicing emotional intelligence

So how does one remain detached to all the emotions that rise in the mind and take the position of being a neutral observer? It looks impossible like it is to be dry while being immersed in the sea. But a balance between a few areas of though really helps to put things in perspective.

Scarcity vs Abundance Mindset

When one feels everything is less, the dominant style of thinking is scarcity. In scarcity, even when the hands are full, one feels it will be less and the need to accumulate is more. On the contrary, when one feels there is enough in the world for me, one rather wants to help others. When one is led by scarcity, he seeks pleasure in material things which is obviously temporary and hence keeping him in the self made prision of sadness.

Wants and Needs

The wants of the mind are endless as they say. When the mind wants something, it wants it desperately, not taking no for an answer and getting upset when it doesn’t get it. With such pressure, even if the mind does get what it wanted, like a little child moves on to the next demand, mercilessly discarding that for which it made such an issue. Morals and ethics don’t usually take part in these inner discussions. As they say – “the heart wants what it wants”. But wants create a feeling of emptiness and negativity when what was desired was not achieved, for whatever reason – logical or illogical.

But needs are different. They are things that are necessary and are not discarded when they are in possession. Needs are not endless and the satisfaction and happiness achieved to have them has a much longer shelf life. Needs might create an emotional disturbance when not achieved, sometimes more than wants also in case they are very urgent, for example, needing money to clear a credit card bill on time but they are quite short lived compared to the constant cry coming from our wants.

When the scarcity led mindset is very prominent, it can lead to much emotional imbalance because of a constant train of ‘I want’ thoughts. Contentment is the virtue of the abundant mind set which keeps wanting to grow like a tree but is happy with whatever comes in the way so that emotional balance doesn’t take a hit. Such emotional balance is the perfect recipe for correct decision making in an emotionally intelligent person.

Talking our heart out

Having said that, it is clearly seen that people don’t want to accept or at least show their being contended in the fear of being stereotyped as mentally weak to take on the struggles of life. Why do we care about other people’s opinion so much? Because as a social animal, we need support from fellow human beings to survive in a society and for that, I need to compromise or manipulate certain aspects of mine.

Another example of such behaviour is hiding being emotional to others, especially if you are a male. ‘Boys don’t cry’ is what is told to boys without realizing the harmful impact of this in the creation of an individual’s personality. Not only does this fellow become a hypocrite, the pent up emotions might enter his sub-conscious mind and make him an emotionally imbalanced male. Even for females, they are being stereotyped and ridiculed for being emotional for similar reasons which is unfortunate.

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