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As people we have common language- whether it is the code words you use with your partner, the spelled words you use with your young children, the silences that are deafening when you are stuck, the lingo you use in your profession. And we all know that most of our language is non verbal- it is how we pick up on social cues.

It is imperative that the people we interact with know our language.

The most stark example I can recall is when I define terms with a couple in distress.

I am talking about two people who see the world so very differently that they define simple terms like punctuality, enough money, safety, respect, help in radically different ways.

How do we help our partner, our children, our friends, our coworkers understand what we are saying and not saying? Mind reading is not an option.

Here are a few starting points:

  • Forget about the idea that s/he should just know.

  • If you don’t know what is going on with you, how is s/he supposed to know? Figure you out.

  • Emotions are information. Thoughts are information, too.Having your head and your heart working together is best.

  • Often getting to the “feeling tone” of the conflict is the best route to a resolution.

  • When we want comfort but we are acting hysterical or hateful, we won’t get the comfort we are looking for.

  • When we are fearful but we act distant or removed, the message we send is confusing.

  • Feelings are information:

As parents, when we don’t have a healthy way of handling emotions ourselves, we have trouble teaching our kids to handle theirs. That is why the change starts with us.

  1. Self-awareness. Knowing our own emotions.

  2. Self-regulation. Being able to regulate and control how we react to our emotions.

  3. Internal motivation. Having a sense of what’s important in life.

  4. Empathy. Understanding the emotions of others.

  5. Social skills. Being able to build social connections.

Fortunately, all five components of emotional intelligence can be taught and learned at any age. There are many tools and techniques that can help us and our children start to identify and understand the emotions of ourselves and others. This process begins with recognition, because it’s only when we notice where we’re at that we’re able to shift ourselves to where we want to be.

RULER is an acronym that stands for

Here are some resources:

Ways to slow down, tune in and figure out what is going on within us.Yoga, Mindfulness, Prayer

Working with Emotional Intelligence Daniel Goleman