Understanding our emotions is such a useful tool for every area of our lives. Learning how to modify them rather than suppress them is a true skill. It all comes down to developing emotional intelligence. Having a higher level of emotional intelligence allows you to understand your emotions, tune into the emotions of others, manage negative feelings, and control inappropriate impulses. So how can you develop your emotional intelligence? By following these tips!
1. Practice Diplomatic Perspective
This basically means developing the ability to view a situation from another person's perspective in order to cultivate empathy. It can be a struggle to view a situation from another perspective when it hits close to home, so it might be more effective to practice this using situations in your favorite movies, T.V. shows and books. Whenever a conflicting situation arises, consider it from all the character's viewpoints. Try to understand all of their motivations and reasons for acting the way they do without taking sides. Make a game of it, and after you get comfortable doing things that way you can start to apply it to real life situations.
2. Healthy Stress Management Techniques
Whenever you are feeling stressed, you're more likely to react impulsively. It's very common to snap at your family or housemates whenever you're under a lot of pressure. As you can see, it's not conducive to good communication and facilitating positive relationships. There are long term stress management techniques, such as developing a healthy routine. And there are short term stress management techniques, such as splashing your face with cold water or going for a walk in a moment of stress.
3. Proactive Mindset
Having a proactive mindset means that you face conflict with the solution in mind. Rather than fighting to express yourself and be heard, you focus on the outcome. Whenever someone is upset, they often want to validate those feelings by winning the argument, and it's a slippery slope to hurtful conflict. You can encourage a proactive mindset by first being in the habit of comfortably expressing and hearing negative emotions when they come up calmly. Rather than waiting to the heat of the moment to tell someone a problem you have, you can word it in a calm way when it occurs. There is a big difference between telling someone "You are inconsiderate, lazy and a slob. You never clean up your dishes and you just expect me to do them." and "When you don't do your dishes, it makes me feel taken advantage of."
The other thing you can do is think about the desired outcome of the conflict before going into discussion. This might mean sorting through your more intense feelings before talking so you can think more clearly. If you want the desired outcome to be more equality of household responsibilities (using the example from before), it doesn't do well to put the other person on the defense before you can calmly explain your reasoning.