Emotional Intelligence: Self-Awareness

Every human reacts to emotions. Recognizing and handling those emotions are your responsibility.

In emotional intelligence, self-awareness is the cognitive characteristic that allows you to learn and recognize your emotions accurately and precisely. Self-awareness is not about what you wish your emotions would or could be, or what you might think your emotions are, nor is trying to convince yourself that your emotions are not what they really are. Emotional self-awareness is being honest with yourself. Recognize what your emotions are and where those emotions come from. To learn self-awareness, you must be entirely and wholeheartedly straightforward with your emotions when recognizing and understanding them. Keep in mind that awareness is linked to your perception and experiences. Self-awareness is an accurate reportability of your emotions as you perceive and learn them. Self-awareness will help you become aware of your emotions even when you are not explicitly conscious of them, which means that it can help you not to be blind-sighted by your own emotions.

Self-awareness has three parts—recognition, understanding, and usability.

Self-awareness teaches you to recognize your emotions and the thoughts, actions, and organic reactions attached to those emotions. It involves your ability to recognize between passive, subtleties, reactive, conscious, unconscious, and many other ways of emotional expression. Over time, recognizing your emotions gives you a sense of familiarity associated with the neurological stimulus, to the point that you learn to associate specific emotions to specific or similar situations. For the most part, emotions can be triggered by the similar and situations alike. The recognition of those emotions is deeply influenced by your perception and experiences and your ability to deconstruct them into a set of simpler elements within the cognitive structure connecting them. Knowing why you feel the way you feel and what makes you feel the way you do is extremely important for your emotional stability.

Recognition of your emotions pertains to a genuine and truthful declarative knowledge of what you are experiencing: sadness, happiness, disappointment, joy, angriness, etc. It is also perfectly normal to experience a mixture of emotions pulling your brain all over the place. That is why it is essential to learn your emotions, as they are born within your cognitive system, and call them by their naked name. Your personal way of emotional recognition becomes the core process-driven of learning to recognize your automatic responses to specific stimuli, leading you to the second part of self-awareness: understanding.

Understanding is closely linked to familiarity. It is a slower, deliberative process of recollection that involves multiple episodic components, including denial and acceptance. You may recognize your emotions and self-deny what they are and what they mean to you. You will also recognize your emotions as they present themselves from similar repetitive situations and stimuli. As time goes and you become more familiar with your emotional responses, systematically, you will become more aware of those emotions, hence, more understanding of what they mean to you.

An essential fact of emotional self-awareness is that you have to be honest with yourself. Recognizing your “naked” emotions is the foundation, the platform for understanding what they are, where they come from, and what they mean to you. Understanding is the process of gaining insight about yourself, comprehending the meaning or significance of your emotions. It is how you separate and pull apart the connections between you, who you are, your emotions, and the actions linked to those emotions.

Each action triggers a different emotional response. Understanding what those emotions mean helps you assess the impact those emotions have on you and other people. It is that understanding that helps you learn your weaknesses and strengths related to specific emotions. Some emotions make you stronger, and others make you weaker. Learning the nuances of your emotions gives you control over your actions, giving you a sense of confidence that is sometimes difficult to obtain.

This brings me to the third part of learning self-awareness. When you learn how to recognize and understand your emotions, you learn how to use that inside information to make better decisions and better choices to guide your actions.

You should never ever make any decisions while on the high pick of any emotion, regardless of the type of emotion you might be experiencing. I am sure you already know this, but if you are like me, I also know that, for the most part, you chose to ignore those red flags. The next thing you’ll know is regret taking over your mind and body.

The good thing is that when you learn to recognize your emotions, and you have a better understanding of why those emotions are there, you can then use that information to make decisions, solve problems, resolve conflictive situations, make you feel better, and even give you the information you need to make your next move. Remember, information is power. When you are aware of your emotions, you are in power and control of yourself and who you are. You will not let anyone control your emotions. You become a whole self without emotional dependency, blocking anyone who wants to use their own emotions to control yours. Emotions can be contagious. Yet, when your self-awareness is at its high peak, you learn how to deal and create balance with your and other’s emotions, which in return, will give you the strength and confidence you need to succeed.

Never forget that everything you do involves a type of emotion. Even when you think of yourself as “emotionless,” it is a type of emotion. That is why learning emotional intelligence puts you on top of your game. Here are some of the benefits of becoming self-aware of your own emotions:

  • You’ll have a better understanding of your and other’s emotional discharges.
  • Understanding of what triggers your emotions, depending on which type of emotion.
  • Learn to name the different types of emotions and the effect each has on you.
  • Better problem-solving skills.
  • A better understanding of your emotional strengths and weaknesses.
  • Better communication skills.
  • A better understanding of other people’s needs, behavior, actions, and reactions.
  • A better understanding of the effect that emotions have on others.
  • A better appreciation of yourself and your self-worth.
  • The ability to put yourself in others’ shoes.
  • Learn how to recognize your own emotional mistakes and when to apologize.
  • Learn to be less judgmental about your and others’ emotions.
  • You will get more comfortable with your emotional self and the emotions of others.
  • Learn never to make a decision when overcome by emotions, regardless of the type of emotions.
  • Learn to take responsibility for your emotional actions.
  • Emotional independence.

Dr. Iberkis Faltas

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NARCISSISTIC personality

Narcissism Subtypes
PICTURE SOURCE: http://www.psycom.net

As I sat on the train, in the middle of my commute (very inappropriately), listening to the couples’ conversation next to me, it occurred to me that she didn’t have a clue she might have been dealing with a passive-aggressive narcissistic. As soon as I got home, I decided to write about the most common and “obvious” characteristics of a narcissistic. Of course, to have complete certainty a person has a narcissistic personality, one needs much more than ‘eavesdropping’ on a conversation during a commute. But the below information will give you an idea where to point your “awareness-antennas” so you don’t miss the broadcasting signals of a narcissistic.

To Recognize a Narcissistic, you first need to know narcissism. Often, we see that people with external dominating personalities might be overwhelmed by their internal insecurities. When that happens, people tend to externalize those inner insecurities by camouflaging them with passive-aggressive behavior, demanding, and sometimes commanding the characteristics and skills that they lack within themselves. Often, those people tend to have narcissistic personalities. 

To recognize narcissism, you first need to understand what narcissism means.

Narcissism means excessive self-love topped with a heavy dose of selfishness, self-worship, and egocentrism. It is taking one’s own ego as the object and main focus of your purposes. It is a pattern of traits and behaviors characterized by an excessive self-concern and overvaluation of the self. In general, narcissistic sentiments, e.g., “I need compliments,” “I am special,” “I am perfection,’ are best described by patterns of responses believed to reveal the degree to which the person possesses each of the following characteristics: an uncontrollable need of authority, a feeling of entitlement, a need of exhibitionism, implicativeness, perception of self-sufficient supremacy, am overwhelming sense of superiority and vanity. These traits represent a mix of adaptive and maladaptive attributes that reflect one’s inability to maintain an internal self-positive image and sense of personal purpose and meaning. The lack of personal and emotional fulfillment turns into a need to attack others, as well as an omnipotent urgency to make others feel nothing but less than themselves. 

In the narcissist’s perception, their emotions are primarily invested in the ego. The main interest is self-preservation, with little concern for others, as their superego dictates their actions and reactions.

Narcissism is often related to a more profound personality disorder which often can be recognized by the following characteristics: a long-standing pattern of grandiose self-importance and an exaggerated sense of talent and achievements; fantasies of unlimited power, brilliance, or beauty; an exhibitionistic need for attention and admiration; either cool indifference or feelings of rage, humiliation, or emptiness as a response to criticism, indifference, or defeat; and various interpersonal disturbances, such as feeling entitled to special favors, taking advantage of others, and inability to empathize with the feelings of others. The narcissistic don’t understand the meaning of compromising and focuses their manipulation and control on obtaining what they want and nothing less.

Their wants are an essential part of their functioning and hence, their behavioral practices. They point their fingers in every direction and often choose death rather than acknowledging and accepting self-wrongdoing. They will do everything in their power to make you feel less worthy than themselves while making you believe they are doing you a favor with their egocentric behavior. 

Look around you and learn to recognize narcissistic behavior. Use your emotional awareness to recognize and use that information to make logical, reasonable decisions. You must be aware of how the other person’s narcissistic behavior influences your own.  

When you think of narcissistic behavior, think of it as if it was a Tsunami: build from a series of emotional waves caused by emotional displacement, followed by effusive emotional eruptions and explosive behavior, threatening to destroy everything and everyone around.

You must learn how to recognize the symptoms, and YOU MUST walk away when you still have a chance.

Dr. Faltas

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