For the past few years, a relatively new phrase has entered the vernacular of psychiatry, emotional intelligence. What is emotional intelligence? How can you achieve it? What are the benefits of learning to become more emotionally intelligent? How is emotional intelligence helpful to those who have complex post-traumatic stress disorder?
This article will explore these questions and more.
Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Emotional Dysregulation
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (CPTSD) is a mental health condition with many life-altering symptoms, including emotional dysregulation. Emotional dysregulation is a person’s inability to control or regulate their emotional responses to stressful situations.
While most people can become dysregulated if triggered, people with CPTSD who have a history of complex trauma have multiple triggers. These folks who struggle with emotions may experience dysregulation that may last longer, causing problems in relationships and their daily activities.
People experiencing the emotional dysregulation that accompanies complex post-traumatic stress disorder often form depression and anxiety problems. Emotionally dysregulated people may react to exaggerated emotions with bursts of anger, accusations, crying, and passive-aggressive behaviors. Often when a person has passive-aggressive behaviors, they create conflict or shut down during periods of high emotional reactivity.
Emotional dysregulation is often related to attachment issues formed early in life by having to deal with caregivers emotionally being neglectful or abusive. A lot depends on the person’s temperament and the array of inborn traits that determine a person’s unique behavior style.
One way to create more regulation when you have complex post-traumatic stress disorder is to learn how to be emotionally intelligent.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (EI) (aka emotional quotient or EQ) describes one’s ability to use, understand, and manage emotions in positive and effective ways to relieve stress, defuse conflict, and overcome challenges.
Emotionally intelligent people build strong relationships, succeed in their endeavors, and achieve personal and professional goals. EI helps one to connect with their feelings, make informed decisions, and turn intention into action.
EI is vital if you are to succeed in your career and life as it helps you to deal with the stress and emotions you will face when working toward your goals.
There are four common attributes of emotional intelligence.
Self-awareness. You can recognize your emotions and manage how they affect your behavior and thoughts. You can recognize your strengths and weaknesses and have a lot of self-confidence.
Self-management. You own and recognize your emotions and healthily manage them, follow through on your commitments, take the initiative in certain situations, and adapt to change.
Social awareness. You have developed empathy and can understand the needs, emotions, and concerns of others. You are ae to pick up on the emotional cues of others, feel comfortable in social situations, and understand the power dynamic in work and group organizations.
Managing relationships. With emotional intelligence, you know how to form and maintain relationships, inspire others, and inspire others while managing conflict.
Building emotional intelligence is critical to living a quiet and well-adjusted life.
Emotional Intelligence Skills
Becoming emotionally intelligent after forming complex post-traumatic stress disorder is crucial, and by working on your skills, you can raise your emotional quotient.
Below are four methods to improve your emotional quotient and change your life for the better. Just remember, these are suggestions. Your experience will not be so clear-cut that you can follow them in order and expect at the end to have an extremely high emotional quotient. Emotional intelligence takes time and practice.
Learning to become self-aware. The ability to understand your emotions is a critical component of EI. You must also recognize and take responsibility for the effect your actions, emotions, and moods have on other people. To become self-aware, you must monitor your emotions and recognize and correct each one. Also, it is critical to see the relationships between feelings and behaviors.
Self-aware people recognize their strengths and limitations and are open to new experiences. They also learn from their contacts with other people and possess a good sense of humor. Self-awareness means you can laugh at your abilities and be fully aware of how others see you.
Ways you can become self-aware.
- Keep a journal
- Look at your thoughts and feelings with sincerity
- Pursue what you are passionate about
- Ask friends or family for honest, constructive feedback
- Learn something new
Learn Self-Regulation. Emotional intelligence needs the ability to self-regulate your emotions. This requirement doesn’t require hiding your genuine emotions from others and yourself; instead, it means waiting for the correct time to express them.
Self-regulation means expressing your emotions appropriately. People who are good at self-regulation are more flexible and adapt well to change, and are good at managing conflict. People with solid self-regulation also think about how they influence others and take responsibility for themselves and their actions.
Ways to improve self-regulation.
- Build stress tolerance
- Become mindful of your actions, thoughts, and feelings
- Look at challenges as learning opportunities
- Practice good communication skills
- Find and practice ways to manage difficult emotions
- Work hard to accept your emotions
Build strong social skills. The ability to interact well with others is critical to emotional intelligence. Social skills will allow you to build meaningful relationships and better understand yourself.
Good emotional understanding involves understanding your emotions and those of others, plus applying the new information you gleaned to work in your daily life.
Ways to build strong social skills.
- Relate using open-ended questions
- Pay attention to other people’s social skills
- Practice excellent eye contact
- Show interest in others through your body language and attentiveness
- Practice active listening
Learning to practice empathy. Understanding how others feel is crucial to emotional intelligence and involves more than recognizing the emotions of others. Empathy involves how you respond to people based on knowing how they are feeling but also sensing when someone else is distressed or happy.
Empathy allows you to understand the dynamics of social relationships, including the work setting.
Ways to build empathy.
- Be ready to share your feelings
- Listen closely to other people
- Talk to new people
- Engage in a cause
- Practice loving-kindness
The list of emotional skills can go on and on.
The Pros and Cons of Becoming Emotionally Intelligent
While becoming more mentally intelligent has many more pros than cons, they are vital to discuss. Increasing your emotional quotient is vital if you wish to live a life where you feel and are in control, not your emotions.
One pro that many find critical is that emotional intelligence gives you more control over your emotional reactions to what life throws at you. For instance, if you should face a challenging task at work, instead of your emotions going haywire and threatening to derail any progress you can make, you will face the issue head-on in a positive fashion, conquering the situation.
A negative or con of emotional intelligence is how it can develop manipulative and antisocial behavior. This behavior largely relies on the person’s preexisting qualities from birth.
So, in reality, there are no cons to becoming emotionally intelligent. Doing so can change your life.
Emotional intelligence is your ability to understand and manage emotions in effective and positive fashions to relieve stress and overcome challenges. Most people are not born with a high emotional quotient but must learn it as with any other skill.
EI brings self-regulation and a way to express your emotions appropriately. Those who are good at self-regulation adapt well to change and are good at managing conflicts.
Growing in emotional intelligence gives you an edge when dealing with the hardships and pleasures of life.
“When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.”
― Jess C. Scott
Believe in yourself, take on your challenges, and dig deep within yourself to conquer fears. Never let anyone bring you down. You got to keep going.
Are you a therapist who treats CPTSD? Please consider dropping us a line to add you to our growing list of providers. You would get aid in finding clients and helping someone find the peace they deserve. Go to the contact us page and send a note; our staff will respond quickly.
Shortly, CPTSD Foundation will have compiled a list of providers treating complex post-traumatic stress disorder. When it becomes available, we will put it on our website www.CPTSDFoundation.org.
Visit us and sign up for our weekly newsletter to help inform you about treatment options and much more for complex post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Healing Book Club
As of May 7th, 2022, the current book will be – “A Practical Guide to Complex PTSD: Compassionate Strategies to Begin Healing from Childhood Trauma.”
by Dr. Arielle Schwartz.
Here is an Excerpt –
Repetitive trauma during childhood can impact your emotional development, creating a ripple effect that carries into adulthood. Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a physical and psychological response to these repeated traumatic events. A Practical Guide to Complex PTSD contains research-based strategies, tools, and support for individuals working to heal from their childhood trauma. You don’t have to be a prisoner of your past.
Learn the skills necessary to improve your physical and mental health with practical strategies taken from the most effective therapeutic methods, including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioral therapy (DBT), eye movement desensitization, and reprocessing (EMDR), and somatic psychology. When appropriately addressed, the wounds of your past no longer need to interfere with your ability to live a meaningful and satisfying life.
This book includes:
- Understand C-PTSD—Get an in-depth explanation of complex PTSD, including its symptoms, its treatment through various therapies, and more.
- Address the symptoms—Discover evidence-based strategies for healing the symptoms of complex PTSD, like avoidance, depression, emotional dysregulation, and hopelessness.
- Real stories—Relate to others’ experiences with complex PTSD with multiple real-life examples in each chapter.
Start letting go of the pain from your past—A Practical Guide to Complex PTSD can help show you how.
If you or a loved one live in the despair and isolation of complex post-traumatic stress disorder, please come to us for help. CPTSD Foundation offers a wide range of services, including:
- Daily Calls
- The Healing Book Club
- Support Groups
- Our Blog
- The Trauma-Informed Newsletter
- Daily Encouragement Texts
All our services are reasonably priced, and some are even free. So, sign-up to gain more insight into how complex post-traumatic stress disorder is altering your life and how you can overcome it; we will be glad to help you. If you cannot afford to pay, go to www.cptsdfoundation.org/scholarship to apply for aid. We only wish to serve you.
My name is Shirley Davis and I am a freelance writer with over 40-years- experience writing short stories and poetry. Living as I do among the corn and bean fields of Illinois (USA), working from home using the Internet has become the best way to communicate with the world. My interests are wide and varied. I love any kind of science and read several research papers per week to satisfy my curiosity. I have earned an Associate Degree in Psychology and enjoy writing books on the subjects that most interest me.