What is Emotional Intellegence?

I’ll go ahead and admit this from the very start; I’m stressed out! For anyone that knows me, I’m a politics junkie.  I’m not necessarily drawn into the showmanship (e.g. TV) portion but the working to make things happen aspect of politics.


With our current President, I’m not able to take a break from the noise and my mood has been a bother…even to me. That’s not good so I’ve been doing some reading and I came across the concept of emotional intelligence.


Emotional intelligence can be defined as the ability to control and express our emotions in a healthy way, and to understand, interpret, and respond to the emotions of others in an appropriate way. Many people focus on their IQ or Intelligence Quotient, but psychological studies have shown that there is also a thing known as an Emotional Quotient (EQ), and that those with a high EQ tend to do well in both their careers and social situations.


Emotional intelligence (EI) was first explored in the 1930s in the US and by the 1990s had become a mainstream concept used to help people with anger management and other issues monitor their own feelings and actions, and better grasp the effects of their emotions on other people. By also learning how to read the feelings and emotions of others, better communication could take place, and relationships improved.


The Four Aspects of Emotional Intelligence


Researchers have created a model of EI that is said to have four parts:


  1. Recognizing emotions
  2. Reasoning using emotions
  3. Understanding emotions
  4. Managing emotions


  1. Recognizing


The first step in understanding emotions is to recognize them, and be able to identify them accurately. This will often include tapping into one’s own inner truth to sort out anger, disappointment, embarrassment, and other emotions. These might all be expressed in the same way by a person lacking in EI, who might demonstrate anger in all of these instances.


It might also be a case of recognizing their own body language and the unconscious messages they are sending, and picking up on the non-verbal cues others are giving them, such as facial expression and body language. Standing too far away or too close to someone, for example, sends out certain messages they need to be able to read in themselves and others.


  1. Reasoning Using Emotions


Human beings are not robots. We make many decisions in relation to our emotions, though we might not realize it. We will often do things on the spur of the moment due to mood. However, reasoning means getting the emotions under control and using them to make logical decisions based on who the person is and the life they wish to lead. Emotions help us focus on what’s important to us and filter out what isn’t important.


  1. Understanding Emotions


We can usually identify emotions, but are not always able to interpret what they mean. For example, we can all spot anger in most cases, but need to get at the heart of why the anger has been triggered. However, not everyone who experiences anger shouts or throws things. Sometimes their reaction is a lot subtler, such as silence, sarcasm, or simply walking away.


Understanding emotions is also about not taking things personally. Is your boss really angry with you, or are they angry at the guy who cut him off in the parking lot?


  1. Managing Emotions


Managing emotions is an essential part of EI, with your expression of emotions appropriate to the situation and context. Shouting, screaming and throwing things might be appropriate when you are two, but not when you are an adult – and certainly not in the office in front of all your colleagues.


Those who are able to regulate their emotions and not get ruffled no matter how stressful things get, are seen to be a reliable person in control of their life. Those who fly off the handle at the least little thing are seen to be unreliable and out of control, and therefore someone who needs to be dealt with cautiously.


If you’ve been struggling, it’s time to learn more about your EI. Of course, I cannot fit everything into one single post so I will be writing more in the coming days.


Have you heard of EI? I would love to have a conversation so let’s get started in the comments…



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Book Review: I Take You: A Novel

I do a great deal of reading every day and I haven’t laughed out loud at a book this much…EVER!


This novel by author Eliza Kennedy and narrated by Julia Whelan is a bit more than 10 hours of gut-busting laughter from the antics of main character LilyWilder as she prepares for her wedding day to Will.


Lily, this beautiful, smart and sassy New Yorker has not been faithful to her fiancé since the beginning of their whirlwind romance. Lily’s family and friends add to your stomach getting a workout from the things they say – without stop!


This book would not work if Lily were simply a ball-busting trampYou see, Lily has pains of regret because she loves sex so much. The issue is that she loves Will as much or maybe even more.


I don’t want to give too much away but I Take You: A Novel was a really good journey into taking the normal lead up to a wedding and turning it on its head!


Read it on Audible.com or if you have a print disability, check it out with the National Library Service at DB81607.


Have you read this book already? I would love to hear your thoughts.

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United States of Reality Show Politics

The first six months of the Trump Administration, if judged by normal standards, have been a disappointment to say the least.  Whether it’s the President or his staff talking about healthcare policies that meet his campaign rhetoric or revamping the tax system so it can work for everyone or speaking of the civil rights of minorities  in this country, the Administration has been a dismle failure to this point.


Now if we judge the President and his Administration on reality show standards, by God he is head and tails above the rest!


The question is do we want a country run like a reality show or do we want an imperfect nation striving to be more perfect based on standards that have been tweaked well over 200 years.


I argue that while America can stand some change, we do not need to go to the lowest common denominator. If we stay on this reality show mantra of the current Administration, we will ultimately go the way of most of the people that “star” in these shows…forgotten and used up.


Our troubles, in my opinion, can all be traced to a single word called gerrymandering.


For those not aware of what this practice is, let me take directly from Dictionary.com which defines it as:



U.S. Politics. the dividing of a state, county, etc., into election districts so as to give one political party a majority in many districts while concentrating the voting strength of the other party into as few districts as possible.


Both parties have been guilty of this but the Republican Party in various states have become experts at this over many years. I live in Texas and I can remember Tom Delay, who used to be the U.S. House of Representatives majority leader, working on this with full force within the State to great affect.  Republicans across our nation took that example and have replicated it in state after state.  The result of which is the coarsening of our politics to focus on wedge issues rather than issues that have the ability to lift the poorest among the citizenry.


While we focus on whether we support same sex marriage or not, or whether we support abortion or not, or whether we support the wall or not we miss opportunities to work on a tax system that is fair to each citizen, figuring out how to make healthcare affordable for all without throwing them to the wolves or even working with companies to have a living wage so basic needs can be met for all.


Until people start talking about that, including the President, Congress and the state legislatures, they will sound like the adults of Peanuts fame…always making noise but not saying an intelligible word.

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Review: People that Knew Me

Since I can remember, I’ve always loved to read…


I can recall lying across my bed with book after book flipped open and forgetting where I was, lost in the pages of new and different worlds.


Then came the year I lost my eyesight and I panicked. Among many things I feared, I was depressed as I thought I would no longer be abel to take part in my passion.


Lo and behold, my vision loss coincided with the advancement of technology. Through friends, I discovered the National Library Service (NLS( and the Texas Talking Book program.  This program works just like your local, public library for the print disabled.  I also learned of Audible through the use of my iPhone.


For those reading that are not blind, I will place a code in this an future reviews for my blind and vision impaired friends and readers. This code is our tickler system so we know exactly where to find a good book that someone recommends for us. Now on with the review…


I could easily copy word for word the synopsis but that’s easily found on the internet. You may want to check out  http://www.willburley.com/goodreads for what’s found on the book jacket.  My mission is to let you know how this novel made me feel and think during and after my read.


This story is told through the eyes of Emily Morris. Emily is a young newlywed with her college sweetheart, Drew.  Life is moving along nicely and Drew’s mother needs him to care for her after a health crisis.  This takes the idealism of the marriage away and causes them both to look at reality, which turns out to not always be pretty.


Then September 11 happened and everything changes…


Fast forward 14 years and Emily has a crisis of her own and it forces her to have to deal with her past choices…and that is not a pretty sight either.


You should really take an opportunity to read this book. It was hard for me to put down but I was enthralled to see what would happen next…


Have you read this book? What did you think?


P.S. If you don’t like audio books you can check it out at http://www.willburley.com/knewme

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Year in the Making

A year, as a child, seemed like it took forever to get through. It was time to celebrate Christmas, Thanksgiving and your birthday.  Not to mention to get to the end of the school year…


I’m finding, as I get older, a year passes by in what seems like an instant. We get so caught up in the rat race of working, paying bills and whatever else, we don’t enjoy life as fully as we should.


Why am I writing this post today?


It’s been a year since I got the call that one of my best friends had a health crisis.


As December started I became a little sad because she is not physically here with us anymore. The hurt became even more pronounced when I started clening up old work emails and personal text messages.  I had tons of messages and notes from her and they were always silly.  She called me “Wills” and for the life of me, I forgot why she did that…but it was hilarious.


She loved my guide dog, Gypsy…even when she was watching her and Gypsy shit in her bed. Now that’s a friend!!


We both loved our iPhones and regularly sought out new apps.  This was done so much we called each other app whores.


I started to feel guilty at having enjoyed the past year, minus her loss, and realized that I have many good memories of her and that will last a lifetime.


Today I hit the delete button on the emails and tects but not our friendship…

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6 Tips for Building Resilience to Stress

Stress is all around us in the modern world, and can really wear us down if we are not careful, leading to all sorts of personal and health issues. Building up your resilience to stress is one of the best ways of coping with it, so that you bounce back more quickly from tough times rather than get swamped by them. Here are several ways you can build resilience to stress so you don’t burn out.


  1. Put together a powerful support network


Studies have shown that those with the best support networks are often the most resilient. They know their friends and family will help them in stressful times and are not afraid to ask for assistance for fear of seeming weak. They say what they need and will return the favor whenever the other person needs it.


  1. Practice good self-care


Stress can have an extremely negative effect on both physical and mental health. Eating right, exercising, getting seven or eight hours of sleep a night, and avoiding negative coping behaviors (such as smoking tobacco, using illicit drugs, or drinking alcohol) can all help them avoid burnout.


  1. Learn from past experiences


Dealing with stress successfully often means dealing with stressful situations and learning from them, so the next time something similar happens you will be prepared. It sounds terrible to say it, but it is only through the illness and death of a loved one that a person will really learn how to cope with these types of situations.


Through getting support and overcoming these issues, you set a pattern for success. You don’t feel powerless – you are able to take action and produce the results you wish for.


  1. Be flexible


A lot of stress comes from an “Oh, no!” attitude that makes you tense and unable to deal with the situation in a calm manner. Being flexible – that is, rolling with the changes through understanding that change is a natural part of life, can lower your stress response and make it easier to deal with issues in a calm, practical way. Stuff happens. Deal with it. Then move on to the next challenge.


  1. Don’t sweat the small stuff


If you stress over every little thing, you will always be stressed. That being the case, learn to let go and not stress over things that in the long run will really make very little difference. If you get upset, think, “Will I remember this issue a week from now? A year from now?” If the answer is no, deal with it as best you can and move on.


  1. Cultivate an attitude of gratitude


When we are under stress, it’s easy to focus on the negative and the present struggle we are facing. But if we take a moment to think about all we are grateful for, it can add a whole new appreciation for life. Thinking about the best things in your life you are grateful for can change your perspective and mood completely.


Stress is an inescapable part of life, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Work on building your resistance to stress and see what a difference it can make in your life.


Writing this post really hit home for me. What are your ideas on building resilience to stress?


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