Are You in Control?

The scene below depicts Jane and her behavior while in a bad mood. In this potential scenario Jane is being really hateful:

“Do you think you could stop surfing the web long enough to get me a latte? I would hate to think your horoscope for the day includes bad customer service.” For some reason, snapping at the coffee house barista made Jane feel just a bit better. Jane slammed some money on the counter and waited for her coffee. When it was ready she picked it up and marched out of the coffee house, letting the door close in the face of the person walking out behind her.

That was Jane definitely not being self-aware and definitely not exhibiting self-regulation. Self-regulation is one of the components of EQ or emotional intelligence.
EQ is the acronym for Emotional Intelligence. So not only do you and I have an IQ
(Intelligence Quotient), we also have emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not about traditional intelligence. It is about our ability to handle ourselves and others. It is all about our ability to get along with others and build relationships.

This is what it means to be self-aware:

Self-Awareness – A person who is self-aware understands their own moods and emotions and also how those moods and emotions may impact others.

This is what it means to use self-regulation:

Self-Regulation – Someone who exhibits self-regulation thinks before they act. Remember that person you worked for? The one who used to get red in the face, yell and scream and throw notebooks across the room? They were not exhibiting self-regulation at all.

There are three other components of EQ that we are not discussing right now; they are: motivation, empathy and social skill. Right now, let’s get back to Jane.

If Jane came back to the coffee house after she verbally abused the barista and apologized, she would be exhibiting one of the behaviors associated with trustworthiness. Trustworthiness is considered to be a competency of self-regulation; a behavior that is associated with this competency is the ability to admit our own mistakes. Other competencies within the category of self-regulation are:

• Self-control
• Conscientiousness
• Adaptability
• Innovativeness

In this version of Jane and the coffee house, we see self-awareness and self-regulation:

Jane took a deep breath as she opened the door to the coffee house. She knew that she was tired and really on edge. Jane also knew that when she was tired she had a tendency to be impatient and say things she would later regret. With this thought in mind, Jane approached the counter, smiled and said, “Excuse me; I would like to order a latte please.”

Because Jane is aware of how she behaves when she is tired, she is also able to exercise self-control. She is able to manage her impulses and disruptive emotions, she remains composed and positive. She takes a deep breath, thinks before she speaks and does not allow herself to behave badly.

Good for Jane, she has taken control!