What Gets Your Goat?

Being someone who’s business and passion is totally devoted to disseminating Emotional Intelligence, I am always monitoring life’s dilemmas. Focusing on my emotions alerts me to how often, if they are not kept in check, our emotions can become distractors to our happiness.

After an especially annoying day last week, I was able to recognize a common source of frustration using the expression; “getting your goat”. It seems to take a particular disruptive day or situation before we humans are in enough pain to direct our attention inward. The things that gets my goat has turned out to be pretty much the same things that get to all of us. I made an incomplete short list of what gets my goat in hopes of dissecting the reasons.

What gets my goat list:
~smiling at people who refuse to smile back
~being put on hold during important calls
~people who take up two parking spaces
~people talking loudly over others in public settings
~snapping gum or chewing with their mouths open
~screaming kids
~being charged for extra luggage, sides and tolls
~last minute cancelations
~locked phones and computer screens

As I went over the list, I realized a common thread began to appear with each emotion they evoked. In each scenario, I recalled I felt I wasn’t being respected or at least acknowledged. I felt discarded somehow. Another emotion that surfaced was impatience as I decided things were impeding my constant progression forward. In our society impatience is a continuing residual emotion given how busy, distracted and uncivil we have managed to become.

Emotional Intelligence (E.Q.) couldn’t have come at a better time to provide us with the necessary skills for sound mental health. Since as individuals we are the ones experiencing the emotive thinking we have many chances to ask ourselves what are we feeling and why. Emotional Intelligence is a vigilant ability to do just that. It requires a deliberate act of thinking about what you are thinking about.

Introspection is the first place your mind goes as soon as you have a disruptive feeling. For example, why do I get bent out of shape when people drive without signaling? When I checked in with my feelings I felt a kind of rejection, a feeling of not being considered, appreciated or worse totally ignored. It’s important to take the time to look into our feelings which allows us to be heard, understood and felt.

The lack of civility, that is present today, is a huge part of the culminating sense that we don’t matter and are somewhat invisible. Life is bombarded with slights from all directions, mostly due to the proliferation of people and technology. These constant interruptions are void of empathy and so lack intimacy and a chance for genuine connections. By choosing not to consider our own emotions we are adding to our own detachments. What ever is getting our goat at any particular time needs to have a moment of recognition. It isn’t a far stretch to feel insignificant if we ignore our internal selves while at the same time our outer world is disinterested.

It’s paramount that we accept all our emotions for there in lies our humanity. We need to be willing to feel them and know they are doing their job in alerting us to our unmet psychological needs. What are those unmet needs? The desire to matter, to be recognized, listened to, have worth, all point to the need to be validated, respected and emotionally intelligent.

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