On Emotional Intelligence

A friend told me “I keep forgetting that you’re literally the most emotionally intelligent person I’ve ever met”, and as I sit here reflecting about the day and life, it stuck out to me. To me, this was an incredibly kind thing to say; but I also don’t exactly know why I feel happy about it. I sat down to journal tonight about why I am the way I am, and more or less just ramble about it, but I somewhat am now curious about why I felt good hearing that.

I guess it may just feel good the way any compliment feels nice, but I guess for me this is a value I pride myself on, but I also don’t necessarily hear this from other people often. Even typing that out, I immediately contradicted myself mentally, as my therapist, people I talk to, parents, and friends always mention to me how mature and emotionally healthy I am. Those to me don’t ever sit right however in a weird way – I can never let that compliment sink in. At least not in the way this one did.

When I was going to grab the exact message to paste here, I was thinking “I wish they said emotionally intelligent rather than emotionally mature”, even though those two feel synonymous. It then turned out she did say intelligent, and maybe that’s why this feels different to me. This may be grasping at straws, but I was thinking about how “emotionally mature” to me feels like they are saying I am mentally healthy. In some ways I definitely am, but also I struggle so often with things I consider myself very mentally unwell; if you want proof just look at this blog, (I don’t think mentally well people write every single day about something or other they are struggling with).

But that being said, I am pretty confident I have a very good sense of awareness, and I am pretty well-read on a lot of common struggles and mental problems. I would watch videos on psychology a lot as a coping mechanism growing up, and I also was incredibly proactive in therapy, which contributed to the stuff I feel I understand fairly well.

So to me, when he said “emotional intelligence”, it felt as if it was acknowledging the stuff I know, and the things I work towards – but also didn’t come with the assumption that I was mentally well or healthy. I felt very seen by him, as he recognized the work I had done, all without undermining how much I was struggling. I can’t thank him enough, not just for this.

Situation: I started to feel anhedonia again, and felt no joy.

Thoughts: Something has to be wrong, I need to figure it out before I get depressed.

Feelings: I feel panicked, afraid, and terrified of depression. I feel frantic to try to find something to fix or to point blame towards.

Behavior: I overanalyze innocent interactions and overthink them to try to frame them in a negative way, all so I could potentially fix them. I live under high stress and become depressed.

Now thanks to AI,

Thoughts: This is a feeling. It will pass. Nothing has to be wrong, there are plenty of innocent explanations ranging from time of day, brain chemistry, or just being bored. Ultimately though, it will pass.

Feelings: I feel calmer, and I feel like it is going to be ok. I think everything will be okay in the end, and I will not spiral.

Behavior: I don’t ruminate or overthink things, and I just settle down and have a calm night. I do some self-care, journal, do my affirmations, make some tea, and watch youtube with my dog. I will be ok.

I love you anhedonic. ♥