Learning to recognize and cope with what you feel is as important as learning to read and write. Emotional Literacy was devised in 1979 by Claude Steiner, and it is defined as being able to handle feelings to strengthen relationship with self and others which helps develop the quality of life. Individual emotional status impacts our mental, social spiritual and physical well-being which reveals the need for emotional knowledge. Being in situations that trigger flare-ups is usually unavoidable, but the only thing that can be controlled is our reaction to the scenario and the people involved. This article intends to highlight 4 skills that help develop emotional literacy.
-Know your Feeling: Express how you feel without placing blame on anyone, use the word “I” when expressing your thoughts.
-Develop Empathy: Listening to others without interruption is a great way to cultivate being empathetic, view the issue from their standpoint.
-Learn to Manage your Emotions: Avoid being overridden by emotions by making effort to manage it, taking a deep breath, staying away from situations that might trigger outburst, takin a sip of water are physiological and psychological ways of keeping in touch with our feelings thereby, avoid regrettable reactions.
-Emotional interactivity: Try putting the scenario together and making sense of it, your reaction after this will definitely be based on critical thinking and not just mere emotional adrenalin rush
Becoming emotionally literate might require keeping a reflective journal, guess it’s time to for those souvenir jotters you’ve been keeping be of use. Try writing out your feelings and express the reason behind the feeling to enable enjoy the satisfaction from journaling your thoughts. Before you send that angry text message, write it out in your journal, read it over again, if you still feel the need to send it then do.
Emotional literacy is not about repressing your feelings, rather it involves being in control of your reactions to avoid regret.