Falling out of love with my job again and again

Every job I ever had started off well. In the beginning it was exciting, like going on holiday to a new country.

I was sick of it!

Every job I ever had started off well. In the beginning it was exciting, like going on holiday to a new country. Learning new things, meeting new people, I loved it, but a few months in and I started to ask myself if it was the job for me. I never felt like I fitted in, that I was accepted for being me. I felt misunderstood. To be fair, I felt the same way in school. I have always been a sensitive, emotional person but also kind, thoughtful and caring, but the minute I felt misunderstood or stressed out, I came across as angry and at times even aggressive. No matter where I worked, there was at least one person who I clashed with, usually someone strong and dominant. They always got my back up and it sent me into ‘defence mode.' In my mind, the other person was not nice, they were the ones that were ‘wrong!’

So here I was, in the last full-time job I ever had and my boss was implying that I was too emotional, that I needed to learn to control them. We had just finished a meeting and he asked me to contact a Psychometric Assessment company to assess the staff's levels of Emotional Intelligence. He ended off his request with a snide remark saying ‘I bet you Deborah’s level of Emotional Intelligence will be the lowest’. Ugh!

To everyone’s surprise, including mine, it turned out that I had the highest level of Emotional Intelligence in the company. I will never forget the look on my boss’s face when the Assessor read out the results and gave us all feedback. He was shocked, I felt shocked (and inside I felt a little pleased even though I had no idea what being Emotionally Intelligent was:-).

That epic day was the start of me feeling okay about who I am.

I learnt:

  • that being emotional did not mean I was not Emotionally Intelligent
  • that being Emotionally Intelligent is not about controlling or supressing your emotions, it’s all about understanding them, where they come from, why you have them and how to express them (without the need for bitchiness and aggression)
  • that being comfortable with myself and my emotions led me to becoming more comfortable in my own skin
  • that understanding my emotions not only helped me to become a better person, but it helped my children and my entire family to become emotionally intelligent as well
  • that not liking yourself and feeling emotionally uncomfortable can negatively affect your business, your job, your relationships and life in general
  • that no one is 'wrong', I had just not learnt yet that the way people expressed themselves was not about me!
  • I also learnt that becoming Emotionally Intelligent is a process, it takes time. Knowledge alone is not going to get you there, you have to integrate it, live it, breathe it!

It’s been nearly 19 years since that day and I am still learning about emotions and their intelligence.The point to this whole post is - emotions are good – all of them! Nothing (in my opinion) will teach you more about yourself than learning the language of your emotions. Try it, it may well just change your life.

Categories: Emotional Intelligence in The Workplace