Life has taught me many lessons, some good and some bad. One of the toughest lessons life taught was “Emotional intelligence”. Psychologist defined this as the ability to understand and influence the emotions of others. It has also been documented and believed that Adolf Hitler used this technique during his reign of power. I was a skeptic until I did my research and was able to correlate it to my life. Believe it or not, it’s real and it exists. Are you familiar with it? Do you understand what it is and how it works? Do you know how it can be used against you?
If this is your first time ever hearing about it don’t worry you’re not alone. It took a while before I was able to recognize it, and how it was being used against me. Unfortunately, i’m ashamed to say that I have committed the crime of using emotional intelligence on friends, family and in many of my past relationships. This was a learned behavior from family that I unknowingly picked up on in my toddler years, that carried over into my adolescent years and subsequently my adult years. My parents demonstrated it, my brothers demonstrated it through learning my parents behavior and then I through my brothers. I had no idea that I was doing such a thing and how it affected those I used it on. Fortunately I was able to recognize it later on and correct the behavior. Now that I’m older I always try to be cognizant of my approach to others, and how I address them with my words.
As a teenager I often found myself feeling obligated against my will to help others. Countless times I found myself pulled in to someones needs, conflicts, altercations, and conversations that all ended with someone else’s gratification. I never understood why I felt compelled to do the things I was told, provoked or asked to do, even when my mind told me not to. I couldn’t comprehend why I felt the need to entertain those actions, conversations or nonsense, even when my mind told me not to. Every single time I left asking myself why did I do that, how did I end up in the middle of that. It almost felt like I had no control over my words or actions, kind of autopilot like. Crazy, yeah I know.
Now that I’m older I’m able to understand what was happening at the time. I was being controlled emotionally. Those closest to me knew me best. They subconsciously studied me over the years and learned my emotional language. They saw where and how weak minded and attached to my emotions I was, and used it against me. Whenever they needed something, they knew what type of sob story to tell that would get me to respond. Whenever they wanted my attention they knew the right body gestures to display, to get me to react. When they wanted me to entertain their derogatory conversations they knew what keywords to utilize to get me to speak. I responded identically in every situation. I came, I helped, I spoke, I provided. Over time my reactions became predictable and then reliable to them, they were in control.
I was unknowingly defeated on a battlefield I had no idea I was standing on. I couldn’t see it. As a more matured adult, that’s mentally stronger and wiser. I’m able to see how I was being mentally abused. I don’t think it was done purposely, but definitely strategically. I never Knew how much control the phrase you’ve never been there for me or helped me, had over me. For them, their perception of how I helped could equate to the above phrase. For myself, that statement was false and I had been there for them countless times before, in numerous ways. Just Hearing that phrase would immediately make me feel bad and come to their aid as if It were true. It’s not that they didn’t remember me being there for them in the past. They just needed me again and knew what to say and do to spark my emotional trigger, which prevented me from saying no.
My opinion that’s normal behavior, when you’re a taker. You never take the time to think about what others have done for you, therefore you never appreciate it. All they see is what they need next and how they can get it. As time passed I knew I wanted to change and needed to but, I didn’t know how. I had to grow and learn over the years what my emotional triggers are. Thus preventing them from being sparked, And it also prevented me from being used emotionally again. In doing so I’m now able to recognize when someone is trying to pull me into an unconducive environment. I’m also able to recognize when someone is trying to spark a negative reaction out of me, to satisfy their own personal agenda.
By recognizing all of my emotional triggers the choices are now mine and no one else’s. Now That I’m mentally stronger, I can choose whether or not being around them is best for me. I can choose whether or not communicating with them is beneficial for my spirit and mental health. I choose whether or not having them in my life is good for my overall peace and wellness. The tables are no longer theirs to turn, they belong to me now. By no means have I mastered Controlling and protecting my emotional triggers. It’s a continuous ongoing practice that takes time. If you’re struggling with this in your life, take time to recognize what your emotional trigger points are. It’s essential to learn this about yourself before someone else learns it about you. Just being aware of your emotional triggers puts you back in control. Learn, protect and then control. Emotional intelligence is real, make a choice to have a choice.