Emotional Awareness: What Just Happened?

Have you ever said something to a friend or spouse, only to see them burst into tears or anger, leaving you wondering what on earth was the problem? If so, it’s possible that you have had a lapse in emotional awareness. Emotional Awareness (EA) is the ability to recognize emotional data in yourself and others and use this data to make wise choices that will ideally be to the benefit of all parties involved. EA is a product of both nature and nurture, with some folks just having a “knack” for it, though almost everyone should have the ability to grow in their capacity to properly recognize and respond to feelings.

Assessing Emotional Awareness

Assessing your own EA can perhaps be done best by evaluating your life where you have noticed its shortcomings. Here are some questions you can ask yourself as you seek to evaluate just how keen your EA is:

  • Are situations like the one mentioned above rare or common in your life?
  • Do you often find yourself blindsided by your own outbursts of anger or crying?
  • Do you find that you talk to different people in different situations differently? Or do you take more of a “I’m gonna be me, no matter what” approach? (Hint: this does not indicate good EA.)

Building Healthy Relationships

EA is a crucial skill and its development will help you anywhere in life where relationships are a factor, which is to say, well, everywhere. Whether you are relating to a spouse or child at home, or a client, coworker, or superior at work, increasing and utilizing your emotional awareness will benefit you and those around you.