Too often people confuse emotional intelligence with controlling their emotions; shutting them down and being stoic. This is a tragedy waiting to happen. Read this alternative view on emotional intelligence that honors the experience and pain of living life during difficult times. There is a better response for all.
There is so much emphasis on emotional intelligence these days that it appears that people are suppressing their emotions and problems in an effort to "fit in," to keep their jobs, and using "positive self-talk" to muscle through the rough spots in their lives.
Recently, I had a friend over who has suffered enormous job stress during a time when his wife's father was dying of cancer. Of course, quitting his job didn't seem like an option during this difficult period, particularly since his wife returned to her parental home for many months to say good-bye to her dying father. That left him at home to take care of their children, pay the bills, and so on. Who can forge positively into a new job-search with all that going on?
After his father-in-law passed away his wife returned home and he lost his job - as did many of his colleagues - and his wife decided she no longer wanted to remain married. What else could go wrong? OH! Of course! His father could be diagnosed with cancer: He was.
Now he is living a complete hell, with all of this turmoil, and two sweet children looking to him for stability. Is it any wonder that people are cracking under the strain?
He is all alone and he tries to be "emotionally together" but that only causes more harm than good. We (society), in our need for order and stability, don't want people with all these problems in our lives. We don't want them working in our office. They're broken!
Well, the truth is, our (society) expectations around emotional intelligence, and together, full-functioning adults, is what is breaking them.