There’s nothing worse than being around a social hand-grenade. You know, those people who essentially repel others because of their, well, social ineptitude—to put it mildly.
What’s so frustrating is the fact that emotions are completely manageable (and no, you don’t have to endure military training to learn how to be a robot). The one thing you do need, however, is something that we all possess yet few know how to unlock for one reason or another. What I’m talking about is awareness.
How many people do you know could not benefit from greater self-awareness? Social awareness? Emotional intelligence?
Didn’t think so.
Everybody could. Emotional fortitude is something everybody can build—and should build—because it enables adaptive-leadership. Here’s what I mean.
Adaptive-leadership is having the awareness to know when to expand outside of one’s comfort zone to attempt the unthinkable; to exercise the sort of improvisational expertise that comes from a keen understanding of the situation, its demands and possible recourses, and the self-confidence to do so.
What it takes is emotional fortitude—strength, capacity, will.
To highlight what emotional fortitude looks like, below are 8 examples displayed by emotionally strong people:
1. They don’t care what others think of them.
Emotionally strong people act with a purpose, and if anybody counteracts or disagrees with said purpose, it doesn’t change anything for them. A purpose exists for a reason. Namely, it’s born out of personal beliefs, values, perspectives and culture and emotionally strong people are comfortable with themselves so much that, if anybody disagrees then, well, there’s a saying for that: “F—k ‘em.”
2. They acknowledge others people’s beliefs as native to them.
Emotional ninjas realize that not everybody shares the same level of awareness. Just because Joe didn’t ask you how your day went doesn’t mean that she doesn’t care. Rather, perhaps Joe is having a less-than-ideal day and just doesn’t want to think outside of his three-foot circle.
Hey, it happens. But why should that affect you?
Some people just live in their own world, and that’s fine. Know where they fall in the emotional pecking order (i.e. from self-governable to completely volatile) and don’t take things too personally. After all, if we all thought similarly, how boring would that be?
3. They’re drama free.
There’s nothing worse than people who live for drama—the rumors, hearsay, unverifiable “facts” that drive conversation and inquiry and derail relationships and reputations. Emotionally strong people don’t feel the need to explain themselves at every impasse. Rather, they’re comfortable in the fact that if [insert topic here] is good for you and it’s good for me, then nobody else matters.
4. They respond, they don’t react.
The difference between a reaction and a response is this: A reaction suits an impulse, a response suits a choice. When you touch your hand, tongue or finger to the iron by accident, for instance, you react immediately as a means to remove that stimulus.
Conversely, a response is an active choice made during the time gap between stimulus and response. In other words, when somebody explains a personal view on a matter you disagree with (stimulus) you choose (before responding) how to react (response). Your perspective—or how you manage your perspective—is ultimately what determines your choice.
5. They believe in abundance.
Emotionally strong people build their strength by neglecting to “give in” to the now because they realize that scarcity is a matter of perspective. The impetus of the moment that beckons a response immediately is nothing but a qualifier for the emotionally weak.
Here’s another trick to impose an abundance mentality. It’s no secret that death and taxes are unavoidable, but guess what?
Change is equally interminable, and with change comes opportunity.
So, in this regard, opportunity always exists. It’s abundant. And because opportunity is abundant, emotionally strong people don’t get caught up in worrying that they’ll lose their chance(s) to do what they want to do.
6. …and because they live in abundance, they don’t dwell on the past.
Yesterday is over. Emotionally weak people continually drum up the past and all the emotions therein, and because their thoughts about the past constantly spring up, the emotions associated with those events become anchor points. Thus they become attached to the stories of yesterday.
What’s so toxic, though, is this…
When one story arises, so does another. Then another. And another. All of a sudden, you’re not just thinking about one incident where you felt [fill in the blank], but myriad stories that only qualify the reason you’re feeling so bad. It’s a self-perpetuating spiral of negativity.
7. They embrace their warts.
Emotionally strong people are confident and therefore don’t try to be “right” all the time. They realize that there’s no need to continually prove oneself to others because they see others as sources of knowledge (to learn from) rather than sources to compete against.
8. They don’t tell themselves they suck.
If there’s one thing to take away from this article, it’s the power of positive self-talk. How you talk to yourself is everything, for your thoughts are what determine your emotion and your subsequent behavior. The good news about managing your thoughts is this: your brain doesn’t know any better than what you tell it. In other words, the brain is susceptible to hacking by brute strength—telling it the same thing over and over again until it actually adopts “it” as true.
Go ahead, try it. Want to change your taste buds to eat something healthy but it has an otherwise “yucky” taste? Tell yourself you love it, over and over and over while eating it. Give yourself a month of this temporary torture for your taste buds to re-align with what your brain tells them. It works.