If you listen carefully, most adults talk about difficult emotions in vague and overly abstract or metaphorical terms: ”I’m just a little stressed” or “I’m really pissed off right now.”
Often their words don’t say what is truly meant because they don’t know how to convey their emotions in words that carry the correct meaning.
To improvise, they intellectualize their emotions.
And the reason… Because on a very fundamental level, they’re afraid of their painful emotions. And those emotions feel a little less bad when we distance ourselves from them with overly intellectual and abstract language. Saying “I’m stressed” makes us feel less vulnerable than saying “I’m afraid.” They are often confused as to which emotion they actually feel, so they end up making the wrong decisions and by the time they are willing to acknowledge the mistake, it is often too late.
Generally, people are not comfortable with talking about their emotions, much less dealing or coping with them the way emotionally intelligent people are.
The trouble is, intellectualized emotions are a form of avoidance. And the more you avoid your painful emotions, the more afraid of them you become. This leads to a vicious cycle of compounding painful emotions: Feeling afraid of feeling angry; feeling ashamed of feeling sad. Etc.
In the short term ignoring their mistakes or actions is far easier for them than facing or acknowledging them. Unfortunately, they are unaware of the greater impact of their actions, from their perspective they simply cannot see it.
They are unable to place themselves in the shoes of others in order to gain the other’s perspective, with the intent to understand.
Undealt with Emotions bottle up and eventually causes much more damage.
On the other hand…
Emotionally intelligent people describe how they feel in plain, ordinary language. Unfortunately, people feel easily offended or ashamed when difficult statements are put to them so plainly and unemotionally without sugar coating. When this happens, the other party feels emotionally attacked and what could have been a straightforward conversation about a difficult truth turns into a disastrous argument.
Emotionally intelligent people easily consider others’ perspectives before acting or reacting and are comfortable acknowledging their wrongs and apologizing.
The willingness to really feel their emotions and communicate them is a hallmark of emotional intelligence.
Those lacking emotional intelligence are too afraid to speak plainly or unwilling to listen to what they don’t want to hear.
Emotionally intelligent people are comfortable in acknowledging and facing their wrongs and live with a constant hunger for self-improvement. Their aerial perspective of life allows them to see the greater value in fixing their wrongs instead of ignoring them.
In my opinion.