Hello, my loves. Today we’re going to be diving into emotional intelligence and why it’s so fucking important to healthy relationships. Because if you’re not working on developing emotional intelligence…what are you even doing?
So first off, emotional intelligence isn’t something we’re born with. It’s a skill that can be learned and developed…and honestly, it’s something that a lot of people are lacking.
It’s all well and good if you’re book smart or whatever, but if you aren’t developing emotional intelligence and learning to connect with your emotions or the emotions of other people, that’s a serious life skill that you’re going to be lacking.
And if you’re not developing emotional intelligence, good fucking luck having a healthy relationship.
I speak from experience here. I used to have very, very low emotional intelligence. I did not grow up in a household where that was the norm; instead, reactivity, outbursts, shut down, and all those things were our norm.
Unfortunately, that is how the majority of people grew up. A lot of us grew up with low emotional intelligence, and now we have to work on developing emotional intelligence as a skill.
Here’s the literal definition of emotional intelligence straight from Google: emotional intelligence is a skill that refers to one’s ability to understand, process, and express one’s feelings as well as recognize and engage with the feelings of others.
When I was dating someone, being emotionally intelligent was pretty much at the top of my list. I was not going to go out with someone who had low emotional intelligence because I’ve done so much work on developing emotional intelligence myself.
Now, that doesn’t mean that I’m perfect. But if you can’t connect to your own emotions, how are you ever going to have a successful relationship?
I don’t know why people seem to think that developing emotional intelligence and connecting to their emotions is not a valuable skill to have. They just go, “Oh, who cares? I don’t need to connect with my sadness or my grief or my anger or whatever. I’m doing just fine.” Okay, cool. Sure. Then why do your relationships keep going so poorly?
I know that’s a bit savage, but you know what else? It’s true.
Emotional intelligence and self-awareness are deeply tied together. If you don’t have self-awareness, you aren’t going to be successful in developing emotional intelligence, because self-awareness is tied to the understanding-your-emotions piece of emotional intelligence.
Part of self-awareness is being able to observe yourself in a pattern. So many people that I meet see a pattern and immediately want to move out of it. “How do I not do that anymore? How do I stop?” Here’s how you DON’T stop: by refusing to sit and actually build your resilience to be with yourself.
I recently was supposed to hop on a call with one of my coaches for a mastermind, but I could really feel the dysregulation in my body that told me I was starting to get hyper-aroused. Something was going on with me. I’d never missed a call before, but I ended up messaging my facilitator and saying, “I’m actually not going to be on tonight’s call. I’m going to go to the sauna.” I really needed time to be with myself; I just spent the whole hour in the sauna crying and breathing with myself. I actually didn’t even need to know what the root of that grief was; I just needed to be able to express it. And I couldn’t have done that if my instinct was to shove past it rather than sit with it.
When people come into my one-to-one containers, it becomes a bit redundant, because I’m constantly saying, “Just be with it. Just be with it. Just be with it. Just be with it.” And they keep saying, “But what do I do?”
Listen: the more that you try to get rid of a part of you, the more it’s going to come up. That’s exactly how shadows get created.
When you don’t work on developing emotional intelligence and instead reject parts of yourself, they become shadows. And your shadows will always leak out one way or another.
One of the ways that I see shadows leaking out for people is with this kind of bratty energy. That’s certainly how it has leaked out for me.
Here’s what I see in clients and the people who are in my audience: when things don’t go their way, they can go into this bratty energy, and it’s usually to manipulate people into doing what they want them to do.
There’s this entitled energy of thinking the world revolves around us and we get to have whatever we want, whenever we want it. We actually need to be really aware of that; we don’t need to be hyper-vigilant, but we do need to have an awareness of it, because your brat doesn’t necessarily have to be outwardly expressive. It could come out in you sulking or withdrawing your love or just being passive-aggressive.
However your brat manifests, it does so because that behavior serves you in some way. We wouldn’t do things if they didn’t serve us somehow. Every single thing that you do in your life that is a pattern serves you in some way, whether or not you think it does. So if you keep acting out or throwing a tantrum, that’s because you get something from that. And you can’t move past it until you sit and figure out what that thing is.
BTW, I actually don’t have time for “Oh, I don’t get anything from it.” Bullshit. Sit with yourself for longer then. Why are you so quick to give up after two seconds? Sit with it until you find it.
There’s this real entitled energy of, “I get to have what I want when I want it.” And when things don’t go your way, then you become reactive. And that’s just really fucking low emotional intelligence, isn’t it?
The word “brat” can be very polarizing, and many people will hear it and immediately go, “I’m not that. I’m not that,” just because they don’t throw a tantrum, they don’t act out, they don’t yell, whatever. Maybe your reactivity doesn’t look like that, and I hear that, but your reactivity could be being avoidant, being defensive, shutting down, withdrawing, withholding sex…whatever it is, it’s still fucking bratty energy.
This is why I created my program Brat School, which I’m so fucking excited about. This is 100% going to be a signature program. It’s literally an emotional intelligence school for bratty bitches, which is so on brand, isn’t it?
I’m so here for it. I think this is a really big conversation that we really, really need to have around developing emotional intelligence, because if you are trying to have a relationship and you haven’t built the skills to be able to have deep conversations—if you haven’t been developing emotional intelligence—you’re not going to be able to have a healthy, conscious, deep relationship where you guys are very, very connected and you feel safe to speak about what’s there for you.
Something else I see a lot of is when people are in a more unhealthy dynamic, they can be afraid to work on these things and develop emotional intelligence themselves because they’re afraid of the gap getting too wide between them and their partner.
Listen…fucking pick your hard. Either your partner rises up to meet you, or they don’t, and then you have a decision to make about your relationship. But what’s the alternative? You just stay in this fucking two out of ten relationship because you’re scared that it might not work out? You could have a ten out of ten relationship with this person or with someone else, but you’re willing to settle for a fucking two out of ten. That’s cool, I guess, but that’s on you. Don’t turn around and say, “Oh, but this relationship, it’s hard—” No. Be willing to take responsibility.
Lacking responsibility is a big piece that I see with the energy of the brat. And the thing is, once you start playing with shadows and doing shadow work and you start to see it, you see it everywhere.
PS – if you haven’t worked on developing emotional intelligence even at a baseline level, I would not do shadow work. I genuinely fucking wouldn’t, because you’re not going to be able to hold what you see in yourself. You’re immediately going to want to shut it down, which will push it right back into the shadows.
There’s a lot there, but I don’t want to go too deep into it, because I want to save this for Brat School. But I wanted to give you guys a baseline idea of emotional intelligence so you can start to see if it’s a blind spot for you. I hope this helped you get a better idea. And if you want to join Brat School, you can find that link below. Let’s get to work on really developing emotional intelligence, shall we?
Join Brat School, an emotional intelligence school for bratty bitches: https://michellepanning.thrivecart.com/brat-school/
I get it, girl. I’ve been there too. For years, I was going through the same experiences with men over and over again that left me feeling confused, anxious and pissed off.
I silenced myself in dating and relationships because I was terrified of being judged, rejected and abandoned. It all changed when I went through a break-up and thought “enough is enough. I cannot continue to repeat the same relationships with different men! Something HAS to change!”