My son is playing video games too much and seems stuck to the couch. I ask him–for the fifth time today–to please get up, move around a little, and help with some housework. My son, nearly a grown man, is mourning being a shut-in at home when he otherwise would be experiencing his senior year of college, and he resents my trying to manage how he at 21 spends his time. My wife, an extravert’s extravert and fitness instructor, is climbing the walls, wound up like a spring about to snap. And I continue to trigger that coil by being under foot and walking around the house with my headphones on. We in our family love each other, but one of us may wind up being kicked out of the house to sleep in the yard. This shelter in place order has been active for only about a week–we all need a little grace, please.
EQ, Forgiveness and Weathering Contagions
A self-quarantine leads to close quarters, a lot of face-time with the same people, and stepped-on toes. Nerves will be frayed; mistakes will be made. An essential ingredient to this kind of closeness and shared space is grace–freely giving kindness and forgiveness to each other. Within the EQ-i model of Emotional Intelligence, these actions are covered by Interpersonal Relationships–the ability and tendency we each have to build and nurture relationships within which trust and compassion reside. Trust and compassion require a liberal exercise of forgiveness and grace.
To exercise Interpersonal Relationships in your own quarantined life, consider these suggestions:
- Give up on or give in to someone else’s desire for a dinner choice or a Netflix selection.
- Consider giving a gift—nothing elaborate, just a token that reminds people that you were thinking about them. A hand-made card, a letter, a treat from a grocery store run, a flower from the yard—simple gestures that communicate you care about those with whom you work.
- Practice gratitude. Acknowledge and express appreciation for each other.
- Compliment at least someone at least three times in a day for things they do to benefit you or the task at hand; be sure to be sincere, not making things up.
- Ask to be with someone close to you by doing something they want to do–join their world and interests as opposed to inviting them to be in yours.
My favorite artist and America’s Poet Laureate, Bruce Springsteen (he is not Poet Laureate, but he should be) has a song about forgiveness, patience, and grace that is a continual source of peace and calm to me–“If I Should Fall Behind.” Another potential grace-inspiring action you can take is to listen to this terrific song of love and support. I do many times a week.
The above Interpersonal Relationships suggestions are taken from OKA’s EQ Workbook and the many years of experience OKA has at training and supporting EQ development. To learn more about OKA’s EQ training–including a number of online training options), visit OKA’s website.