One emotionally-stunted man's exploration of what it means to be emotionally intelligent. Raised between Asian and American culture, as well as the tech consulting world, where mental health was not prioritized enough, this dude aims to demystify the issues that arise from the narrow definitions of not only culture and masculinity but of humanity as a whole.
How can we go from being emotionally brittle to resilient? Human Up plans to collect the strategies, stories, and interviews to seek the answer.
Being the emotional beings we are, it's impossible to absolutely control what we feel, but we do have some control over how we emote them. The first step to gaining that control back is to define what we're feeling. If you are aware of the factors that trigger a specific feeling, you can then find the words to better communicate it both to yourself and to others, which will lessen the overwhelming, ambiguous feelings. From here, you can disarm the negative emotions and start thinking of calm, rational steps to address it.
I never thought I would get to this point. Everything seemed fine, was going great, I genuinely enjoyed what I was doing with my life.
But something shifted where I realized that what I was enjoying really was complacency, disguised as comfort. I was working towards my ideal sense of familiarity which limited my growth in my career, love, and awareness.
So I guess this is what a quarter-life crisis feels like, when everything you thought you had been doing would prepare you for this moment, but you only realize how unprepared you really are.
Whether we know it or not, our environments have a huge impact on ourselves, but the less believed perspective is that we have a huge impact on our environments as well. It sounds like common sense, but it's not common knowledge, that we do have more control over our lives than we think. It's not to ignore all the external circumstances and systemic issues that we are confined to. It's about shifting the perspectives to how we want to use that.
I've been using these external sources as an excuse to limit myself. I worry too much about what other people are going to think, or how I might be perceived. What that did was create more unawareness of both myself and others because I kept holding myself back.
I'm working on getting over that.
As a kid, I was told to "man up" many times. I heard people say this to the boys around me, sometimes even some girls. As innocent as their intentions were, what this did was confuse me. What did that mean exactly?
So rather than telling others to "man up," why don't we "human up" instead? Can we find ways to be better men, women, and children for ourselves rather than how anyone else thinks we're supposed to behave?
I talk about my journey in learning to become more emotionally intelligent after growing up in environments that didn't give me the safe space to express my thoughts and emotions. I didn't develop enough confidence in myself to create that space on my own and it's led me to a place of complacency. I wish I learned about these concepts before! Why weren't these taught in schools?