Emotion Awareness Is Not Emotional Intelligence

Social media has had a magnanimous impact on the way we express ourselves, including how we feel. It has given us an outlet to share our emotions in return for either sympathy from the intended audience or to simply get things off of one's chest.

Commendable as this impact of social media is, it has created a rather problematic side effect which is that people choose to just wail about their emotions instead of actually doing something about. As I put it on this blog post, it is like social media has led to the romanticization of undesirable emotions.

This side effect, in my opinion, is caused by the confusion between emotional awareness and emotional intelligence. Because prior to social media there was really no non-human outlet for most people to pour out their emotions, save diaries and journals, the presence of such a platform has made expressing one's emotions, that is emotional awareness, as the most important achievement when dealing with on's emotional discrepancies, forgetting that it is merely one part of the fight.

As good as emotional awareness is, what is even more important is using that awareness to actually "do something" about those undesirable emotions. Although being able to merely express oneself is considered the only mitigating factor for some people when dealing with undesirable emotions, if your intention is to get past that rut, that won't suffice in most cases.

For example, if one is dealing with anxiety and social media has given them the platform to express and share their story, should this then be the end of the fight? Shouldn't the person further go on to find measures to deal with the said anxiety? Is merely expressing themselves without actually doing anything else helping them curb the anxiety?

Of course, this is not to say that people should be expected to know how to effectively deal with their emotional shortcomings because well, we all don't have degrees in psychology. It is to instead show that being aware of emotions that are causing one's uneasiness is merely a stepping stone to actually being able to deal with them, which is what emotional intelligence can be thought of as. 

Emotional intelligence means being able to realize that you are not ok and if there is something that can be done about it, doing it. It means knowing and understanding that whenever you can, going that extra step past emotion awareness is key to getting to a point where you feel like you have your inner demons in a leash.