The Importance of Self-Control
It doesn’t matter what your age is. It doesn’t matter how smart, rich, or good you are at your job. Your emotions will be your greatest enemy if you let them get the best of you…particularly in regards to your professional life.
We all know examples of this in our everyday lives, whether it’s the short-fused spitfire with a giant chip on her shoulder, or the melancholy downer who never runs out of tragedies to moan about. People who let themselves be ruled by their emotions seriously hamper their ability to make friends and form successful relationships. Additionally, the friendships and relationships they do have will never be as strong or as meaningful as they could be. This is because if you lack emotional self-control other people will not be inclined to trust you.
Good Relationships Do Not Happen Without Trust
People need to be able to trust you have good judgement and that you won’t overreact to problems. They also need to trust you won’t always put your own emotional needs ahead of everyone else’s needs. The ability to control your emotions helps to reinforce this crucial trust.
Emotional self-control is more than curbing your temper (although that certainly is a factor), and it differs from case to case, depending on which emotion you’re most susceptible to. For some, this may mean keeping quiet when tempted to speak negatively behind someone’s back or waste time on gossip. I had to learn the hard way to bite my tongue when I wanted to say something snippy. As I grew into an entrepreneur, there would be times where I acted snippy to people who had resources I needed to make my business grow. Mouthing off cost me money and what could have been valuable business connections. Do not make the same mistakes as me.
Even ‘positive’ emotions can have negative consequences. Do you get overly excited and giggly like a young girl? Enthusiasm shows you are eager and passionate. Yet, excessive laughter and smiling is a carryover from middle school. When speaking about your ideas in a business setting, people will expect a certain level of maturity to be maintained. You want people to think of you as a mature female entrepreneur rather than a typical high school student.
How Do You Start Taking Control of Your Emotions?
The best first step is to not make assumptions. You’ll be stunned to see how much your professional and personal relationships will transform for the better with this one tip. How would you feel if everyone you met treated you with respect and did not jump to conclusions about what you said or did? Unfortunately, most people make assumptions all the time without realizing it. Most of the time, these assumptions are wrong. We often forget we aren’t mind readers, and it usually results in misunderstandings, anger, and damaged relationships. In short, we’re creating more unnecessary problems for ourselves.
Next, always think before you speak and don’t automatically say whatever pops in your mind. There are times you may be right, yet for the sake of the relationship, it is better to practice emotional self-control and let the other person have the last word. When you do speak up, you’ll want to watch your tone. Are you the type of woman who constantly lets sarcasm creep into her voice? Or anger, boredom, and/or pessimism? When you learn to control your tone of voice you will see an amazing difference in how people respond.
And last but not least, listening attentively and asking judicious questions helps with both controlling impulsive behavior and understanding the other person speaking. You are less likely to say something stupid or make assumptions that are just not true. Hearing people out will also keep your temper from flaring, even if a negative conclusion is reached.