The twelfth element of Emotional Intelligence is impulse control. Impulse control in any situation is important, but impulse control when dealing with something as important as racial injustice, can be vital. Impulse control is defined by the EQi 2.0 as “the ability to resist or delay a drive or temptation to do or say something or to decide too quickly or rashly.” Impulse control is rooted in our restraint, containment, and caution. Having the right amount of impulse control and knowing when to exercise this vs. when to speak out can be the difference between escalating or de-escalating a situation.
As times have changed, I have shifted my weekly blog to focus on the race relations conversations going on in the United States as opposed to the previous articles I wrote on the pandemic. Having a high sense of impulse control means you typically delay your impulses which can lead to more carefully made and better decisions. On the flip side, someone with low impulse control, can come off as making rash decisions with little ability to filter their reactions. There are many times that we need to have a high impulse control, but it’s also important to not over-do impulse control so that we can still show up genuine.
With that being said, if you are someone with low impulse control that wants to work on improving this behavior, I wanted to provide you with three ways:
- Before doing an action, take a second to think about the long term implications of that action. What would expressing your thoughts and feelings contribute to the situation or relationship at hand?
- If you have a tendency to be the first to jump into a conversation, when someone asks a question, count to ten (silently) to give someone else a chance to respond.
- Work to keep your face, body, and gestures from communicating your feelings as someone else is talking.