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Emotional Intelligence Can Prevent Domestic Violence

Emotional Intelligence can prevent domestic violence
Emotional Intelligence can prevent domestic violence

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal how Emotional Intelligence can prevent domestic violence.

First a quick update:

“Cult leader convicted or rape and incest
Goel Ratzon, a cult leader in Tel Aviv, Israel, who had 21 wives and fathered 49 children was convicted of rape, sodomy and incest. Ratzon is another example of the way men prey on vulnerable women.

Follow me on Twitter – You can now choose to follow me and receive a few words of wisdom on Twitter: @Behavior_Expert

Now, let’s talk about how developing Emotional Intelligence can prevent domestic violence.

In the US, one of the top stories is the argument inside an elevator between footballer Ray Rice and his wife Janay, which escalated – she hit and spat at him, and as she lunged towards him, he punched her in the face, she fell and was knocked unconscious when her head hit the railing.

The consequences for Ray Rice extend beyond the termination of his football contract (more than 10 million dollars) and an indefinite suspension by the NFL; the President of the US, Barrack Obama in a statement about domestic violence said “Hitting a woman is not something a real man does.”

We have expectations that a man who is a football player should be able to exert self-control and self-discipline.

Football players are trained to tackle and crush their opponent; they are also taught to ignore the antagonistic ploys and gestures by their opponents who obviously want to create a situation that will result in a penalty.

However, contextual self-control is not equivalent to emotional intelligence.

Controlling one’s emotional reactions and impulses on the football field when playing against opponents, is not the same as controlling one’s emotional reactions and impulses inside an elevator with one’s fiancé. (Janay was engaged to Ray Rice at the time of the incident.)

The difference is the intensity of the emotional response based on the relationship, expectations, vulnerability, emotional education, subconscious programming, and other psychological factors.

The point here is that the media and commentators have taken the wrong approach: punishment and consequences are necessary but they alone are not the solution to ending domestic violence.

If punishment and consequences alone were sufficient deterrents, we would have a lot less crime and a dramatic drop in drug offenses.

The solution is education.

Those that cry out “education is needed to end domestic violence” believe that awareness of the frequency of family violence along with the declaration “You never hit a woman” are sufficient alone to end abuse in families.

Education to end domestic violence implies educating individuals (men and women) to develop the skills to communicate without violent language or violent actions, understand the situation, understand oneself as well as the other person, understand the way the argument is evolving, and know how to de-escalate it before it turns violent.

This is known as Emotional Intelligence as well as Conflict Resolution; the latter refers to specific strategies to prevent the conflict from escalating and becoming violent. Learn my 14 tips for conflict resolution.

It all begins with teaching self-respect and respect for others.

Socio-cultural programming
The first critical step to ending domestic violence via re-education is to change the socio-cultural programming with regards to expression of violence by men towards women, and, by women towards men. This implies mutual respect.

Is it really okay for a woman to spit at a man (her boyfriend, fiancé, husband or even her son)? In some States, spitting at a police officer is a felony, punishable by up to 7 years in prison. and

Notice Hollywood movies that show men slapping women – movies with Ronald Reagan, Robert Mitchum, Steve McQueen, Sean Connery, John Wayne, Jack Nicholson, Prince and more, all slapping women (some movies portray the women enjoying the slap);   movies showing women slapping men and slapping women, mothers slapping adult sons; movies showing black women as angry, violent, and quick to hit, slap and punch.  Watch the video here.

The second aspect is the programming which encourages verbal criticism and abuse – TV shows portraying men as idiots, buffoons and losers; TV shows where the women constantly criticize the men as idiots. This teaches and reinforces a lack of respect by women for men.

Communication without violence
“Nonviolent Communication begins by assuming that we are all compassionate by nature and that violent strategies – whether verbal or physical – are learned behaviors taught and supported by the prevailing culture.”
– The Center for Nonviolent Communication.

Marshall Rosenberg of Northwest Compassionate Communication teaches compassionate communication:

“Giraffe” is a language of requests; “Jackal” is a language of demands…Whereas Jackals say, “I feel angry because you…,” Giraffes will say, “I feel angry because I want…” As Giraffes, we know that the cause of our feelings is not another person, but rather our own thoughts, wants, and wishes. We become angry because of the thoughts we are having, not because of anything another person has done to us.

Emotional intelligence
The term was coined in 1990. Emotional intelligence simply refers to the ability to understand your own feelings, express empathy for the feelings of others and to be able to regulate your emotions in a way that enhances your life and relationships.

Developing and mastering emotional intelligence requires being able to assess, manage and control your own emotions as well assess, manage and control the emotions of others.

It is true that you cannot control anyone else and you are not responsible for other people’s reactions. However, you can learn strategies that prevent other people from being controlled or overpowered by their emotions in certain situations. For example, being able to asses that anger is building up in the other person, gives you the opportunity to determine options such as extricating yourself from the situation, respectfully communicating that you will give your response at a later time or, learning how to shift the  emotion of the other person by your verbal and non-verbal responses.

Emotional Intelligence teaches you when to stand up and speak up for yourself, and when to walk away.

You can take the Emotional Intelligence test here.

Meanwhile, one of the key components of Emotional Intelligence is simply being able to identify exactly what you are feeling in each moment. When you can identify the emotion, you are becoming mindful or detaching yourself from the emotion. Then because you can choose how to respond, you have power over the emotion rather than the emotion having power over you.

Another key component of Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand what you truly want in each situation. Then, you have the option to express that or to change your approach. Watch the video here.

Finally, while the words and admonition come easily “Hitting a woman is not something a real man does”, willpower or fear of being shamed is not the answer. To raise and develop a “real man” and a “real woman” starts with raising children and educating them to respect themselves, respect others, communicate one’s needs and desires free of violence, and to be able to understand, manage and control one’s own emotions and responses.

You can learn more about Emotional Intelligence here.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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