Emotional Intelligence in Uncertain Times

What is next in these times of uncertainty and how will emotional intelligence help?

In this time of uncertainty and fear, this is just a quick post here to highlight the importance of using your emotional intelligence knowledge and skills for the benefit of yourself and everyone around you.

These are indeed unsettling and frightening times for many people. Everyone will experience different emotions and thoughts because everyone is different. As a result, everyone will show a variety of behaviours and they will all see a variety of behaviours from others.

As I am sure you know, the four pillars of Emotional Intelligence or EI are: Self-awareness, Self-regulation, Understanding of others and Managing relationships.

In these times of great uncertainty, it is incredibly important to keep your balance and support an effective perspective.

Self-awareness when confused

Because of the uncertainty and pervasively high levels of fear in the world right now, be aware that your mind and emotions may well be working at an accelerated rate. You are experiencing heightened stress whether you admit it to yourself or not. You may well react atypically to items of news (or lack of news). This is normal.

You will likely generate a number of unhelpful or even detrimental views, ideas and opinions based on what you hear and what you are told by others. You might even behave entirely out of character because these are unprecedented times.

This is all normal and fully expected under the circumstances – you are a normal human being, and this is what we human beings do. You might even find some new thoughts and new directions.

This is self-awareness. When you monitor your emotional, physical and cognitive states in a comprehensive and honest way you have a fighting chance of applying some control and self-regulation.


Self-regulation means you taking control over your thought, emotions, behaviours and even physicality. You cannot practically farm this out to others – if you want to have self-regulatory control then you’ve got to do it.

Before you start, take care to cut yourself some slack. Be kind to yourself because then at least one person in the world will be being kind to you. Uncertainty tends to increase the perceived jeopardy. Uncertainty can often make the stakes and consequences seem higher.

Now take some time out in a quiet safe space and examine all these stressful thoughts and emotions from a neutral perspective. Are they genuinely your natural thoughts, reactions and emotions or are they created by the situation?

Now, how might you consciously think, feel and act differently to improve your current situation? Do you need to talk with someone? Do you need to stop talking with people? Where is your news coming from? Where do you get your support? Who is depending on you for support? What activities would put you in a better place? Do you need to meditate or relax more? Do you need to reduce any self-medication activity? There is no point in me offering any specific suggestions as everyone’s situation is unique. Get emotionally intelligent and

Personally, I am throwing myself into online course design and my self-confidence for all passion project so I can help more people once all this is over. Bizarrely I am also learning front-end web development & Esperanto just for the hell of it. I am channelling all my excess negative energy into creative and positive pursuits.

This is positive self-regulation.

Understanding that other people are uncertain as well

The people around you may well be acting, feeling, and communicating atypically. Again, why wouldn’t they be? They are human just like you and I. They are stressed and scared from all the uncertainty as well. Cut them some slack.

Support them if possible but do not interfere too much unless necessary or unless they specifically ask. Everyone will be on a different journey and everyone will be on their own timetable for that journey. Again, just like you and I.

This is understanding others.

By the way, we can only really be an expert on ourselves – we can only intuit and empathise with others. We can only take a perspective on their position. Respectfully talking with, asking questions of and listening deeply to the answers they give is the closest we can get to greater understanding of others.

Helping others in times of uncertainty

The final EI element is the managing relationships pillar.

There are many opportunities for chaos, anger and relationship breakdowns right now. There are also many opportunities for love and light. How you engage with those around you will be key to which outcome prevails.

Once again. cut yourself some slack here. You do not have to be the rock at the centre of the storm. Other people may be better able to step up so help them do that. You do not have to know all the answers. Who does?

You also do not have to make victims of everyone else just as you do not have to be a victim yourself. No-one is really a victim here – everyone is just scared and confused over the uncertainty.

If someone asks for help then do your best for them – that is all you can do.

Who knows, being helpful to others might involve allowing them to help you.


The key to getting through this is effective communication because communication is our link to other people and the world. Speak with people, not at them. Find out what they want and need and see if it meshes with what you want and need. Even though theses are times of great uncertainty, we will find a lot of unexpected good will. It will likely appear quite often if we look out for it and it will often be where we least expected to find it.

Be kind to yourself and others and stay emotionally intelligent to get where you need to be.

You might also enjoy Emotional Intelligence Is Vital

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