Why I did it: I tried to be more in touch with my emotions. I thought it might help my boyfriend be more open if I was, too. I thought it might make people like me better if I was more like them.
My emotions are pretty simple at one level as in:
I am angry. Why am I angry? I dunno I just am.
I am happy. Why am I happy? I dunno I just am.
But they can also be so very complex that I can't give a name to them.
How did it go? I have spent nearly 40 years not knowing the hows and whys and wherefores of my emotions, let alone trying to share them with anyone else!
Whenever I have tried to this year, I have made the little voices in other peoples' heads go; "Run! Run away from the nutty lady! She is frightening me!"
I can see it in their scared, rabbity-headlight eyes.
I am the metaphorical 4X4 about to make another victory road kill with my attempt to make contact.
Lessons & tips: Some people are brilliant at being emotionally intelligent. I watch on with an "oooh" and an "aaaah" as if they were the most impressive firework display in the Western World as they wind their way effortlessly through the minefields of human emotion in a public display of competence.
When I try, my firework equivalent is a manky old catherine wheel from the Pound shop that goes "fffftzzzzz....fizzle....pft."
When I tried, I just frightened people and mothers locked their vulnerable infants in the panic-room as soon as I was in the vicinity.
The lesson I can provide is this:
There are some fundamental elements to each individual's psyche that they CANNOT change. One can IMPROVE them, polish them and make them a shining example of their own uniqueness, but you can't turn a boxer into a ballet dancer.
I think people preferred me as I was: fun to be with, kind and loyal, but above all, practical and pragmatic.
The lesson I have learnt is that some people are happy to share their emotions comfortably and others are not.
After a year of trying to be emotionally intelligent, I have decided that my brain just ain't wired that way.
I am going back to:
"Ooooh! Sea! Must swim in it!"
"Oooh look, friend! I like that friend, let's see if she wants to come out and play!"
"Oh, dead cat. That is sad."
That is pretty much the extent of my emotional intelligence and having tried to "out" the more deeper emotions, I can tell you that for me, it has lead to nothing but social disaster after social disaster.
I am happy being me, just as I am.
You'll find me with the special needs kids happily thinking up 100 things you can do with a paperclip.
Resources: A year of trying to tell people how I am feeling, them going "Holy crap, you are mental!" and then the sudden realisation that I was just fine as I was to begin with!