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Emotional Resilience in Expat Life: Part III

Adventurers (aka regular followers) know that over at I Am Expat I’m in the midst of a five-part series on Emotional Resilience and Expat Life. This week was Part III: Emotional/Social Intelligence & Optimism.

Throughout Parts I through III, I’ve been laying the groundwork by explaining key concepts as they relate to expats: emotional resilience, identity (and identity development), transition, change and now emotional/social intelligence and optimism.

This is where your patience pays off. In the final two Parts I will address ways to boost your emotional resilience and then wrap it all up. ( I promise, the last part is NOT merely repeating bits word for word from earlier articles, but more of a ‘what do I take away from all of this and how the heck do I remember it?’)

Each of the concepts in the early parts are important to developing and enhancing emotional resilience, and today’s article is no different. Emotional intelligence looks at how well you are able to understand and monitor your own emotions while social intelligence deals with how well you can ‘read’ and interact with others.

Optimism, based on the field of positive psychology, helps us in dealing with whatever comes our way. We’re not talking phony optimism here of the ‘fake it until you make it’ variety (although there is something to be said for that old standard). Martin Seligman’s 30-year research study demonstrated a linkage between pessimism and depression.

By teaching optimism-building skills to children (and adults for that matter), we arm our youth with the ability to look beyond the more catastrophe-centric, ‘bad things will always happen to me because I’m deserving of them’ approach of pessimism and its detrimental partner, depression. They can learn to dispel such thoughts while building their self-esteem, encouraging open-minded possibilities and success, and improving health and performance.

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