Responses from Lesson 3
Social Intelligence and Managing Emotions
In their own words, the Fellows reflect on the impact the
T.R.U.S.T. Program has had on them.
“The other day a person confronted me about something that I did. He took it out of context and implied something that wasn’t true. I was aware that I felt defensive and wanted to correct him immediately. I restrained myself and heard him out. At the end, after all that was said and done, I found that it wasn’t about me at all….by listening I was able to respond differently and we both walked away feeling heard and understood.”
"I'm extremely protective and possessive where my emotions are involved. I believe this is because I have guarded myself in the area of embracing my pain. I guess I don't recognize how my behavior affects others because the prison lifestyle with me ignoring and always protecting myself emotionally has caused a backlash."
"Everything is about relationships, friends, strangers, family, even my own criminal choices. If I see people as victims to exploit, I may give in to that old base nature. But when I see the human through humility, empathy, I recognize their status as equals worthy as myself."
“The Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire had me look in the mirror and question myself about what part did I play in all the things that went wrong in my life. Why did I constantly blame others for my misfortune?”
“Just recently an inmate was sharing with me the details of his crime. His sharing was deep and full of emotion. The empathy that his testimony disclosed was deeply felt by me also. I found myself in tears with him…..I don’t know if I could have done anything different. It was real.”
“The most important thing for me is showing empathy. I can feel in my body what others are feeling...physical sensations.”
“Next time I will use the pause button to keep me from blowing up."
“It is uncomfortable paying attention to a person's feelings, needs and words because it arouses certain feelings in me that I learned to suppress in the past and I am unsure when it comes to my response.”
“Sometimes, depending on the conversation and environment, I could become overwhelmed by that person’s emotions that sometimes forces me to get control of myself. It’s hard to control your emotions specifically when somebody is hurting or overexcited.”
“This is one of the things the board talked about in their decision, self awareness, so these lessons are exactly what I need. The Pause, Emotional Intelligence, and being able to express myself is something that I'm learning how not to hold back anymore. That comes from childhood, being told men don't cry or express or show emotions, so I held everything in and tried to figure it out myself without asking for help.”