How Many Crayons Are In Your Box?

Last night, I was at a networking event.  A lively discussion began when someone proclaimed that, as children, we all start out with the same primary colors of crayons in our boxes (red, blue, green, etc…).  But as we get older, women add more crayons with colors like magenta, gray, peach, maroon, etc…  but men do not.  As women’s boxes get more diverse with color, men stick with the basics.

I don’t intend to open a can of worms about the sexes and our respective paths of development!  But I do want to explore the idea of crayons representing your emotions.  How many “crayons” do you feel comfortable using?  Do you always use the same “crayons”?  Is there a certain “crayon” that is difficult for you to use or to see other people using?

The field of Emotional Intelligence embraces these questions and makes the following recommendations:

  • Knowing the crayons in your own box is key to be able to understand your own emotions.
  • Knowing the crayons in your own box will help you understand the crayons in someone else’s box.
  • The more crayons in your box, the better.  A full color approach to emotions will serve you better than black and white.
  • It is encouraged to color outside of the lines!  Becoming Emotionally Intelligent takes practice, courage, and patience.  It is a work in progress.

So how many crayons are in your box?  (And do you have a sharpener in the back?!)


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