Have you ever been told that you handle situations with remarkable calmness? For me, this feedback came during my first job evaluation, where my manager praised my “consistent equanimity” in dealing with people. At the time, I didn’t think much of it. But as I’ve reflected on this, I’ve come to realize how deeply it intertwines with my approach to social interactions.

 

Understanding equanimity

Equanimity is maintaining your authentic self, mental calmness, composure, and evenness of temper, especially in difficult situations. Consistent equanimity means keeping this balanced state across different contexts and interactions. For many, it’s a sign of reliability and stability, qualities that are often highly valued in both personal and professional settings.

 

My personal experience

When I received my first job evaluation, I was noted for dealing with people with “consistent equanimity.” Looking back, I realize this trait has been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Whether interacting with colleagues, friends, or family, my approach is consistent, remaining steady and calm. This consistency has often been a strength, helping me navigate various social landscapes with a sense of stability.

 

The roots of consistent equanimity

Recently, I had a conversation with a group of peers who were discussing the generative AI concept of building digital twins. The discussion revolved around the idea that a person would need multiple AI-generated digital twins to account for the various ways they interact with different people. When I mentioned that I talk to everyone the same and don’t change my approach depending on who I’m talking to, I was met with criticism.

My peers argued that adapting one’s personality to fit different social contexts is normal and essential, but I don’t find this possible. I simply don’t have the mental capacity to change my personality depending on who I’m talking to. This consistent way of interacting with people is deeply ingrained in me. The idea of creating another side to my personality for every new social interaction, such as bumping into my dentist while out with friends, seems incredibly confusing and exhausting. I don’t have the mental capacity to manage multiple personalities.

For some people, social interactions can be complex and challenging. Factors like social cognition – the ability to understand and respond to the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors of others – play a significant role. Adapting behavior to different social contexts can be mentally exhausting. Being consistent is much more manageable. Valuing predictability and routine helps manage the unpredictability of social interactions.

 

The benefits of consistent equanimity

There are many benefits to maintaining consistent equanimity in social interactions:

  1. Reliability: Consistent behavior creates a sense of reliability. People know what to expect from you, which can build trust and strengthen relationships. In both personal and professional settings, being seen as dependable can enhance your credibility and reputation.
  2. Calmness in stressful situations: Maintaining a steady demeanor helps you stay calm and composed, even in challenging or stressful situations. This can be particularly beneficial in high-pressure environments where others might look to you for stability and reassurance.
  3. Reduced cognitive load: By interacting with people in a consistent manner, you reduce the mental effort required to adapt your behavior to different social contexts. This can help conserve mental energy and reduce the likelihood of social fatigue.
  4. Authenticity: Being consistent in your interactions allows you to be authentic and true to yourself. When you don’t feel the need to constantly adjust your personality, you can focus on genuine connections and meaningful interactions.
  5. Effective communication: Consistent equanimity can enhance your communication skills. By maintaining a calm and steady approach, you can listen more effectively, respond thoughtfully, and engage in more constructive conversations.
  6. Stress management: Consistent behavior helps manage stress by providing a sense of control and predictability in social interactions. This can lead to better overall mental health and well-being.

Reflecting on consistent equanimity, I’ve come to appreciate its role in my life. It helps me navigate social interactions with a sense of stability and calmness. If you relate, I encourage you to embrace your unique social style and find strategies that work for you – oh, and leave a comment!