How Emotional Intelligence Is Defined
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People with high emotional intelligence are able to recognize, understand, and control their emotions. They are also aware of the effects that their own actions have on others. These people are better connected with other people –– physically, emotionally, and psychologically.
They are more likely to enjoy and succeed in life because they use their skills to handle stress and develop supportive relationships. In fact, research shows that people who show emotional maturity tend to live longer than people who don’t.
Emotional intelligence is not just a trait you are born with, it can be learned through education and training. While some people are naturally more empathetic than others, anyone can increase his or her level of EI. It is something you learn about yourself and your world.
This article will discuss how to improve your emotional literacy. You will find out how to identify your feelings, what causes them, and how to manage those feelings. You do not need to be very smart to do this, but you should be willing to invest time in learning how to relate to others.
Happy ending? Here's our top tip for improving your emotional intelligence. Read up on psychology so you know why certain behaviors are considered bad and good ones. Also, start practicing self-awareness by taking notes about yourself and your behavior.
The key elements of emotional intelligence
First, there is no consensus on what defines emotional intelligence (EI). Some define it as self-awareness or understanding your emotions. Others refer to emotion regulation or how well you are able to control your emotions.
Still others believe it is just having more pleasant experiences than negative ones or vice versa. These definitions all share one thing in common — they focus on changing how you feel about yourself or learning how to change how other people make you feel.
This may be good for helping you survive a daily struggle, but not for achieving true success. The top 1% of successful individuals are not only made of strong bones and solid muscle tissue, but also have strong hearts and mental health.
They know how to use their emotional skills to help them achieve their goals and overcome adversity. This is why most experts agree that being emotionally intelligent is not enough.
How to be emotionally intelligent
First, let us look at what emotional intelligence is not. This will help you understand why it is so hard to find it in people.
Emotional intelligence isn’t about knowing how to use emotions for your own personal gain. Using your feelings for yourself is definitely good, but there are times when those around you need some level of control or understanding of their emotions.
It also is not having strong emotions that show how much someone cares for you. We all know people who can easily get upset, but never seem to actually care about anything. These individuals may make lots of appearances, but they are rarely truly present with anyone else.
Finally, emotional intelligence is not being able to stop yourself from putting other people's needs before your own. It is letting others down without feeling too bad about it, and realizing that you cannot always satisfy everyone's desires.
These are all examples of things that are clearly not helpful in relationships. If you want to keep your loved ones close, you must develop your emotional intelligence.
You should strive to identify what makes each person feel happy, sad, excited, and frustrated. Then, apply these lessons to your behavior towards them.
Practice self-awareness. What traits make you happier? More motivated? Are you able to recognize and acknowledge mistakes? If yes, great! But if no, try investing into one of these qualities.
Develop your emotional intelligence
Recent developments in research show that EQ is not only important to succeeding at work, relationships, and self-improvement, but that it can have significant health benefits as well.
Studies indicate that people who are more emotionally intelligent tend to be healthier than those who are less empathic. They may also experience lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.
Research suggests that developing your emotional intelligence will make you happier. And we’ve got some tips here for you to do just that!
Here are our top 10 ways to boost your emotional quotient (EQ). Try out one new skill every week and see how you feel after several weeks.
1) Become aware of your emotions
This is probably the most fundamental part of improving your EQ.
It sounds simple enough, doesn’t it? But actually paying attention to what you're feeling and understanding why you’re feeling that way can go a very long way towards helping you become happier.
We’ll talk about more strategies to do this later in this article, but for now just know that becoming more aware of your feelings is an essential first step to enhancing your overall sense of wellbeing.
2) Stop denying your own feelings
A lot of us spend a good deal of time denying or ignoring our own feelings. This kind of behaviour usually has negative consequences, however.
Take care of your emotional health
Developing your emotional intelligence is not a one-and-done thing. It does not occur in a vacuum, and it cannot be learned exclusively through formal education or professional training. Rather, it is an ongoing process that requires you to consistently work on your emotions and relationships.
Just because someone with high emotional intelligence did something upsetting to you doesn’t mean you have to respond in kind.
You are allowed to feel hurt, angry, and even betrayed, but if you want to achieve true reconciliation, you must take some time to reflect on what happened and why.
This way you can figure out how much damage was done and whether or not it is necessary to move forward. You will also learn if you need to make changes so that such things don’t happen again.
There is no single factor that makes someone have high emotional intelligence, just like there isn’t for anyone else who has their own set amount of physical or mental health.
What matters most is how you feel about yourself and others, and whether these feelings are positive, negative, or somewhere in between.
Learn to be emotional
So what is emotional intelligence? Simply put, it’s being able to identify and manage your emotions.
Most people have a sense of how they want things to go, but when things get tough, that feeling disappears and someone else takes over. It’s difficult to maintain strong relationships if you don’t know how to effectively control your own feelings.
Emotional intelligence can be described as the ability to recognize your emotions and then use this information to make smart decisions.
It’s like having a toolbox full of tools. You know what gear in the box does what, and you are aware of where these tools should be used. In fact, some say it’s more important than IQ because understanding emotion helps us function socially and work well with others.
I agree! Because we live in such an emotionally charged environment due to media influence and social conditioning, most adults don’t learn how to regulate their emotions until middle school or later. By then it’s too late.
Fortunately, there are ways to improve your EQ (that's short for emotional intelligence). Here are five easy steps to develop your emotional skills.
Step No. 1 – Become Aware Of Your Own Feelings
This is probably one of the hardest steps to do because we're often not very good at recognizing our own feelings.
Become a good listener
In addition to being able to recognize, understand and respond to other people’s emotions, you need to be a good listener. This is an underrated skill because it seems like such a simple thing to do but it can make a huge difference in how well others feel about you.
By using proper listening techniques, you can learn a lot about someone. You will also find that they talk more easily when you are paying attention to them.
It’s easy to think that what someone says is not important or doesn’t matter to you. But ignoring what other people have to say can hurt your relationships — even seriously damage ones.
People who lack emotional intelligence often take things said to them as attacks instead of statements or questions. If this happens, their self-confidence may suffer and they could lose respect for themselves.
Become a better listener by putting aside time each day to listen to a podcast, watch a movie with sound effects, or simply pay close attention to what others are saying.
Teach important skills
In addition to helping you manage your own emotions, EQ is also about teaching other people how to regulate their emotions. This can be easier said than done, but if you’re in a situation where someone is over-emphasizing or exaggerating something, it makes sense to try and bring them down a notch.
It may feel uncomfortable at first, but practicing this will help you get through those tough times as an emotional leader.
If there are situations that seem overly negative or dramatic, then trying to shift the focus away from that content might be able to preserve some level of calm.
By using these strategies, you’ll not only improve your own EQ, but you’ll teach others how to achieve similar results.
Be honest with your peers
Many people tend to think that emotional intelligence is about controlling your emotions, which is not quite right. That would be like saying being able to read well means learning how to control your reading habits!
That concept of EQ comes more into play when you are interacting or talking to other people. It’s actually having understanding of what makes someone else feel good or bad so that you can help them achieve their goal.
For example, if someone tells you something that made them feel very insecure, you could acknowledge this as an expression of emotion and try to understand it in context.
You might say “I don't agree with that” or “What they said feels wrong to me” or “It makes me feel uncomfortable” – anything that acknowledges that part of themselves was expressed.
Next, ask yourself why they felt that way. Was it because they worry about certain things? Or maybe they were trying to tell you something that they have been wanting to say for a while now?
By using your empathy skills, you will know how to respond to these types of conversations and situations.