How High Is My Emotional Intelligence
People often use the term ‘emotional intelligence’ as if it were an ability that you are either born with or not, like having low blood pressure. However, research suggests that emotional intelligence is actually something that can be learned and improved upon.
This understanding of emotional intelligence comes from the field of psychology called psychodynamics. Psychodynamic theory was first proposed in 1911 by Sigmund Freud, who studied individuals with personality disorders to see what aspects of their childhood contributed to these problems.
Since then, other psychologists have built off this idea and linked certain behaviors to different levels of emotional intelligence.
These theories include attachment theory, social cognition theory, and motivational theory. All three emphasize how important early relationships are for developing self-confidence and empathy.
Emotional intelligence has become one of the most popular concepts in psychology today. Since its introduction over 100 years ago, researchers continue to explore ways to improve people’s EI. A number of tools have been developed to do so, such as the EQ-i test which measures your emotional quotient.
So whether you're looking to increase yours or someone else's, there are now methods to achieve this! Read on to learn more about emotional intelligence and how to boost yours.
Factors that affect emotional intelligence
There are several factors that influence someone’s emotional quotient (EQ). These include genetics, early experiences, education, employment, lifestyle, religion, culture, and more.
Some of these things are out of your control, but others can be modified to improve your EQ.
You can never have high IQ without having emotions, so improving your emotional skills is as important as developing your math or reading skills.
Here are some strategies you can use to boost your emotional intelligence.
Ways to improve emotional intelligence
People often say that you are born with certain levels of empathy, or that some people have higher than average levels of it.
This is not true at all!
Your level of empathy is shaped by your experiences, and how well you cope with those experiences.
So, whether you have high or low levels of empathy depends on what happened in your life.
If there was a death in your family, then probably no one will ever talk about their feelings and this can lower your own empathy for other people.
On the other hand, being exposed to lots of different things can increase your ability to understand and relate to others.
There are many ways to learn more about human emotions, and strategies to use them effectively.
Here are eight simple tips to boost your emotional intelligence.
Start by changing your lifestyle to reduce stress. Then choose from one of these exercises to work on your specific strengths.
Running, dancing, weight lifting — any activity that requires teamwork and communication will help you develop your social skills.
Practice gratitude – writing down five things each day you are grateful for helps you focus only on the positive aspects of your life.
– writing down five things each day you are grateful for helps you focus only on the positive aspects of your life. Try talking less - limiting conversation to two minutes can strengthen your relationship and communication skills.
- limiting conversation to two minutes can strengthen your relationship and communication skills.
A few years ago, psychologist Daniel Goleman coined the term emotional intelligence (EI) to describe how important it is to regulate your emotions in order to succeed in life. He defined it as the ability to recognize our own feelings and those of others, and to be able to control them responsibly.
With increasing demands being placed upon us every day, from work to family, this ability can go into overdrive. We may feel overwhelmed and unable to cope.
Without adequate levels of EI, success can seem out of reach. Because we are constantly thinking about what we need to get done next, stress can pile up.
When we're under pressure, we sometimes make impulsive decisions that later have negative repercussions. This happens because we don't manage our reactions well. For example, you might yell at someone after an argument, even if you've been provoked.
You could also show lack of empathy by not considering the other person's side before criticizing them. While such behaviors aren't necessarily bad, they can hurt relationships and hinder job performance.
There are many ways to improve your emotional literacy. One way is to take a break.
A good amount of time should be spent between tasks to allow your mind to relax and recover. This applies whether you're working alone or with colleagues, and either in a separate space or at home.
Surround yourself with people that make you feel good
We’ve talked before about how important it is to have friends, but there are some types of friend relationships that can be more powerful than others.
Friends who make you feel good about yourself will influence you positively in lots of different ways. They'll help you achieve your goals, they'll inspire you, and they'll push you to do better.
They'll also bring out the best in you. When you find those people, you'll know them, and you'll want to be like them.
That's why it is so valuable to have friends that go up in emotional intelligence (EI) — the degree to which you're able to control or regulate your emotions.
There are several factors that contribute to someone's EI, including socialization as a child, education, life experiences, and genetics.
But one of the most significant things you can do to increase yours is to spend time around people who show empathy and compassion.
Practice having difficult conversations
Even if you don't consider yourself to have a high EQ, you probably won't mind giving someone else their bad day.
We're social creatures, so we like being around people, but some people make us feel uncomfortable or stressed out. That's why it's important to be able to talk about these things with ease and without getting too emotional.
Conversational skills are an excellent way to develop your EQ because they teach you how to be persuasive while also understanding other people.
If you want to increase your overall empathy, start by practicing easy conversations. You can do this by talking to strangers, sharing stories of hardships, asking questions, etc.
Once you've mastered that, move onto harder topics such as politics, religion, and money.
Be honest with yourself
There is no such thing as emotional intelligence that is not related to your own self-esteem. If you don’t feel good about yourself, it hard to motivate yourself to do anything beyond what you’re already doing.
So, how high is your self-esteem?
Is it at least a 7 out of 10? Probably not. If it was, then you would have considered yourself pretty happy recently.
I’m guessing that right now, your self-esteem is probably a 5 or a 6. You may even be in a state of depression, which also decreases self-confidence.
If this situation has lasted for more than just a few days, try talking to someone you trust about what you are going through. Seek help from family members or friends, get counseling, use an online counselor tool like BetterHelp – they are free!
Self-compassion is another term used to describe your personal sense of worth. This includes being kind to yourself when you make a mistake.
You are allowed to feel bad for making a poor decision, but only for a short time before you refocus on better strategies to achieve your goal.
Practicing gratitude can boost your mood and motivation, so take some time each day to think about all the things you are grateful for.
Start today by simply listing three things for one week. The easier you go about it, the better your chances of success will be.
Look at your emotions
A lot of people try to focus on their emotional intelligence by looking into how they feel about things. They try to identify what makes them happy or angry, and then work on changing that emotion.
However, this kind of understanding of emotional intelligence is missing an important part of it.
The second element of emotional intelligence comes from being aware of yourself. You know what makes you feel good and what makes you uncomfortable, but beyond that, you are conscious of why you’re feeling a certain way.
You understand the roots of your feelings and what triggers them. This helps you take control over your own life because you recognize when something isn't working and you're able to fix it.
There's another reason to be interested in knowing more about emotional intelligence. The higher your EQ, the better person you are likely to be.
That might sound crazy, but consider this for a minute. When someone does something annoying, hurtful, or wrong, there's a good chance that they'll get a reaction from you.
They'll probably see some expression on your face and perhaps even hear something slight in your voice. These reactions are usually due to your emotional intelligence.
If someone did the same thing to us, those would be our natural defenses. But if we don't use these tools, they can keep us from going after what we want.
Most people have overestimated their emotional intelligence (EI) for most things. People often believe that they are very intelligent because of how well they manage their emotions, or that they have high empathy which makes them think that they are good at understanding other peoples’ feelings.
In fact, these traits make up only part of what defines someone as having an “intelligent” personality. It is important to realize that not everyone with a strong sense of emotion is necessarily smart, and vice versa.
Some individuals who show little signs of empathic ability may be highly practical and organized, while others might find success by being manipulative and socially skilled. These types of behaviors are considered clever, but not particularly moral nor ethical.
Given all this, it is important to recognize that your overall level of EI will depend mostly on two main factors: your underlying cognitive abilities and your everyday life experiences.
It is also worth noting that social skills do not automatically signify higher levels of EI. Many people use pretenses and fake smiles to look more appealing, for example.
Oftentimes, people with lower EIs seem happier than those with higher ones. This could be due to the way they perceive happiness and enjoyments of life, or maybe because they are just less aware of their own limited self-worth.