How Rare Is Emotional Intelligence
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People with high emotional intelligence are not as focused on how they feel about things, or whether something made them happy or sad, but instead what they can do to make others feel good.
They may have lots of emotions, but they hold onto their sense of self-control more tightly than people who tend towards emotionality.
Emotionally intelligent individuals recognize that what makes someone else feel bad will also make them feel bad, so they try to avoid causing these negative feelings in others.
This is why emotionally intelligent people are sometimes described as “self-controlled” or “stable.” They know that by trying to keep calm, you usually end up staying calm.
Rarely do people with strong empathy skills ever stop feeling compassion for other people, but they're able to delay acting on those feelings until they've resolved the situation at hand.
In fact, some experts believe that having strong empathy abilities could even help you deal with your own personal stressors because it helps you understand what's going on for other people.
Factors that affect emotional intelligence
There are several factors that play a major role in someone’s overall emotional intelligence.
First, your socioeconomic status affects how much you feel emotionally intelligent. People with higher incomes tend to have better relationships with others their age, which is a key factor in developing social skills like empathy.
Second, genetics play a big part in whether or not you develop self-awareness and understanding of emotions. Some people are just more aware of other people and emotions than others are.
Third, early experiences shape your perception of the world. If children grow up around many people who don’t live by moral codes, they’ll be less likely to understand what morality is. Or if they experience lots of violence, it can make them view violence as an acceptable solution to conflicts.
Fourth, lifestyle choices such as smoking, alcohol use, drug abuse, and obesity can hurt your emotional well-being. By drinking too much, for example, you won’t know when you’re no longer feeling good due to the alcohol.
Fifth, culture has a strong influence on how we perceive emotion. In some cultures, for instance, women are expected to put on a happy face even in difficult situations. This could contribute to low levels of emotional literacy.
Sixth, there's a myth that having sex makes you happier.
Definition of culture
Over the past few decades, psychologists have increasingly focused on what they refer to as “cultural differences” or “culture impacts on behavior.” This is an important area of research because we all know that there are always going to be variations in how people respond to things depending on where they come from.
Certain cultures value having many friends more than others do. In fact, some societies consider it bad if you don’t like at least six people. And while most Westerners might not agree with this concept, most Europeans, North Americans, and Australians actually have very small social circles.
In these countries, being socially awkward is seen as something unfortunate, maybe even embarrassing. But in other parts of the world, being less friendly to everyone can be seen as someone who doesn’t care about his/her community.
However, according to psychologist Carol Dweck, this isn’t necessarily true. It may be that some individuals are just never able to make enough direct eye contact to connect with people. They may also struggle reading non-verbal cues, which can sometimes be hard when conversations are longer than a minute.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing though. Some experts believe that those who aren’t good at engaging with others are usually really dedicated to their work or career.
They're self-focused and prefer thinking over talking.
Definition of personality
There are several different definitions for what makes up someone’s “personality,” but most focus on two main characteristics: their strengths and weaknesses. These traits are referred to as your “strengths” or “weaknesses.”
Some refer to this as your “talents” or “capabilities.” It is important to note that these terms imply that you are either putting in effort to use the talent or capability to succeed, not that you will inevitably fail because you do not have the talent or ability.
It can also be described as how well you manage yourself and other people, or as some call it, emotional intelligence (or EQ).
With regards to emotional intelligence, psychologist Daniel Goleman defined it as "the set of skills that allow you to recognize, understand, and control your emotions." He goes onto say that having high levels of emotional intelligence helps you achieve success in life, which includes relationships.
Golemant says that being emotionally intelligent means knowing how to identify and manage your own feelings and those of others. This, he claims, creates trust, safety, and effectiveness in your interactions with others.
Ways to improve emotional intelligence
Recent research suggests that being able to read other people’s emotions is an important part of having strong social relationships, effective work collaborations, and overall happiness in your life.
That’s why it's such a powerful tool — you can use it to understand what makes someone else happy or sad, whether they know you well or not, and regardless of if they like or trust you.
You also get to learn when someone else is unhappy or angry with you so you can try to make them feel better.
It sounds simple enough, but most of us are not very good at this. In fact, studies show that only about one in five people have perfect emotional literacy.
Become a good listener
Most people are bad listeners. You spend most of your time listening to others talk, but you're never asked how what they said made you feel or if there is something more you want to say.
This can be frustrating for them as well as for yourself. They may get annoyed with you because you didn't seem interested in their story or conversation. Or, they may feel that you don't think highly of them which makes them doubt themselves.
By contrast, few people are good conversationalists. But when someone else's comments make them laugh or cry, they will often take a moment to think about why that happened before talking about themselves.
It’s like they have a little bit more self-awareness than everyone else. It’s not that they aren’t aware of things, but rather that they’re able to relate to other people’s feelings and understand why they’ve got these sorts of reactions.
This isn’t always the case, however. We’re usually very familiar with our own emotions, even if we don’t show it much. And sometimes we’ll forget that others aren’t. This could be due to limited interactions with others, culture differences, etc.
But being a good listener means letting go of this instinctive ability to assume emotional neutrality and instead asking questions and exploring ideas.
Teach how to take things positively
A lot of people believe that being emotional is a quality you are born with, like having money or socializing well. This isn’t true at all!
Emotionally intelligent (EI) individuals recognize what emotions they have and how to regulate them. They understand why certain behaviors are helpful in certain situations and know when to use them.
This doesn’t mean that everyone feels good about themselves, but their feelings are positive towards themselves and other people.
They may feel bad for a few days because someone else didn’t do something for them, but then they bounce back and don’t worry too much about it.
Rarely will you find an EI person who hates themselves, which makes them feel less worthy than others.
Consistency is one of the most important traits to have in this area, because it contradicts what we said before.
Emotions are not something that happen occasionally, they’re constant. When you feel angry or hurt for a while, your body starts to prepare for more anger or pain by storing chemicals in your blood.
That's why when you're trying to manage your emotions, just like with any other part of your health, is needed on a long-term basis, not only at times when an emotional event occurs.
Sometimes, however, people get so focused on trying to be strong that they forget how to ask for help.
This can make their lives more difficult because of what they spend time on. For example, if you're worried about something, then you should probably talk about it with someone else.
But instead you bury your head in the sand and worry even harder. It's also hard to find things you're passionate about when you don't invest in yourself and your personal growth.
Rarely do we see examples where emotional strength is valued and rewarded. In fact, there are some professions that require you to use your emotions to perform your job effectively. (Think police officer or therapist)
However, most jobs don't demand such intensity from employees and employers usually pick colleagues who are at least average in emotional intelligence. You wouldn’t want to work for anyone totally lacking in empathy!
Empathy isn’t just feeling other people’s feelings, but rather understanding them and how they influence behavior.