How To Develop Emotional Intelligence Skills

Recent research suggests that we are all born with some degree of emotional intelligence (EI). However, as we grow up, we develop certain skills depending on our experiences and environment.

Some people remain relatively stable in their EI levels, whereas others have dramatic increases or decreases in skill level. It is possible to increase your overall EI, but it may be more efficient to focus on one area of EQ first before moving onto another.

This article will talk about several ways to improve your emotional quotient (or “emotional self-awareness” according to some experts) by breaking down each into its different components. Once you have mastered these, you can move onto other areas of EQ.

Have patience

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

When you are trying to develop your emotional intelligence, there will be times when you feel like giving up. You may even think that this person or thing made you unhappy so it is better to avoid them and people in general.

That’s why it is important to have a lot of self-talk. Talk about how past experiences influenced you and what you learned from those lessons. Plus, look at yourself as someone who has been through similar situations before and you will know what steps to take.

Never give up! Even if you make a small progress, keep going until you achieve your goal.

It may seem impossible now, but one day you will realize that you have developed your emotional intelligence. You will understand emotions and relationships more clearly and you will be able to control yours.

Make eye contact

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

Making direct, meaningful connections with other people is one of the most important skills you can learn. When we are not making enough eye contacts, we feel shy or even fearful about talking to others.

This lack of confidence in yourself and your ability to connect with others comes at a cost – you may never realize your potential as a person and leader.

Making eye contact shows that you are aware of who the other person is and what they mean to you. It also helps to show that you are interested in their thoughts and feelings.

When you fail to make adequate eye contact, it sometimes makes you seem cold or self-conscious. This can be very unappealing to people around you.

If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, start by making more conscious efforts to make eye contact.

Be realistic

A lot of theories about emotional intelligence focus too much on having strong emotions and being able to regulate your emotions. Both of these things are important, but they’re not enough by themselves.

Having strong feelings and being in control of them is great when everything goes your way, but it can be useless if you don’t have anyone to share those feelings with.

Regulating our emotions includes things like trying to hold onto positive thoughts even while negative ones run away with us, and also using the good memories that help make up who you are to counterbalance the bad ones.

Developing relationships is one of the most powerful ways to develop emotional intelligence because we need people to feel for us, and feeling supported makes us feel better.

Another part of emotional intelligence is understanding what makes other people happy or sad, and this comes from practicing empathy.

Share your experiences

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

A good way to develop emotional intelligence is to share your experience with other people’s emotions. When someone says or does something that makes you feel strong emotion, it is important to recognize what emotion they are trying to get you to feel in order to learn more about their personality.

It is also helpful to identify which emotions you do not like so that you can work on replacing them with happier ones. For example, if you never seem to be happy, then start by being happy for one minute before working on longer periods of time.

You may also want to look into how others handle their own feelings and determine whether these strategies work for you. It is okay to be honest with yourself when needed, but remember that there is no wrong way to deal with your emotions.

At the end of this article, I linked you to some courses and books that can help you on your journey to develop your emotional intelligence.

Be honest with your peers

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

As mentioned earlier, one of the most important things that can help you develop your emotional intelligence is being able to relate to others. But there’s a big caveat here — be honest!

If you’re not sure how to respond to something, guess about what response people would expect from you and use that as your answer. Or just say it like you mean it instead of having to think about whether you should actually mean it or not.

It will make you feel better if you're lying in the long run because you've realized that you don't really mean what you said, so you didn't hurt anyone else's feelings by changing what you said. On the other hand, if you are telling the truth but someone else doesn’t agree then they could get upset with you which would negatively affect your relationships.

Developing your emotional intelligence takes work, and this tip reminds you to never hesitate to show who you really are to everyone around you.

Listen to others closely

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

One of the most important things that can help you develop your emotional intelligence is listening to other people. You could be talking to someone or about something that’s very close to their heart, and if you don’t listen carefully, they may feel discouraged or even hurt by what they have to say.

If this happens, it can negatively affect your relationship with them. It also may not show how well you manage your own emotions.

So, whether it’s at work or home, being able to pay attention to what other people are saying takes practice. But once you get the hang of it, it can really help you in life.

At work, this means staying focused on your job duties and putting more effort into performing them well. If there’s something related to another person’s job you need to know, try asking about it so you can prepare yourself for when you must do it.

At home, this means paying closer attention to your loved ones. Rather than ignoring or refusing to acknowledge who they are, understand them as an integral part of your life.

By doing these two things, you’ll make sure you never forget how much they mean to you.

Don’t be egotistical

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

One of the, perhaps even the most important things that can prevent emotional intelligence from developing is when you feel like you have to win every argument or discussion.

I heard someone say something really dumb once who thought they were being clever by arguing against an idea. The person saying it shot down the other person’s ideas and then said, “You are wrong!”

The thing about being right is that it isn’t always helpful. It may actually hurt people instead if they disagree with you. This could easily backfire and cause them stress or anger.

If you want to develop your empathy skills, learn how to accept differences in opinions and believe that there is not only one correct way to do everything.

Also, try to avoid arguments where possible because they tend to distract others and burn out those around you. If you must have an argument, keep it productive and focus on solving each other’s problems rather than trying to prove what a fool the other is.

Avoid gossip as well, even if it is about someone else. Gossip does nothing but spread negative energy which only helps no one.

Be humble

how to develop emotional intelligence skills

A very important part of developing your emotional intelligence is understanding what makes you feel good about yourself and why you like certain things.

This is called self-awareness or self-knowledge. You have to be aware of yourself at a fundamental level before you can work on more complex levels of EI.

You need to know who you are as a person and what qualities you possess before you can improve yours.

Self-honesty is essential in achieving this. No matter how much you think you’re not, there’s always something that you perceive about yourself that you don’t like.

By being honest with yourself, you will begin to see all these things for what they are: strengths that make you unique as someone special.

Developing your emotional literacy requires breaking down those barriers so that you can appreciate and accept yourself just the way you are.

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