How To Improve Emotional Intelligence

A lot of people have a perception that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is often called) is only important in relation to relationships, but this isn’t true at all!

Studies show that having high levels of empathy can actually help you achieve success in your career. In fact, research has shown that being able to understand and relate to other people is one of the most significant predictors of successful job performance.

And while some may consider empathy a “soft” quality, there are ways to develop it and test if you have enough of it already. This article will go into more detail about how to improve your empathizing skills and measure yours.

We'll also look at what types of things contribute to empathic strength and how you can strengthen them. On top of that, we’ll discuss some easy ways to boost your EQ every day.

Make eye contact

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

When talking to someone, making direct eye contact is one of the most powerful ways to show them that you are paying attention to what they say. It also shows that you understand how important their words are to them.

When we look away from another person when they speak, it can make them feel like they have lost our focus or interest in what they said.

It can even make them think that there is something about them that we do not like or respect which could be damaging to your relationship with them.

Making frequent eye contacts demonstrates that you are listening to what they have to say and gives them an opportunity to notice that as well.

If you are having trouble finding time to practice looking people in the eyes then try doing so before a meeting or conversation. Or ask a friend to play around for a few minutes and see if you can detect any difference in how well they talk after giving some quick glances.

Listen carefully

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

A large part of empathy is listening to and understanding what other people are saying and feeling. It’s not just about how well you can imitate their expressions, but also knowing what they're talking about and being able to relate to them.

When was the last time you listened to someone talk for more than five minutes without speaking a word? Probably never, which is why so few people have ever been awarded a doctorate degree!

If you want to improve your empathy skills, start by simply paying closer attention to what others say and do. This will go a long way in enhancing your emotional intelligence.

You could even make it a fun challenge to see how many things you can listen to and understand before passing judgment or giving an opinion.

Interpersonal communication is one of the most important non-verbal modes we use when thinking and reasoning about the world around us. By improving our interpersonal communication skills, we increase our overall sense of wellness and quality of life.

Ask questions

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

A key part of empathy is asking open-ended, honest questions. When you ask someone if they feel something or know what something means to them, you are making them think about their feelings and how that relates to you.

Asking direct questions can be tricky sometimes because not everyone likes being questioned directly. That’s why there are several ways to use question types to better understand the people around you.

Interrogative questions like “why?” and “how?” invite answers from deeper sources than only yeses and nos. For example, when asked whether she liked her job, someone might reply with “it pays well enough!” or “I don't have to deal with too many people.”

By changing the context, you can get more information.

Don’t be egotistical

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

One of the biggest things that hurt your emotional intelligence is being too focused on yourself. You need to understand how you feel, but you cannot use this skill if all you care about are thoughts and feelings related to you.

When we lose touch with what really matters in our lives, we start to suffer. We become less compassionate and understanding of other people and life becomes more difficult for them as well as for us.

If you constantly think only about yourself, then it can sometimes seem like everyone else in the world doesn’t matter to you. This is very unempathic.

It also makes it harder to develop relationships because you don’t invest time in others or try to see their side. Overly self-focused individuals often remain lonely most of their lives.

Your success in improving your empathy will depend on whether you can relate to and value the experiences and perspectives of others.

Be realistic

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

A lot of theories about emotional intelligence focus too much on identifying emotions in other people. This is good, but it can go wrong if your definitions for important terms are not clear.

The term “emotion” has many different definitions depending on what field you are studying or what culture you are coming from. Using a definition that does not match up with the others may lead to false conclusions.

A common way to define emotion is as a feeling. Some feel this makes it sound simple, but having a simple understanding of emotion can be tricky.

Many experts believe there is no such thing as an essential human emotion. Some say we should even consider some feelings (like fear) harmful because they distract us from more productive thoughts.

Share your experiences

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

Developing empathy is about understanding what emotions feel like for other people. They are not things that just happen automatically, it takes work to understand them.

But there is a way to use our skills as humans to increase others’ trust in us and help them feel more connected with you. The thing about this concept is we are all born with a limited amount of empathy, so it doesn’t come easily to everyone.

However, you can learn how to be kind and sympathetic to those around you by sharing your own experiences. When you talk about yourself, your thoughts go both ways – they make you feel good and bad.

When you share stories of your past or present life struggles, this helps others connect with you. It gives them insight into who you are as a person and why you have trouble feeling emotional attachment to certain things at times.

This article will tell you some easy ways to improve your empathizing skills through strategies such as practicing gratitude, remembering past events, talking about important topics, and listening actively.

Be honest with your peers

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

As mentioned before, one of the biggest factors in developing empathy is being honest with others- not because it’s an easy way to win their trust, but because it helps you understand how other people feel.

By being honest about who you are and what you like, you open up opportunities to relate to them. This is especially important when talking about things that affect someone else, such as politics or religion.

If you're able to recognize these similarities, then you can bring down some barriers and learn something new.

Be honest with your peers about your weaknesses

how to improve empathy emotional intelligence

As mentioned before, one of the biggest factors in developing empathy is being aware of others’ strengths and weaknesses.

The more you know someone, the easier it will be to relate to them and understand their actions and behaviors. By acknowledging these shortcomings, you give yourself permission to feel less confident or strong in certain areas.

This can help you find ways to improve those weak points by exposing yourself to different experiences and people. You may even meet someone else who has similar challenges and you could both learn from each other!

Another way to use empathy as a tool is putting yourself in another person’s shoes. If you were that person, what would make you unhappy or dissatisfied with your life? What things do you feel you have no control over?

By thinking about such questions, you are applying your empathic skills to determine why this situation occurs and whether there are any solutions.

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