How You Can Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (“EI”) has become one of the most popular topics in psychology. Many experts claim that it can have profound positive effects on your life, helping you to achieve success and happiness in both work and personal relationships.
Some even say that having high EI is a fundamental human need. After all, we are living longer than ever before due to advances in medicine and health care, so why wouldn’t we want more happy time at home with our loved ones? Or why would we not wish for more satisfying jobs that make use of our own skills and strengths?
Indeed, some studies suggest that higher levels of EI are linked to lower rates of depression and anxiety, as well as better physical health. In fact, there is an emerging theory called ‘ecological validity’ which suggests that people who are happier tend to live healthier lives.1 Therefore, developing your EQ could help you enjoy greater overall wellbeing.
Given how important this quality is to your mental and physical health, it makes sense to try to improve yours. Luckily, you don’t have to be born with high EQ to do so! This article will go into detail about several strategies for boosting your emotional literacy, including:
Practicing acceptance and gratitude;
Improving relationship management and communication skills;
Giving and receiving social feedback;and
Learning from others’ emotions.
Sometimes we get so focused on trying to make things work for us that we don’t give people enough time to resolve their issues.
We become intolerant of those around us because we are not willing to invest in our friendships or relationships any longer. We have invested too much money, time, and energy into someone else, so we try to push them away by being quick to judge and reject.
However, it is better to be slow to react than to be a hypocrite. By waiting until you are calm and relaxed before responding to something, you will always do so from an even ground.
This will help you to avoid taking offense unnecessarily and allow both parties to feel more comfortable.
Having patience with people can sometimes take a while! But if you really want to improve your emotional intelligence, then this is one thing you must learn.
Make eye contact
Making direct eye contact with people is one of the most powerful ways to gain their trust and respect. It is also a great way to establish strong emotional connections. When you make eye contact, you are telling someone that they matter and that you believe in them.
When your eyes meet theirs, they will feel recognized and understood. They will feel more confident when talking to you because they know they have been seen and heard.
Making eye contact doesn’t always mean looking directly at each other, it can be looking around the same area or even staring briefly before moving away. Only about half a second is needed for our brains to process what information we get!
Try making an effort to focus on making regular eye contacts as well as possible. This could be in a workplace where colleagues need encouragement or outside of work where friends are important.
Most people have a tendency to overestimate their emotional intelligence (EI) and underestimate other peoples’ EI. This can be due to factors such as feeling insecure about your own level of empathy, having in-depth conversations that are limited to only those things you feel confident in, and assuming everyone else is like them – thinking that they understand how others feel because it is similar to theirs.
It also comes down to personal biases – something we all have that influences what we think about ourselves and others. For example, someone who has a habit of putting in lots of effort may assume that others will do the same for their commitments.
If you want to improve your emotional intelligence, try being honest with yourself about where you stand and work on changing any limiting beliefs or habits. Don’t expect perfect results at first – this takes practice! But if you keep trying, you’ll get there.
Share your experiences
Developing your emotional intelligence (EI) is not just about knowing what to do with a given situation, it’s also about how you interact with other people in those situations.
If you notice someone else is experiencing a lot of emotions, give them some time to process or recover from that emotion before offering help or consolation.
This is because we all have different levels of stress tolerance. Some people get overwhelmed very easily, while others can handle much more than they think.
Don’t make assumptions about how another person should be feeling unless they tell you so.
Instead, ask if they need anything, try to understand their position, and be non-judgmental.
It’s always better to avoid confronting someone when they are down, but there are times when this is unavoidable.
When this happens, keep an eye out for warning signs such as irritability, anger, or aggression.
Be honest with your peers
As mentioned before, one of the major factors that can affect how well you perceive other people is whether or not you are being truthful about yourself. If you think that you are better than most others at something, then why not put this to test?
Ask someone who knows you well to challenge you in your own field by giving an oral presentation or verbal lecture on this topic. Or ask them to critique you in this area either directly or indirectly (by asking about their opinions).
By being aware of these challenges, you will be prepared for them and know what to do if you are confronted.
Another way to improve your emotional intelligence is to learn how different cultures define success and failure. For example, there’s a difference between how Americans view success and Europeans believe that succeeding equals failing.
You could also try finding out which emotions contribute positively to your life and which ones hinder it. For instance, fear and anger have a lot of negative connotations, while gratitude and joy promote happiness.
Last, understand that our habits influence our behavior and thus have a significant impact on those around us. Find ways to change old bad habits and develop new good ones.
Listen to others closely
Develop your ability to listen well, and you’ll improve your relationships as well as your work performance. If you notice someone is down, try to understand why they are depressed or unhappy, and if there is something that can be done about it, do it!
Everyone has their own personal struggles and worries at times, which makes them not seem like their usual self. When people feel heard and understood, they will share more information of what is going on in their lives, giving you some insight into who they are.
If you find out something important, such as how someone feels about a person or thing, help them figure out whether these things make sense to them and determine any actions needed to fix the problem.
Your job as a friend or colleague is to give them feedback without making them feel bad or guilty. This way, they will know what to do to address the issue and restore their normal state of mind.
You should also remember that everyone deals with stress differently, so ask questions depending on what seems like helpful strategies for them.
Don’t be egotistical
A lot of people with high emotional intelligence are known for being very self-confident and confident in themselves and their abilities.
However, this can sometimes go too far. When you think that you are always right and never wrong, it can become difficult to accept things done by you or others as bad or poor.
You feel threatened when other people do not agree with your ideas and you make assumptions about them which are not good. This is how some people lose friendships due to constant arguments.
It also creates a culture of “us vs. them” and “I will prove I am better than you even though we like each other”. This does not create trust nor respect. It may even breed hatred.
Emotions such as fear, anger, sadness and love all play an important part in shaping someone’s life. However, overloading on one emotion can hinder growth and development.
In order to improve your emotional intelligence, you must first be aware of what makes you feel good about yourself and others. This can be done through studying psychology or self-evaluation.
It’s easy to think that just because someone else doesn’t like you that you are not capable or intelligent of making other people like you. While this may be true at times, it is also important to recognize when someone does not trust you or like you.
This goes both ways. Other people may not trust you but instead like you, or even love you, for certain reasons.
Knowing why different things make you happy and unhappy can help you in improving your emotional intelligence.
Furthermore, being honest with yourself takes away the chance of creating false beliefs and internalized stereotypes.