Is Emotional Intelligence Rare
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Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) has become one of the most popular psychology theories. Many claim that we are experiencing an explosion in its popularity due to the rise of The Office, which features many scenes where people struggle with their emotional literacy or “emotion smarts”.
Many believe that this increasing focus on emotions comes from the growing importance of empathy in our society. Some even describe it as the new moral compass.
But before we get too excited about all those motivational speeches and TV shows featuring self-awareness, there is some important information you must know about emotional intelligence.
First, what is emotional intelligence?
Emotional quotient (EQ) refers to your ability to identify, understand, and manage your own feelings as well as those of others. This includes being able to distinguish between positive and negative emotions, knowing how to use your feelings to help achieve your goals, and recognizing when someone else is having trouble feeling happy or relaxed.
The term was first coined by Daniel Goleman back in 1989, but it wasn't until John Mayer read his book A General Theory of Love that he really gained recognition for the concept. Since then, lots of different tests have been created to measure individual levels of emotional intelligence, making it possible to compare them like normalizes like IQ.
With that said, here are eight reasons why emotional intelligence is rare.
Why is emotional intelligence important?
Being able to manage your emotions and understand them is an essential skill for anyone to have. After all, we live in a world that is increasingly dependent on technology and media, where everything is designed to get people excited or incentivize them to perform certain actions.
So whether you are working, studying, investing, or just watching TV, there will be something that makes you feel good about yourself, or at least gives you some sort of incentive (e.g., motivation to do things) before you walk away.
That’s why it's so important to know how to control your own emotions — because if you can’t, then chances are someone else won't let you lead your life, accomplish your goals, and enjoy yourself fully. You'll lose out on lot of opportunities and experiences that could enrich your life.
Research shows that having emotional skills is a significant predictor of success in life. In fact, one study found that individuals with higher levels of EI were twice as likely to earn more than $50,000 per year compared to those who had lower levels of EI.
Emotional competence also predicts job performance and career advancement. For example, studies have shown that employees who perceive their supervisors as being less competent in empathy are three times likelier to report dissatisfaction at work and look forward to quitting their current position.
It helps you be more authentic
Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) has become one of the most popular psychology theories. While there are some who claim that this theory is purely theoretical and does not have any practical applications, many professionals now use their skills in teaching others about EQ.
In fact, several companies make huge profits by offering training in emotional literacy or “emotion coaching”. The term “coach” seems like an appropriate job title for those with high levels of empathy!
But before we get too excited about all of these new emotion-training courses, it's important to note that even though experts agree that EQ is very helpful, they also caution us against thinking of it as a standalone skill.
Your overall level of happiness and well being depends on your social relationships, work commitments, income, health, etc., so if you want to improve your EQ, you will need to look at other parts of your life simultaneously.
Furthermore, although studies show that having higher EQ makes it easier to motivate yourself and help other people feel better, it can't always prevent you from feeling negative emotions. This may be because, like anyone else, smart people sometimes experience strong feelings.
Emotions such as sadness, anger, fear, and disgust don’t go away when someone around you has high EQ, but they can be managed so that they don’t negatively affect you both.
It helps you manage your emotions
Recent research suggests that emotional intelligence is much more common than most of us realize.
Many experts believe that we all have some degree of emotional intelligence, but it may be influenced by where you learn how to regulate your own emotions as well as those around you.
People with higher levels of emotional intelligence are typically described as having better self-awareness, motivation, empathy, and control of their feelings.
They also tend to use different strategies for coping with stress than people who are less skilled in these areas.
It’s important to note that while everyone has some level of emotional intelligence, there are definitely people who are highly intelligent about emotion and there are people who are not.
Some individuals feel that putting effort into learning about their own emotions and those of others makes them look bad because they think they must be emotionally weak or defective.
Other individuals feel that investing time and resources in developing their emotional literacy makes them seem pretentious.
It helps you be less manipulative
Many people believe that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) is something that only few have, or at least are not as prevalent among others. This assumption comes mostly from two things: 1) The perception of some individuals that they do not perceive much emotion in other people and 2) The fact that many professionals require little-to no empathy when interacting with others.
However, this belief is completely inaccurate!
Empathy is one of the most important qualities to have in our lives. Without it, we would not survive beyond high school. And even after that, lack of empathy can cause major issues such as social withdrawal, mental health problems, and more.
So why is having empathy so crucial? Because it allows you to relate to someone else’s perspective and thus understand their actions better.
This makes it easier to predict what actions an individual will take, and then you can plan your next move accordingly. In business, being able to empathize also gives you a better understanding of how someone could help you achieve your goal, which again aids in planning future strategies.
It helps you be less egotistical
Many people believe that emotional intelligence (or EQ as it is commonly referred to) is something that only a few have, or even that it does not exist at all.
This assumption comes mostly from two things – 1) The perception that being self-aware and understanding emotions are things that most people do not possess, and 2) An understanding of mental health issues like depression which attribute some of the symptoms to lack of emotion regulation.
However, this assumption is wrong!
It is very common for almost everyone to have limited amounts of emotional intelligence. This means that they cannot regulate their own emotions effectively, and/or recognize the emotions of others clearly.
Why would this matter? Because we live in an increasingly social media dependent culture where your success depends heavily on how well you relate to other people.
Furthermore, there are many professions that rely heavily on reading body language and tone of voice to determine if someone is fit to work.
So, by underestimating the importance of EQ, these employers could potentially give false negatives due to the fact that people may not apply enough control over their emotions to perform their jobs properly.
It helps you be more compassionate
Over the past few years, emotional intelligence (or EI for short) has been in the spotlight as people have talked about it more frequently. People seem to agree that we are living in an era where emotions are over-exploited and under-controlled.
Some experts believe that we’re experiencing an epidemic of mental health issues due to our overly stressed out cultures.
Many feel that we live in a culture that is increasingly dependent upon technology and therefore feels even more pressure to produce results with little down time.
This constant stress can easily tip over into anxiety or depression.
Given all this, they say that developing your EQ is more important than ever.
But what does the term ‘emotional intelligence’ actually mean?
Does being emotionally intelligent make you happier? Or do only some people have it and if you don’t then that’s okay too? What makes someone seem like they have high emotional intelligence when really they’re just not very good at controlling their own feelings?
In this article, we’ll go through all these questions and more to get clear on exactly how powerful having higher emotional intelligence is.
It helps you be more creative
Many people believe that emotional intelligence (EI) is only helpful for career professionals, but this assumption is wrong. There are many ways to develop your EI skills, and it can help you in all areas of life.
This might sound crazy, but I will prove it.
First, let’s look at some reasons why developing your EQ is important. Then, we will discuss how you can improve it.
Why being able to read other people is important
One reason why having strong emotions is essential is because most of our daily conversations involve sharing feelings. We talk about things like relationships, work, family, and so on.
By being aware of what others are feeling, you will know if they are happy or sad, angry or calm, and this can influence your behavior towards them.
For example, when someone else is upset with you, it may motivate you to have a good day instead of causing another bout of bad emotions.
On the other hand, when someone around you seems very joyful, it could give you the boost needed to do the same. This was a major factor in my childhood friend’s success — she would always see the smiling faces of her parents and siblings and feel happier herself.
Reading body language also gives us clues about whether someone cares about you.
It helps you be less stressed
Over the past few decades, emotional intelligence (EI) has become one of the most popular concepts in psychology. Many experts claim that it can have profound effects on your career and personal life.
Some even say that it is an essential skill for anyone to possess. After all, isn’t everyone supposed to feel emotions?
But are they really?
Many people seem to lack basic skills related to emotion — like how to recognize their own feelings or what makes someone else feel bad or good.
And although some studies suggest that higher EI correlates with greater success, this correlation is very weak at best. In fact, there is no clear evidence that having high EQ causes people to succeed more than others without it.