3 Ways To Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
November 17th, 2021 at 3:41 am
Here’s some food for thought: What’s more important when it comes to determining success in life – book smarts or street smarts? Essentially, most of us are aware of general intelligence. In fact, at some point in your life, you might’ve attempted an IQ test to see where your noggin ranks compared to your peers. But there’s another type of intelligence that continues to be important – emotional intelligence, aka your Emotional Quotient (EQ).
Yes, the way you understand, control and express the feels is also a form of intelligence. So, here’s everything you need to know about emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to perceive, evaluate and express emotions. Researchers suggest that emotional intelligence is something that can be learned while others believe that it’s an inborn characteristic. Not everyone has this trait, but those who do are known to be more self-aware, empathic and manage relationships better.
Why is this important?
Psychologists claim that emotional intelligence is important because it helps motivate yourself and cultivate positive social interactions. This can benefit you both personally and professionally in several ways.
- Good mental health
Kicking off with the holy grail, good mental health – something each of us aspire to master. And surprise, surprise, there’s a direct link between emotional intelligence and improved mental health. As EQ highly deals with the expression and regulation of moods and emotions, this can be beneficial when you’re dealing with stress or anxiety.
- Healthy relationships
Everyone appreciates the feeling of being understood. Being able to comprehend your own and others’ emotions helps you to participate in conversations rationally. When you can question the reasons behind your emotions and evaluate others’ feelings without getting defensive, you can easily settle disagreements without it turning into a mug-throwing warzone.
- Workplace success
A high emotional intelligence could even help you progress your career. For example, you’re more likely to foster relationships, defuse conflicts and improve job satisfaction in the workplace. When you’re able to accept criticism constructively, this helps you stay competitive and viable while improving your leadership.
Can emotional intelligence be improved?
Some people are naturally #blessed with people skills, while others are just seen shy and awkward. Good news, EQ is something that can age like fine wine if you work on it.
Signs of low emotional intelligence:
- Being argumentative
- Holding grudges
- Oblivious to emotional cues from others
- Difficulty accepting feedback
- Frequent emotional outbursts
Here’s the thing, emotional intelligence isn’t fixed. So, you can take steps to increase your emotional awareness and get better at recognizing feelings in both yourself and others.
Here’s how to get started.
If you want to understand how others are feeling, the first step is to pay attention. Put in the effort to listen to what the other person is trying to tell you – both verbally and non-verbally. Body language can carry a great deal of meaning. Try to be present in the moment and focus on the interaction.
Being able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is critical to truly understand their point of view. It is normal to have disagreements. But next time, maybe try empathizing with other people. Imagining how you would feel in their situation can not only help you resolve conflicts in healthy ways but also develop stronger emotional skills in the long run.
Get in touch with your emotions. Considering how your own emotions influence your behaviour and decisions, it is an important part of emotional intelligence. How do your emotions differ from the other person? Are there unseen factors contributing to this? Exploring such questions helps you understand the role emotions play in people’s behaviors.
The bottom line, everyone has feelings but not everyone has an easy time accepting nor understanding them. Improving your emotional intelligence may take some work, but it’s absolutely possible if you put in the work.
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