Emotional intelligence is defined as a person’s ability to identify emotions (in both themselves and others), to recognize the powerful effects of those emotions, and to use that information to inform and guide behavior. Ever since Daniel Goleman’s international best-seller Emotional Intelligence was released in 1995, interest in the quality has risen dramatically.
The terms emotional intelligence (EI) and emotional quotient (EQ) may be new, but the concepts definitely aren’t.
In fact, writers and thinkers from various backgrounds have explored this concept through the years. Here are 23 of my favorite quotes about emotions and learning to deal with them:
1. “I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”
2. “One ought to hold on to one’s heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”
3. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” —(probably not) Maya Angelou
4. “Few people are capable of expressing with equanimity opinions which differ from the prejudices of their social environment. Most people are even incapable of forming such opinions.”
5. “Emotion can be the enemy, if you give into your emotion, you lose yourself. You must be at one with your emotions, because the body always follows the mind.”
6. “The idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to.”
7. “Feelings can’t be ignored, no matter how unjust or ungrateful they seem.”
8. “Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.”
9. “Everyone must be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger…”
–The Bible (James 1:19)
10. “When a man is prey to his emotions, he is not his own master.”
11. “Your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions.”
12. “Feelings are something you have; not something you are.”
–Shannon L. Alder
13. “Your heart will always go where your mind wanders.”
–Shannon L. Alder
14. “People who keep stiff upper lips find that it’s damn hard to smile.”
15. “How you react emotionally is a choice in any situation.”
16. “The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence.”
17. “It is both a blessing and a curse to feel everything so very deeply.”
18. “Tears are a form of communication – like speech – and require a listener.”
19. “Our emotional response is driven by the proximity of events.”
20. “Emotions are not problems to be solved. They are signals to be interpreted.”
21. “Anger is a legitimate feeling, one often designed for self-protection.”
22. “Some prisons don’t require bars to keep people locked inside. All it takes is their perception that they belong there.”
23. “One half of me is a hopeless romantic. The other half is well… just realistic.”
Enjoy this post? Check out my book, EQ Applied, which uses fascinating research and compelling stories to illustrate what emotional intelligence looks like in real life.
A version of this article originally appeared on Inc.com.