Growing up, we always thought about how having a high IQ (intelligence quotient) is one of the best compliments that you can receive. If I ask you right now what does having a high IQ means, chances are your immediate response would be that it meant being smart.
However, we might be neglecting another measurement, which is the EI or emotional intelligence. I think a person’s EI is as important as IQ simply because it affects how we perceive the emotions of those around us and as well as our own.
If you think about it, this is an essential trait for navigating through life much easier. I believe that a person’s emotional intelligence is a significant influence on our relationships and self-awareness.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
You might also find emotional intelligence used interchangeably with EQ or emotional quotient. And to define it the simplest way, it is one’s ability to manage emotions. This includes understanding your own and those around you.
To help you understand it much better, emotional intelligence is governed by 5 factors:
Basically means your ability to control your emotions and behaviors. This also includes how you can manage, follow-through, and adapt to circumstances and commitments.
Your ability to have a strong disposition about your goals and how you can practice positive thoughts and attitude regardless of the circumstances.
How you recognize your own emotions and behavior. When you’re self-aware, you have an idea of how different things affect you and which ones are your strengths and weaknesses.
Simply put, a person who is aware of those around him/her has empathy because he/she understands them. You can pick up on emotional cues, and you know the concerns and emotions of other people.
Besides social awareness, it is also part of your EQ to maintain and develop good relationships in order to be more comfortable socially. It is one’s ability to inspire and communicate with others to prevent or handle conflict effectively.
Why is it Important to Increase Your EQ?
As you can see above, EQ plays a significant role in our day to day lives. It is how you can manage and approach challenges, whether they are internally or externally. Without improving it, you won’t be able to build a strong relationship with yourself, and it will be difficult to connect with other people.
Intelligence is not enough to succeed in life and personal relationships. You need to be able to manage emotions and understand them so that you can navigate through different hardships and experiences much better.
Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Work on Observing and Managing Your Feelings
Let’s face it, it’s impossible to control how other people will react or prevent other challenges from happening to us. But what we can do is be prepared when they happen and how we can face and respond to those challenges and behaviors of other people. If you already have a strong internal belief and understanding of yourself, you’ll notice how easy it will be for you to face different challenges.
Have I told you that I got myself blackout blinds for my room? It may sound corny, but it helped me to feel more comfortable and productive. This is because it blocks out the distractions, so I feel more focused and at ease. You can also see this as a metaphor. Perhaps you need blackout blinds from the outside, so you don’t lose touch with your emotions.
How many times have you wanted to blame other people and other instances because they ruin your plans and mood? But if you think about it, most of those things aren’t intentional. The world is not purposely taunting you. And still, it’s so much easier to act unconsciously and let our emotions take hold of our decisions.
If you start to pay attention to what you’re feeling and why you want to react a certain way, it’ll be more comfortable to manage your emotions. It might be an annoying reminder, but remember the quote about thinking 100 times first before doing something?
Once you are aware of your emotions, it will be easier for you to take responsibility for your behavior and reactions. In turn, you can get valuable information that will serve as references when you feel and react the same way in the future. Remember that reacting is an unconscious response while responding is how you notice and decide how you want to behave.
The first example is related to how you’re going to empathize with yourself. This is because you understand why you feel and do certain things. But empathy is also crucial in building good relationships with other people. It will be easier to communicate and understand other people because you don’t take things too personally. You are much aware of why they do and say the things they do.
Oftentimes, those around us are trying to communicate with us even if they’re unable to. We have to be good at reading these cues so you’ll be able to see what they’re really feeling. Social awareness is important to be socially comfortable because you know and understand the emotional shifts that people do.
The ability to separate and distinguish your personal thoughts and judgment from your interactions with other people will let you adapt to changes. This way, you’ll find it easier to resolve conflicts and misunderstandings, and even prevent them from happening altogether.
Developing and improving your emotional intelligence takes practice and strengthening. This is one of those things that does not happen overnight. It is a lifetime process that you go and use throughout life towards new lessons and experiences.
You can keep improving and practicing those two tips above. And every day, you have an opportunity to try and use them. However, don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail to be as aware as you wanted to be. Use this as a lesson to how you can react next time. You can always start on another day.
In return, the benefits of being an emotionally intelligent person will give you a much more fulfilling life and relationships, not just with others but also with yourself.