To navigate through life understanding the people around you, you need to develop your emotional intelligence or EQ. You often hear about having book smarts or street smarts, but what about emotional smarts?
Maintaining healthy relationships requires you to manage your emotions and understand them. It’s difficult to keep connections alive if you don’t adopt emotional awareness. And to live fulfilling, meaningful lives, it’s essential to connect with those you care about on every level possible.
But when it comes to emotional wellness, few know how to get there. Not enough importance has been placed on our emotional wellbeing, so when we search for ways to improve, the process is foggy.
If you want to heighten your emotional intelligence, here are a few tactics to help you get started.
Learn How to Accept Constructive Criticism
No one is perfect and when you’re in the wrong, it’s important to accept the feedback you receive. Accepting constructive criticism is difficult for many people because it requires them to assess themselves and their setbacks. Some in leadership positions tend to shy away from feedback because they feel it’s beneath them.
Sometimes, even the most awesome feedback is overlooked because people take it personally. In their minds, they don’t need others to tell them how they’re wrong or how they could improve. But this only showcases their lack of emotional intelligence and unwillingness to grow.
To accept constructive criticism, change the way you view it. It’s not meant to demean you or make you feel like you aren’t good enough at what you do. Instead, it serves to help you improve and become the best version of yourself possible.
Be An Active Listener
Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they did all the talking and you could barely get a word in? Unfortunately, this happens all too often. One person takes over while the other is forced to listen and can’t share their perspective. This is a huge sign of lacking emotional intelligence because you don’t take the other person into consideration.
Actively listening is a key factor in building successful relationships. You feel fulfilled when you create meaningful connections with others and relate to each other’s feelings and opinions. However, if you lack the ability to listen, you won’t be able to understand others.
During your next conversation, pay attention to how much you listen versus how much you speak. You might be surprised to learn that you listen less than you thought.
Respond Instead of React
It’s natural to have disagreements with others because everyone is different, has different values, and comes from different places. If not handled appropriately, these disagreements can turn into arguments that get out of hand.
An emotionally intelligent person responds to communication instead of reacting. They aren’t looking for ways to justify their actions or make excuses. Instead, they think about what the other person is saying and take it fully into consideration. They’re able to step back, assess what they were told, and come to a solution.
It’s easier to find the right approach to handle a difficult situation when you take the time to think about it. When you revisit the conversation, ask meaningful questions such as how you can handle things better in the future.
Emotionally intelligent people don’t dwell on the negative aspects of their lives and don’t let them take control. When an uncomfortable situation occurs, it’s easy to sulk in it. But it takes courage and strength to learn from the hardship and use it to better yourself.
But how do you maintain positivity if you aren’t used to making it a habit? You can:
- Set a goal to write three things you’re grateful for every day. Some people create gratitude journals specifically to write about what they’re thankful for. This shifts the focus from negative experiences to positive ones.
- Identify aspects of your life and your habits you need to change to become more positive. What are your worries and dislikes you want to change?
- Do things that make you feel good. Perhaps you like baking cookies or listening to YouTube playlists to unwind. Whatever it is you enjoy, it’s important to partake in those activities to remain positive. It’s self-care to give yourself what you need when you need it.
- Start a blog to write about your experiences and practice your self-awareness. You can’t grow or heighten your emotional intelligence unless you’re honest about your feelings and experiences. Looking back, you can understand yourself and how you would handle situations better in the future.
Back to You
Everyone should take the time to improve their EQ and understand others. Anyone can develop their emotional skills if they practice and apply it to their personal experiences. Using these tips, you’ll be able to heighten your emotional intelligence and improve your understanding of others. How will you heighten your EQ?