How You Can Become More Emotionally Intelligent About Money

To gain insight on your money emotional intelligence, start by looking back at your childhood.

Money, Smart, Intelligence, Values

I wrote my newest book, The Wealth Creator’s Playbook to help you navigate the rough psychological waters that wealth creators often swim in. It is important to reconsider the definition of “success” and explore your money emotional intelligence.

Emotional Intelligence (often referred to in shorthand by “EI” or “EQ”) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salovey and John Mayer – and popularized by science journalist Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name.

One definition of “Emotional Intelligence” is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions, and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.

Lets take a deep dive into your money history.

Begin by asking yourself a few questions:

  • What role did money play in your home growing up?
  • What lessons did your parents teach you about money, or not?
  • How have those experiences shaped your feelings and experiences around money as an adult?

Remember, much of your emotional connection to money is grounded in these deep memories from childhood, and you may not be consciously aware that your money history isn’t serving you in healthy ways. By taking this step of self-discovery to examine how money and your feelings about it shaped your experiences, you can begin to identify a variety of fear-based responses like hoarding, anxiety, guilt, and jealousy that may be a product of your money history. This understanding can help you build the capability to shift your thoughts and feelings, leading to greater freedom and contentment with money.

You can also share your money history with your spouse/partner, identifying areas where money triggers and trips you up on a routine basis. When my wife and I are discussing financial decisions and tension rises, it’s helpful for us to gently remind each other of my frugal money upbringing and her anxiety-ridden home life where money was concerned. We can appreciate the challenges faced by the other person and not become as frustrated by the emotional reactions we each bring to the table. It’s much easier to support and encourage each other in the moment when we keep in mind where each of us is coming from. The goal in improving our Money Emotional Intelligence is to foster better communication and compassion that can lead to more productive decision-making around money.

I’ve developed a free tool called the Money EQ Assessment to help people evaluate their own money emotional intelligence. It can be found at Money EQ or at my website. The Money EQ Assessment is based on the premise that reorienting our thoughts and beliefs about money towards an abundance and stewardship mindset will foster happier feelings and better outcomes where money is concerned. In this way, money becomes a tool that positively influences your life and those closest to you.

Originally published on Quora.

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