How to develop your emotional intelligence
Emotional Intelligence is one of the most undervalued traits in modern society. We understand and value rationality, IQ, intellect and knowledge but we often neglect emotional intelligence. This is to our detriment as people with high levels of emotional intelligence are some of the happiest, most successful and well-loved around.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
It can be broken down into four parts:
Are you usually aware of how other people feel or do angry outbursts or tears often take you by surprise? Can you empathise with others and understand how they feel or do you keep an awkward distance? Do you recognise the onset of different emotions within yourself or do you often feel confused by your own feelings?
Emotionally intelligent people are acutely aware of their own emotions and recognise a full spectrum of feelings. They perceive emotions in others that go undetected and are aware of subtle indicators of mood and tone.
Do you find yourself feeling happy, sad or anxious but unsure why? Do you struggle to understand why others feel the way they do? Do complex emotions often leave you feeling helpless or bewildered?
As well as recognising specific emotions, emotionally intelligent people understand what has led to these feelings. They know that emotions aren’t always rational or truthful and are mindful of their own subjectivity. They also understand complex or mixed emotions and how one can lead to another.
Do you often rant, breakdown or snap at people when your feelings become too much? Do your emotions ever prevent you carrying out tasks? Do you feel emotions becoming stronger as you try to repress them?
Those with high emotional intelligence recognise their emotions but manage them effectively so they don’t adversely affect their lives. Anger is controlled and prevented from being a destructive influence on relationships. Sadness is acknowledged but delayed until there’s space and time to address it fully.
You won’t often see an emotionally intelligent person losing their temper, bursting into tears or paralysed by fear or anxiety. It’s not that they don’t feel the same emotions as everyone else, but they recognise them, manage them and express them in an appropriate and healthy way.
Do you often lash out in anger or always think before speaking? Do you find it easy to talk about complex emotions or do you feel uncomfortable in highly charged situations? Do you avoid conflict or handle it well?
Emotionally Intelligent people express a full range of emotions easily and find healthy and constructive ways to communicate their feelings without placing blame. They know when to be firm and when to give way, they can deal with conflict without feeling guilty or making the situation more volatile and they are usually bright, open and charismatic.
They understand how to encourage happiness but can deal with negative emotions when required. They build close, authentic relationships based on trust and mutual respect and can overcome deep feelings such as guilt or resentment.
Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
If you think you could improve your emotional intelligence you’re not alone. It’s one of the most underdeveloped and under taught skills today, so most of us could do with some help. When we become more emotionally intelligent we are happier, able to build better relationships and more successful.
If you’d like to explore your emotional intelligence and learn how to understand, manage and express your feelings more effectively, contact me and I’ll be happy to help you.