Do you know your ability to understand your emotions and the emotions of those around you make you emotionally intelligent?
Why not read on so we can discover this together.
An emotion is our human way of putting a meaningful label on experiences. And most times we do it unconsciously. Emotions are what we used to make decisions before thoughts. They are messages from our evolutionary past; the hind-brain that controlled our actions as more primitive creatures. They are prompted by external stimuli, and always served a survival purpose.
Intelligence is knowing how to get what you want when you want it. That is; If you don’t know what you want, there is no amount of information that can help you.
Emotional intelligence is about becoming intelligent about our emotions and also the ability to accurately perceive our emotions and stay aware of them as they happen.
Just like other intelligence (music, physical coordination, mathematics, etc.) this is developed at a very young age or you were born with it. Unlike intellectual intelligence that is not learnable, Emotional intelligence is learned and is learnable by everyone.
It is your ability to understand your emotional feelings with empathy as well as back up your opinion with rationale and experiences, that is; you do not dismiss feelings or ignore them. Rather, you value and cherish feelings.
The way you respond to emotional issues, social interactions, personal relationships, and the feelings of both self and others go a long way to show how emotionally intelligent you are. It means that you understand how society will perceive and react to your actions. You avoid socially taboo actions and topics. And you act in a way that improves your social perception and status
When you are emotionally intelligent, you do not focus on emotionally harmful actions or thinking, but rather you focus on behavior that leads to health and productive emotions. You realize that emotions deserve respect and space to work through difficulties. And you understand that a “negative” feeling (such as sorrow or regret) is oftentimes productive and useful for learning, growing, and dealing with stress.
Emotional intelligence is fluency with emotion. Since we were not taught emotional intelligence in school, most of us grew up without recognizing that there’s a lot to know about how emotions work.
Here are few of the major ideas you need to know if you must start increasing your own emotional intelligence.
- Your first instinct is to believe that every person’s feelings are justified by legitimate reasons and you seek to understand those reasons in the best possible light.
- You must understand that people who can talk in detail about what they feel are better able to put their emotions in context.
- You must understand that, people who can easily connect their emotional experience to the experience of body sensation, can let go of their emotions more quickly.
- You must understand that your thoughts do not tell you much about your emotions. Thoughts and emotions are two totally different languages.
- You must understand that Emotions tell you the truth of how you feel, but they do not tell you anything about whether you have interpreted the meaning of your feelings correctly.
- You must understand that the main emotions we feel are joy, anger, fear, sadness, and disgust.
- You must understand that Emotions can be intense or subtle. Learning to feel the subtle occurrences of emotion can prevent the intense occurrences from happening.
- You must understand that ALL of the emotions, even the ones people tend to call negative (anger, fear, sadness, and disgust) can be pleasant or even fun in certain contexts.
- You must understand that emotions always have a physical expression that occurs at the same time as the emotion, but they do not always have thoughts that occur simultaneously.
Below are some examples of emotional intelligence?
- Your ability to restrain yourself from giving up on the important people in your life for stupid reasons and pride.
- Agree instead of Argue when there is no hope.
- Having self-control.
- Ability to deal with sarcasm humorously.
- Having self-awareness.
- Empathy: A person with a high EI is comfortable to walk in someone else’s shoe. They crave understanding of others easily. And know the difference between sympathy and empathy. They listen only, they do not argue, neither do they think about retorts, or what to DO about the feedback. They only listen, verify, and documents.
- The way you handle relationships: Having good interpersonal relationships, so others feel good about you.
- The way you managing your emotions: Knowing what to do with your feelings.
- Your ability to recognize when your gut instinct is trying to tell you something. (Most times you hear people say, my instinct warned me not to but I did not listen).
What can I do to develop emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is neither positive nor negative but it can facilitate interpersonal behaviors for achieving goals. It manifests itself in the ability to recognize one feelings and foreign feelings well enough and to handle them with care. Your ability to pick up on emotions in others and understand what is really going on show some level of emotional intelligence. It enables you to use your emotions and that of others emotions to successfully manage interactions
Therefore, you can develop your emotional intelligence by,
- Building confidence,
- Empathy and assertiveness,
- Developing self-awareness and resilience, and
- Demanding accountability
These are some of the best ways to your develop emotional.
How do you know you are emotionally intelligent?
Although they say one cannot really measure or tell how emotional intelligent he/she is but here are some quick way of knowing how emotionally intelligent you are;
- By being able to assess your feelings, you are able to manage your emotions as well as redirect your energy back to positive things.
- When you are not discouraged by failures.
- When stressed they mentally and emotionally step back and contemplatively respond to the situation instead of reacting.
- They are not in a rush in anything they do.
- They remember details about you as a matter of fact, not as a matter of purpose.
- They never talk down to anyone.
- They never judge.
- They don’t help others gang up on individuals.
- They don’t gossip.
- They are respectful of everyone, even those who are disrespectful of them. they are open to accepting how other people react/respond to different situations.
- Being open-minded and able to see others perspectives.
- Being aware of any type of insecurities, triggers or blocks and having a willingness to uncover their cause and process your way out of them towards healing.
- Being able to identify every emotion and then understand and process it rather than ignoring it or distracting your attention away from it.
- Being able to understand when someone is upset even if they are taking it out on you.
- Being aware of what you’re feeling and why, knowing how to process that and get past it without just suppressing the emotion. Etc
The good news about all this is that; even those who do not yet have such a high emotional intelligence can learn this by the depth of their listening skills. (It is just my thoughts, nothing I can “prove” with data. The only evidence I have that a person is emotionally intelligent is if they appear to understand spoken and unspoken communication). Growing up, our parents usually use eyes or body language to speak to us and we get the message perfectly. That is a good example of emotional intelligence.
Find your natural intelligence and use it to your advantage. What are you naturally good at? Then develop your emotional intelligence while you enjoy doing what you are naturally good at.
Written by: Juliana Jonathan