The level of emotional intelligence can vary from person to person and manifest differently depending on the individual and the situation. To estimate emotional intelligence, self-reporting tests and ability tests are most commonly used because they are easier to administer and score. However, there are a few components of emotional intelligence that you should look out for. Self-awareness is one of the cornerstones of emotional intelligence, and perhaps one of the most important to master. Self-awareness is not something we all have, but those with deep emotional intelligence skills are more blessed than most.
They can identify and understand what they are feeling and why in each situation. Recognizing their feelings then allows them to find an appropriate reaction rather than lashing out or acting on impulse. When people with high emotional intelligence understand that they are feeling a certain way, they then begin to regulate themselves. If they are feeling bored, frustrated, or sad, they understand why this is.
They lean into those feelings and find solutions that best fit their needs. Although they will still vent or ask for help, they don’t depend on others for comfort but will ask when they know it’s what they need. Social awareness is the ability to read and interpret other people’s emotions. This can be through speech and conversation, or it can be as nuanced as non-verbal communication with others. Emotionally intelligent people have a better understanding of others.
They practice active listening and engage with people meaningfully rather than seeking attention and imposing their own beliefs and opinions on the feelings of others. One of the most enviable emotional intelligence skills is personal management and self-motivation. Being able to understand your own capabilities and limitations makes organisation and planning much more effective. Knowing your capabilities and creating a plan for success also increases self-motivation. This allows you to work efficiently and without being nagged to get work done. Being aware of your own emotions and feelings means that those with higher emotional control understand how certain people make them feel. When someone makes them feel negative, they can choose to limit interactions with that person. Surrounding yourself with positive people has been shown to improve mood, productivity, and overall wellbeing. Recognising those people, however, is much easier for those with better emotional intelligence. Being aware of your own feelings can make you more understanding of the feelings of others. That’s not to say that you will understand every situation and every dilemma. You will always meet people whose experiences you may never hope to fully understand.
The difference is that emotionally intelligent people can think of a time they may have felt similar, which helps them have empathy for others. Research doesn’t completely agree on whether emotional intelligence is something we can hone, or whether it is innate to someone’s personality. People with deeper mindsets tend to have greater emotional control, but there are many ways to develop those skills.
The complexity of emotional intelligence can make testing difficult, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t develop your skills further. What researchers do agree on is that there are four core skills, also known as the four quadrants of emotional intelligence. By understanding these core skills, you can take it one step at a time to begin your own emotional development. As you move through these four facets of emotional intelligence, be mindful of the skill you use and aware of the transitions you make through them. Before you can really make sense of your emotional states, you need to know the emotion you’re working with. When you feel something you don’t understand, lean into the feeling. Let yourself experience it to the fullest, even when it’s uncomfortable. You don’t always have to name it as a universally recognized emotion.
The foundational emotional intelligence skill is simply understanding what exactly you are feeling at the moment. Letting yourself experience emotions to the fullest, even if you can’t formally name them, means you can comprehend them better the next time. Taking the time to make sense of your own emotions can help you recognize them in others, too. It’s easier to do it during times of frustration or anger. What is more difficult but equally beneficial is to be aware of your emotions when you’re happy. Practice mindful gratitude and remember the reasons why you were happy. Pinpoint what exactly you are feeling and talk yourself through why you are experiencing this emotional state. It’s surprising how quickly you can get to the root of your emotions. Emotions aren’t always black and white, and both verbal and non-verbal types of communication come into play. This makes it difficult to know exactly how someone is feeling at the moment. Don’t be afraid to get this wrong when the actual interaction occurs, but work on having a conversation afterward. Ask questions about how that person was feeling and why. Not only will this help you get to know this person better and understand their feelings, but it will also allow you to improve your emotional intelligence in the future. When we can recognize and understand emotions, we can begin to reason with them. Emotions are stubborn beasts and can change their colors rapidly, but they can serve us well if we let them. Emotions help us prioritize things. We respond more actively to things that pull our attention, helping us decide what we need to do first. However, it’s important not to let gut reactions manage our entire lives. Something might garner a strong reaction, but only because it feels personal. As we gain emotional intelligence, we also gain a better understanding of which reactions are important versus knee-jerk reactions. Think before you act, and you’ll be glad that you did. Proper regulation of our feelings and being able to respond appropriately (and calmly) to ourselves and others is something that will come with time. With practice and time devoted to improving these skills, you will find that you have stronger emotional intelligence and even a stronger sense of self. Emotional intelligence might not always be something positive. Some researchers believe that people with greater control over their emotions can have reduced creativity and innovative thinking. Understanding emotions can also make it more challenging to deliver negative feedback for fear of hurting other peoples’ feelings. Some research has even shown that those with higher emotional understanding can use it for manipulative and deceptive purposes, using the knowledge of their own emotions to influence others. You need to work on your emotional intelligence skills, and like with anything, mistakes are unavoidable. Don’t let that hold you back. Gaining control of and mastering your emotions can bring you incredible freedom. It also gives you skills to use both with yourself and with others. Rid yourself of the emotional responses, and find an appropriate and conducive solution to almost any situation. References:.
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