Emotional Intelligence: What It Is – Components – How To Improve It

Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and manage the emotions. When we live with emotional intelligence we have the ability to identify our own emotions, understand them and use our emotions in a healthy way.

Managing emotions is the key to live a happy because we can transform the negative one and create more positive emotions that serve us.

Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, recognize and influence the emotions of others. It is also the ability to understand, recognize and manage our own emotions. This simply means that individuals should be aware that emotions can influence our behavior and it is also possible that our emotions can have an impact on other people both negatively and positively. This is why individuals will have to learn to manage their emotions not only theirs but also the emotions of others. This will be especially important when individuals and those around them are under pressure.

 

What is Emotional Intelligence

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Why we need emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is fundamental for our emotional health because when we understand our emotions we feel more confident, we have self-control and we cooperate with others in a healthy way.

Building emotional intelligence is a lifelong process. When we build emotional intelligence we are able to identify the source of our emotions that come from within rather than from observation. We are aware of how our bodies respond to those emotions and the different ways we express them. Emotional intelligence will help you:

  • Make better life choices.
  • Have better interpersonal relationships.
  • Be better parents.
  • Be more successful at work.
  • Make exceptional business owners and leaders.

People with emotional intelligence are capable of:

  1. To take responsibility for their emotions by saying: “I feel angry” instead of “you make me angry”
  2. Clarify their emotions before taking decisions
  3. Label their feelings, rather than labeling people or situations. “I feel impatient.” vs “This is ridiculous.”
  4. Respect other’s people emotions and know how to assert themselves
  5. Thy manage their negative emotions

We need Emotional Intelligence to live a more fulfilling life and avoid being run by our emotions. When we manage our emotions we have a healthy life, better relationships and peace of mind.

If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. – Daniel Goleman .

The benefits of emotional intelligence

The majority of people go through life and then make a whole range of critical decisions which is based on the circumstances in that moment. Many people perceive the negative situations as something over which they have no control and this is severely limiting the available solutions and options which can be used.However, when people stand back in order to look at the situation objectively and to do some self-examination this can help us to live our lives based on our conscious intentions regardless of the situation in which we may be. This can help us to greatly increase our personal success. Emotional intelligence can give us access to options which we otherwise could have never imagined. It helps us to consider options which would’ve been hidden from us otherwise.

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.”  ― Daniel Goleman

Five components of emotional intelligence

components of emotional intelligence

According to Daniel Goleman, there are five main elements of emotional intelligence.   

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills

Self-Awareness

By self-awareness, Goleman says that is the ability to understand and recognize motivations, moods, and abilities in ourselves and at the same time, to understand the effects they have on others. He also says that in order to achieve self-awareness, an individual must be able to identify and be aware of their emotions. 

People who have emotional awareness can recognize what emotions are feeling and why they also understand how their feelings will affect their performance. Why is self-awareness so important? Because being aware of their emotions is crucial to health, well being, and effective interaction with others. 

An example of self-awareness would be that you stuck on a line up at the grocery store. When you are fully aware that being stuck in a line up is not something you enjoy, then you at least have the option to change the way you react to it! Because you are aware of your feelings, angry, impatient, etc. you can decide that being stuck on a line up will not bother you, and instead of complaining and being impatient you fully accept the situation and happily wait by thinking about things that make you happy!

Self Regulation

Self-regulation is the ability to control yourself and your emotions, of course, this will include the ability to manage your impulses. 

It also includes taking responsibility for your own actions and making sure that whatever you do matches your personal values. 

Self-regulation means that you are taking the time to think things through and be patient. Why self-regulation is important?| because it allows you to act in accordance to your values, and it will also help you to remain calm under pressure.

 An example of self-regulation could be that your husband is screaming at you; therefore, you take a few minutes to evaluate the situation and instead of reacting with anger you respond calm . You do not take the situation personally. 

“Our emotional mind will harness the rational mind to its purposes, for our feelings and reactions– rationalizations– justifying them in terms of the present moment, without realizing the influence of our emotional memory.”  ― Daniel Goleman

Motivation

Motivation means that you have an interest. You have the strength to keep going when there are obstacles in life. According to Goleman is having the commitment to complete a task and to persevere in the face of adversity

An example is if somebody fails in an interview, they see it as an opportunity to learn what could have done better and keep going to other interviews without self-doubt. Their goal is to find a job. Therefore their motivation does not let failure to get in the way to reach the goal.

  Empathy

Empathy is the ability to understand other people’s reactions, but in order to have this empathy, one must be able to understand themselves before they can understand others.  Showing empathy involves seeing things from another person’s perspective so that you can understand and relate to his or her feelings. An example: If you have been through a similar situation than another person, you can empathize with them because you know what they are going through. If you have a friend that failed an exam and you have failed in the past, it would be easy for you to empathy with your friend.

Another example, if you see someone hurt, you might feel physical pain too. 

Empathy is important because it helps to understand how others are feeling, and by doing so we can respond appropriately to the situation.

 Social Skills

Social skills, according to Goleman, is a component that involves good communication skills, the ability to resolve difficult situations or conflicts using persuasion and negociation. It also includes good time management and the ability to be a leader.

Goleman explains that social skills affect everything in your life from your work performance to your romantic life:

Social competence takes many forms:

  • Being able to tune into another person’s feelings and understand how they think about things, 
  • Being a great collaborator and team player

Examples of social skills are communication, listening, group work , etc

People with emotional intelligence are capable of:

  • To take responsibility for their emotions by saying: “I feel angry” instead of “you make me angry”
  • Clarify their emotions before taking decisions
  • Label their feelings, rather than labeling people or situations. “I feel impatient.” vs “This is ridiculous.”
  • Respect other’s people emotions and know how to assert themselves
  • Thy manage their negative emotions

We need Emotional Intelligence to live a more fulfilling life and avoid being run by our emotions. When we manage our emotions, we have a healthy life, better relationships, and peace of mind.

If your emotional abilities aren’t in hand, if you don’t have self-awareness, if you are not able to manage your distressing emotions, if you can’t have empathy and have effective relationships, then no matter how smart you are, you are not going to get very far. – Daniel Goleman .

Emotional intelligence affects: 

Your physical health. Emotional intelligence focuses on: managing your emotions. If you cannot manage, be aware of them, and understand them, you are probably not managing your stress either. Long term stress can lead to serious health problems. Uncontrolled stress raises blood pressure, suppresses the immune system, increases the risk of heart attacks and strokes, contributes to infertility, and speeds up the aging process.

 Your performance at school or work. Emotional intelligence will help you interact with intelligence in your workplace. When it comes to gauging important job candidates, many companies now rate emotional intelligence as important skil before hiring.

Your mental health. If you are not able to manage your emotions, you can live with constant stress, and you can become vulnerable to anxiety and depression. If you are unable to understand, get comfortable with, or manage your emotions, you’ll also struggle to form strong relationships. This means that you will not be able to keep relationships, and then you will feel lonely and isolated and further exacerbate any mental health problems.

Your relationships. When you understand yourself, your emotions, feelings, and reaction you will be able to communicate more effectively 

Your social intelligence. Being in tune with your emotions serves a social purpose, connecting you to other people and the world around you. Social intelligence enables you to recognize friend from foe, measure another person’s interest in you, reduce stress, balance your nervous system through social communication, and feel loved and happy.

Five practical ways to improve emotional intelligence

In order to improve your emotional intelligence, you will have to gain confidence in yourself. You also need to have confidence in your own assessment of your emotional reality and this also have to extend to the realities of others.

There are some benefits in listening to the feedback of other people but those opinions should never transcend your own personal perception of yourself. You have to come to the point where you know that what you are feeling is the truth regardless of what others may say. Pay close attention of how you react to other people both internally and externally.

One of the best ways to increase your emotional intelligence is to have a growing awareness of how you’re reacting to other people. The next step will be to allow those reactions to make you more aware of your own emotional defaulting patterns. It will be important to take time to communicate some of your most challenging emotions to people who you can trust. It can happen that individuals are so inundated by their feelings that it can become difficult to get an objective view of what is happening inside of you.

Do everything possible to reduce all of that negative emotions which had accumulated over the years. One of the primary causes of stress is the accumulation of negative emotions. Sometimes one just have to take time off and to connect with your inner self. For most people when they are experiencing overwhelming emotions they start to work even harder to deny those emotions. The best approach will be to go aside and to analyze what you are feeling.

 

Conclusion

There are many benefits when people have high levels of emotional intelligence. This becomes very clear when we consider some of the above information. This is why it will be a good idea to research emotional intelligence in order to understand all of the benefits which it can provide. This can allow people to become increasingly successful because they will be better able to deal with all of life’schallenges.

Resources

Increase Emotional Intelligence   is an audio hypnosis session that will improve your emotional intelligence you’ll notice that you: Understand your own emotions better, fell calm and can connect with people more deeply.

Reference

  • Goleman ei. Emotional intelligence and training programs. https://golemanei.com/
  • Ashkanasy, N. & Dasborough, M. (2003). Emotional awareness and emotional intelligence in leadership teaching. Journal of Education for Business, 79, 18-22. Bar-On, R & Parker, J. (2000).
  • The handbook of emotional intelligence: Theory, development, assessment, and application at home, school, and in the workplace. S~ Francisco, California: Jossey-Bass. Barrett, L. F. & Salovey, P. (2002).
  • Emotional behavior in longterm marriage, Psychology and Aging, 10, 140-149. Emotional Intelligence in Everyday life 25 Chemiss, C. (2000).
  • Emotional intelligence: What it is and why it matters. The Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations. Retrieved October 17, 2005, from http://www.eiconsosrtium.org/research/what is emotional intellignce.ht ml. Ciarrochi, J., Forgas, J.P., & Mayer, J. (2001).

Components of emotional intelligence : (c) Can Stock Photo / kgtoh