What Is Emotional Intelligence You Ask?

According to the dictionary it’s the capacity to be aware of, control, and express one’s emotions, and to handle interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically. Sounds easy but is not for many people unfortunately. Our childhood has a lot to do with the ability to express and handle our emotions and those of other people. No, we aren’t responsible for other people’s emotions but to be able to listen empathetically is a task for some. It’s not taught in school so if we aren’t taught this at home we are not aware. This can pose problems in relationships as we get older and have to navigate real life on our own.

What does Emotional Intelligence Consist Of?

  • Self-awareness
  • Self-regulation
  • Motivation
  • Empathy
  • Social skills

We will first look at self-awareness. Self-awareness is being able to identify your own character, feelings, motives, and desires. This being the first thing is actually the hardest for people. We are programmed from a young age by our environment on how and who we should be. So everyone thinks that they have this part figured out and they don’t.

Self-regulation is the ability to understand and manage your own behavior and reactions. Need I say anymore? This is where I am currently working the hardest. We look for people to regulate us and how we feel instead of sitting with ourselves and seeing how we can process this matter within ourselves.

Motivation is the process that initiates, guides, and maintains goal-oriented behaviors. We can all lack motivation sometimes and then once we have it, it then can be hard to keep. I think all of us really struggle in this area at some point or time in our life.

This One Is Very Important

Okay this one right here is something I have seen a lot of recently. Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. In my recent experiences I think a big portion of people struggle with this because of selfishness. We are a self absorbed society, so being able to think outside of oneself is harder than expected. Then we have the other side that is to empathetic, and that is a post for another day.

Last we have social skills. Social skills are the what we use everyday to interact and communicate with others. It consists of verbal, non-verbal, speech, gestures, and etc. We all have these skills whether good or bad.

How Do We Learn Emotional Intelligence?

One of the first things I would recommend it that because the info I am passing along is not medical advice you would benefit from going to see a therapist. So you can get help that will tailor to your specific needs. Knowing your story and how it has shaped you into the person you have become is very important. Things like your beliefs, emotions, behavior patterns, and relationship patterns all are apart of self-awareness. Journaling is a good place to start when asking yourself the tough questions.

Self management tools can really come in handy when learning to self regulate your emotions. Things such as learning self-affirming beliefs, developing self soothing skills, and maintaining good physical health. Their are tons of videos you can watch on YouTube that will help you with breathwork techniques also. Social awareness can be hard for some but also something that can be learned. So, understanding nonverbal communication, having a positive view of other people, understanding basic emotional needs, and developing personal integrity.

Just Keep Striving

Relationships are hard for us to understand sometimes but again that all points back to emotional intelligence. Developing skills such as reflective listening can do wonders for people’s relationship because everyone wants their needs to be heard. we may not always get it right on the first try but building discipline and getting out of our comfort zone can really let your partner know that I see you and hear you and your needs are important to me. Assertive communication, conflict resolution, and positive affirmations are all skills that can help relationships of all kinds flourish.

“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