Modern people constantly experience various kinds of emotions, even when they are sleeping or doing nothing in particular. However, following the specialists’ points of view, only a few contemporary men and women can manage their nervous state. All these people are considered to be real experts in emotional interpretations. They understand and cope well with their feelings, understanding at the same time, the feelings of others accurately.
Are there any advantages of this ability? Of course, there are. – In practice, by increasing emotional intelligence, a person can achieve success in many areas of life, beginning from the personal and up to the public one. Moreover, as a result, it is possible to get the opportunity to solve some existing problems without involving unnecessary emotions. It sounds great, doesn’t it?
What Is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence (or EQ in abbreviation) is an exceptional ability of humans to understand and to control the emotions that they and other people around them experience. Following the specialists’ points of view, those men and women who have a high level of EQ show the best results in life and at work. It is much easier for them to make decisions and take responsibility.
Also, it should be mentioned that emotional intelligence helps to establish contacts with people and get more pleasure from communication. In modern life, it can be especially important. For example, if you manage to recognize this or that employee’s emotion in time, you can solve any appearing problem even at the stage of origin. A high level of emotional intelligence can come in handy for people with lofty career ambitions.
History of Emotional Intelligence Investigation
Reflections on emotional intelligence have been going on for a long time. Everything started in ancient times when the ancient Greek philosopher Plato tried to draw attention to the importance of emotions in the learning process. Many of his followers continued to develop this direction and introduced different points of view to the public.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the American psychologist and teacher Edward Thorndike introduced the concept of the so-called social intelligence as “the ability to understand people, men, and women, boys and girls, the ability to handle people and act wisely in relationships with people.” Since the 1960s, the global systematization of the knowledge of Thorndike and his predecessors began.
What Are the Five Components of Emotional Intelligence?
As has already been mentioned above, emotional intelligence is considered to be an essential part of today’s life. The more people with a stable emotional intelligence around, the healthier the corresponding society is. Would you like to improve it? – We will help you! Here is a list of the main components of emotional intelligence:
- Self-awareness. It can be called the foundation of emotional intelligence. This is a person’s ability to be aware of their emotions, to be able to analyze and to interpret them correctly.
- Self-control. The ability to maintain emotional balance, especially in critical situations. To possess emotions does not mean to suppress them inside. The significant thing is to feel and realize the emotional state and act following it.
- Social consciousness. In short, this is the ability to understand the people around you and to help them with their emotional state.
- Relationship management. This is the ability to build contacts and interact with others, given the emotional state of not a single person, but the whole team.
- Motivation. Self-motivation includes a drive to stay commited to goals and achieve personal objectives.
Low Emotional Intelligence
Low emotional intelligence influences social relationships to a certain extent. Below there are typical signs of low EQ.
- Lack of empathy. As individuals with low EQ can’t understand the feelings of others, they are not able to be empathetic. They can’t place themselves in another person’s shoes due to the lack of compassion.
- Tense relationships. Individuals with undeveloped emotional intelligence experience difficulties maintaining any kind of relationship. As they are not able to share their emotions, show empathy, and provide emotional support, they face hardships in communication.
- Emotional outbursts. Inability to control emotions is a signal of low EQ. Individuals may have uncontrollable tantrums without understanding what caused them.
- Poor stress management. Another indicator of low EQ is inability to cope with stressful situation and psychological tension. As it’s typical to hide true emotions, it gets difficult to cope with strong emotional reactions.
- Blaming others. As people with low EQ have bad understanding of the link between their emotions and problems caused by them, they tend to blame others or circumstances when something goes wrong.
- Constant arguments. Low EQ makes people get into frequent arguments with friends, family and collegues. Individuals with poor EQ often argue whithout considering how other people may feel.
Effective Steps to Improve Emotional Intelligence
Initially, it should be mentioned that emotional intelligence as a social skill can be improved all person’s life. In many kinds of relationships (team, partner, parent, friend, and children), modern people have to work consistently on empathy and communication skills, which will undoubtedly affect the quality of the relationships in general as well as mood and lifestyle in particular. Here is the list of the most effective steps, which can help to improve emotional intelligence.
- Put yourself in another person’s shoes
The best thing you have to do under the condition you are going to investigate the people around you is to put yourself in his or her shoes. Analyze the situation, and you will understand the backgrounds of their behavior. In this case, it will be much easier for you to know how they feel at the moment.
- Differentiate your emotions properly
Most people do not know how to call their feelings and consider it to be an unnecessary ability. Meanwhile, following the contemporary psychologists’ points of view, for example, anger is very different from offense and disappointment. By specialists, it is necessary to analyze your own and others’ emotions to know your weak points. One of the best ways is to keep on a particular diary with new descriptions of emotions. It can help you to separate anxiety from irritation, fatigue – from apathy. The best thing is to do it in combination with a mood diary: keep a daily journal of changing moods and record emotions during and after events – meetings, conversations, cultural events, and new acquaintances. When you learn to name and define your feelings, it will be much easier to identify others. You will be able to do it by verbal and non-verbal signals. However, it is strongly recommended to separate emotions related to you from random ones. In essence, you don’t need to comprehend the behavior of an annoyed person in public transport, but the partner’s constant complaints should be taken into account.
- Broaden your inner horizons.
Following the specialists’ points of view, very often, it happens that the emotional intelligence problems appear because a lot of contemporary people have already drowned in the so-called information bubble. Nowadays, it has already been proved that knowledge of several foreign languages helps a person to absorb information about the diversity of the world better. Thus, it is necessary to broaden the inner horizons. To succeed in, the modern psychologists recommend to read fiction books and memoirs, to watch fiction and documentary films, to be interested in science, to travel, and to engage in self-education. All these things help to understand how diverse people are in their talents and aspirations and how problematic it is to measure all with one measure for life and career. Various characters are found in world literature and cinema, and each of them has his or her exciting story. Understanding a complex and disordered world in which we can see what we need is an essential step for resolving conflicts, building harmonious relationships and managerial growth. Books, films, exhibitions, trips, and new skills are not just erudition, but also a way to better understand others.
- Think two steps ahead
Emotional intelligence is related to long-term planning: prioritization and goals, strategic allocation of resources, and tactics of immediate actions. In building relationships with others, it is always worth dividing people into those with whom we spend most of the time, and those who do not influence our lives. All the forces of emotional intelligence should be used to ensure that communication with the inner circle, making it full and exciting. Spend your time on those from whom you learn a lot, who excel you in personal and professional qualities, surround yourself with caring and harmonious people, and communication with them will bear fruit. Some psychologists recommend adapting your budget to your goals and learn how to save. Set aside money for a smart purchase. Look at the conflict and obstacles as an intermediate stage, overcoming which new opportunities will open before you. Emotional intelligence helps to measure mental strength and catch the mood of someone who can and wants to help you move forward in your plans. If the environment and goals are not in line with your current state, it’s never too late in replaying and getting what you want.
- Take training or psychotherapy
Very often, for profound changes, it is difficult to find resources and knowledge to make a sharp qualitative leap in understanding your inner world as well as the others’ one. In this case, psychological training or psychotherapy can be a handy tool for self-knowledge. However, the practice is recommended to psychologically healthy people, without problems with appetite and sleep, in a stable positive state to achieve career and personal goals with a personal motivation coach. These types of activities are necessary for someone who is tired of a working routine or a particular dysfunctional situation and who has enough internal strength to do significant work.
Psychotherapy is a more profound and longer-term activity that requires a reassessment of the inner world in general, achievements, environment, and lifestyle in particular. Often it is accompanied by the acquisition of new habits, parting with a toxic environment, a change of work, and even a place of residence. Both pieces of training and therapy are aimed at expanding emotional intelligence developing the ability to determine and control emotions, work with fears and negative attitudes, and overcome negative patterns through a fundamentally new set of actions. Do not quarrel when you want. Listen when drawn to talk. Come to the rescue when asked about it. See the big picture beyond the familiar.
Best Books on Emotional Intelligence
Daniel Goleman, the founder of Emotional Intelligence and the author of the best selling book ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ‘, has also published other great works:
- Primal Leadership: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence
- Working with Emotional Intelligence
- Emotional Intelligence 2.0 Book Summary