Let’s talk about emotional intelligence

in psychology •  8 months ago

We have all heard repeatedly the importance of developing our self-wroth, to develop a proper balance in our personalities, our values, and of course, our emotional intelligence.

We only know that they are a set of skills that we have to master, but the tricky part is actually fully understanding what they actually consists on, and once this point is cleared, we can move on with enough confidence, and develop them.

In the case with emotional intelligence, which is today’s subject, we need to be clear if this concept is about some sort of capacity, or instead it consists on a set of qualities or attributes that we must possess and strive to develop.

What could be the repercussions of considering emotional intelligence as a set of qualities?


Thinking about a set of qualities is less clear when it comes to knowing exactly what the concept is all about, and we can get lost in many of the implications caused from this approach. From our point of view, it is much more confusing to handle so much information and it is, in fact, what causes such a "boom" of discussions on this topic.

Even so, this is the most common conceptualization and allows us to address it in a very practical way the emotional intelligence in all its aspects. In the end we end up having to be totally emotional beings without necessarily being able to differentiate emotional intelligence from other concepts like empathy, solidarity, integrity, among others

This perspective allows to outline the human being in a very global way, since it is the personality that covers broad areas of mental life (such as emotional intelligence) and not the other way around.

Also, can we say that if we lack empathy when treating other people then we have poor emotional intelligence? In my opinion it would seem obvious that the answer would be yes, but they are different qualities and although they converge at the moment of predicting success in forming relationships, in reality they act separately, shaping our attitudes, our personality and our way of acting. That is to say, emotional intelligence is not just to have integrity or solidarity as your qualities or much less to always have a good mood, emotional intelligence is a broader concept.

What is then, emotional intelligence?


Emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others. It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people. | Source

That definition certainly expresses the great relevance it has, and for this reason it can be considered as important as other types of intelligence, such as abstract intelligence which can be discussed in another post, and are all necessary to achieve success in life.

Besides, from this point of view, the meaning we give to emotional intelligence is that of a totally flexible ability that makes it easier for us to face the circumstances in which we find ourselves not only by the demands of said circumstance, but also by the demands of our personality and our needs.

This is the reason why this type of intelligence is such an important factor in our lives, its goal is to develop a synchronization between what we think and what we feel by recognizing our feelings, our reasoning and solving problems based on them.

Emotional intelligence ... is a flexible set of skills that can be acquired and improved with practice. Although some people are naturally more emotionally intelligent than others, you can develop high emotional intelligence even if you aren’t born with it. | Source

Developing our emotional intelligence


According to Preston Ni there are 6 essentials aspects that help us increase our emotional intelligence. Those aspects are:

  • "Reduce Negative Emotions" Source : This means to stop focusing on the negative. It is probably impossible to completely avoid negative thoughts, but we can certainly reduce their frequency, and the amount of time we put into them. Now, we don't need to obsess over this, because then we would have an opposite effect.

  • "Stay Cool and Manage Stress" Source : Keeping ourselves in a relaxed state will always be healthy. And it can help us when facing intensive situations. Depending on which type of job the person has, this could be more difficult to achieve, especially when there are intensive days. Nevertheless, putting some minutes per day to relax our nerves would increasingly improve our health in the long term.

  • "Be Assertive and Express Difficult Emotions When Necessary" Source : for some people, expressing emotions is not an easy job, especially when there is no trust between the ones involved. Either way, managing to share how we feel in difficult situations, can work as a type of training to learn more about ourselves. Which eventually, will always be useful in order to understand us better.
  • "Stay Proactive, Not Reactive in the Face of a Difficult Person" Source : in this case, when interacting with a person we already know is a little bit problematic, the best thing is to be prepared in case things turn uncomfortable. That way, we would be able to control ourselves better.
  • "Bounce Back from Adversity" Source : life doesn't always go as we like it, hence the importance of resilience in our lives. Not letting ourselves be crushed by a failure will always makes us stronger, and will help us become a much more balanced person.
  • "Express Intimate Emotions in Close, Personal Relationships" Source : in order to make the bond with our loved ones even stronger, communication is key. It allows us to keep in touch with our deeper self, and to actually know each other on an intimate level.

By applying everything mentioned, with time we will get better at:

Emotional understanding

It consists in being able to understand extreme changes in our feelings (for example: feeling love and simultaneously hate when we argue with a loved one). In addition, it also includes understanding the change from one emotion to another (a good example would be the change caused because of a fight with our partner: we go from anger to guilt or shame).

Understanding the context is also important, because we can find ourselves in a situation where another person tells a dirty joke, and perhaps the first reaction would be to feel offended by it, but by understanding that probably the intention of said joke was simply to break the ice, we can then adjust our actions, and play along with the joke, therefore, taking into account other people's perspective is deeply related with the concept of emotional intelligence.

Emotional regulation

It consists of being able to accept and understand our feelings for what they symbolize and for what they inform us (although it is not pleasant, it is important to feel sad when losing a loved one or to get angry when someone has hurt us). In addition, it is essential to know how to manage them effectively (both ours and those of others: how many times are children told "do not cry" when they get hurt? How many times do we not allow ourselves to be sad and end up being overwhelmed with sadness simply because we want to hide it and don't express it?).

Monitoring ourselves can be a healthy habit if we are looking to keep us balanced, and sometimes, letting the emotions flow is probably the best thing we can do, as long as we understand the causes and can account for everything we might feel.

Conclusion


Emotional intelligence is an important aspect we should all develop in our life, no matter what age we. Its never to late to improve ourselves and our skills set.

Besides being good for us and for the understanding of ourselves, it is also good for the people around us. Understanding the emotional state of others is the only way we can offer proper support and advises to them, and it allows us to be a little bit more emphatic when interacting with other people.

Overall, it will help us achieve a much more balanced life, which is the same as saying a healthier life.

Do you consider yourself a person with a high emotional intelligence?

After reading this article, are you planning to get better at this skill?




References

psychologytoday – emotional intelligence

psychologytoday - essentials for emotional intelligence

talentsmart - emotional intelligence

Mayer, J and Salovey, P. (1997). Emotional development and emotional intelligence. NY. Basicbooks

Image sources

All images are from pixabay

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emotional int. is usually extrovert people, this skill is really hard to master, it requires patience and understanding the behavior of people.

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Brought to you by @tts. If you find it useful please consider upvote this reply.

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WOW this is great! Thanks for choosing my post for this!

Reduce Negative Emotions: 0
Stay cool and manage stress: 4
Be Assertive and Express difficult Emotions when needed: 1
Stay Proactive not reactive in the face of a difficult person: 3
Bounce back from adversity: 4
Express intimate emotions in close, personal relationships: 0
5 when drunk
Score: a solid 2.

I consider myself quite emotionally intelligent , but now I think I am emotionally stunted, the ones where I scored myself higher I know are from growing up and work-related , I don't try to reduce negative emotions in myself although maybe I do if you count the fact that I don't get sad or lonely I tend to only get angry and quiet (internalizing). If I am not angry and quiet I am normal.

Staying cool, maybe a bit of a cheat but I just don't care enough about most things to lose my cool, and I completely count being angry and quiet as keeping my cool.

Be assertive... at this point, it feels like repetition as to how I handle situations.

Maybe I do not have high emotional intelligence but I understand myself and personally it has always benefited me to internalize all emotional issues I might have, I work through them with the only external states I feel are acceptable for me to show being anger(grumpy) and normal (you know the laugh, chat, act things)

I obviously have a lot to learn from this article, but thought that I might add my way, since from what I understand it also depends on a person's "environment" and I think there are too many factors to as I did above just score someone as low Emotional Intelligence.

Getting better at it?
I honestly do not know if I want to.

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That's an interesting way to measure the intelligence, although I have to ask how did you decided on those numbers?

Measuring this type of things is probably impossible to accomplish in a objective way. But by knowing ourselves we can tell if we have a good enough understanding or if we lack it.

Being angry and quiet is not always bad, since we don't need to share absolutely everything, but saving strong emotions just for ourselves can become something unsustainable in the long term.

I wonder why you aren't sure if getting better at this is good?

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To get the number out of 5, I tried to be honest and I could only be if I thought about any scenarios where I had the choice to do either the item or the opposite and the more I remember doing the opposite the lower I scored it. 0 indicating that only 10% of the time I might do what is recommended in the item list.

I think that I am able to identify what I feel and manage it although what I feel is not good , the only effect it has on those around me is to keep them away from me either by avoidance or emotionally not trying to connect which stops them from becoming a problem as I see faced by these people who are too involved in others life's and that is because they have an emotional need to be filled either by family or any drama really.

I am able to fully identify someone else's state as it where, either by obviously seeing but mostly by observing demeanour, voice etc as people tend to fake emotional states so much that knowing whether someone is sad and to respond, does not have anything to do with emotional intelligence, being sympathetic can be a purely analytic thing to do.

I can remember being the way I am since childhood, I have had my ups and down, and with each one the solution was to "feel less", not a technical term or intelligent term but a working term. :)

With that explained the best I can, I really hope it does explain a little.
I don't think I would do the effort to get better at managing my own emotional intelligence since looking at those around me, the higher their "emotional intelligence" is, the lower their logical reasoning seems to be.... yip going to stick with that last phrase

I really wish we would see some of this in schools, I feel like it's not even discussed and is so important for operating in the real world

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Totally right. I think not only we should discuss this subjects much more with children.

There is also, a totally unrelated subject but equally important, which is personal finances.

Our education system should change and include more down to earth lessons, based on circumstances we all face in our lives.

Emotion handling and finance management are probably underrepresented in schools, as far as I know.

Perhaps if these subjects were more actively discussed, we would not see so much people making bad financial decisions and being highly medicated for depressions or similar conditions.

In other words, schools should teach people more about life, and less about office jobs.

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Our education system should change and include more down to earth lessons

The school systems in the states do not do a good job of preparing people for the real world, that's for sure.

In other words, schools should teach people more about life, and less about office jobs.

I think the school system is designed just for office jobs, it's sad really. We sit all day in school, then all day at work

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Yeah, perhaps new ways to reward creativity like this blockchain does could help solve issues like that. The tokenized world as our friend likes to say :P

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Both my mom and sister are teachers, I was like: "You two should start doing school lessons on steemit!"... They aren't here, but I still think it's a sweet idea, homeschooling of the future

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You should really convince them to join, especially if they have good content to share, which as teachers they should certainly have some.

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Ya, hopefully over summer, I've been shilling the site hard, only have a few people that joined, but more are getting worn down hehehe

Well-researched and informative, as always @dedicatedguy.

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Thanks for those kind words pal!

The reason why some people keep having emotional trauma is because they fail express themselves whenever the need arises but later they keep to themselves

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That is a factor to take into account. Keeping our feelings to us, if they are extremely intense, is not healthy. There are of course some things we can and should keep to ourselves. But communicating is necessary, especially with the people close to us. That's the only way we have to keep the bonding alive.

Nicely formulated @dedicatedguy. I have begun writing my own articles on psychology and hope to cover emotional intelligence in a future article. I think emotional education is vital for people to gain the bigger picture of things. There are likely to be lesser fights this, better understanding between various parties is more likely to happen. Excited to read the content you'll put out next. Three cheers for psychology! SELF- HELP YOURSELF CHANNEL ART.jpg

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That's great! Looking forward to read your articles!

interesting post. I'm sure that this will help a lot of people out there. :3

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I think the same. This type of subjects deserve more attention.

instead it consists on a set of qualities or attributes that we must possess and strive to develop.

I'm very much of this camp of thought @dedicatedguy. I think it is a life long journey to improve and understand our psyche and emotional intelligence is an important tool lay the foundations for that journey.

Really interesting post m8. Thanks for sharing

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I am glad you like it bud!

Very interesting post!

@dedicateguy I quite agree with you. Emotional intelligence is an intangible human value that is needed by any living human being. Unfortunately, it's lacking within the rank and file if our society. This is the reason why there is so misunderstandings, quarrels, fightings, bigotry, marital separation amongst couples etc etc.; the list is lengthy. Psychologists have severally tried to educate the populace on this subject, but little achievement so far. Let's continue to try.
I'm an advocate of emotional intelligence.
I wish this and other articles on this subject will help to educate our society to imbibe the value and culture of this aspect of our lives. So we can have a better life. (Balanced Life).

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You are spot on with the divorce example. Most of the divorces are usually caused by a lack of proper communication, and lack of emotional understanding between the partners.

do not emotion is a friend