What is Emotional Intelligence?

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Emotional intelligence is sometimes referred to as “emotional quotient” or EQ. It is the ability to understand and manage your own emotions as well as the emotions of others. 

There are five main categories that encompass emotional intelligence

  1. Self-awareness: having knowledge of your own emotions, understanding how they affect you and others, and being free from the control of your emotions.

  2. Self-regulation: decisions come from an internal, grounded place as opposed to being a reaction to emotion or an external event.

  3. Self-motivation: someone with high EQ is able to look at things from a large perspective and understands that their decisions and behaviors contribute to their life as a whole. They are motivated to make healthy decisions that have a positive, overall effect.

  4. Empathy: people with emotional intelligence understand the feelings and perspectives of others. They are slow to judge or criticize, and often make good listeners and excellent friends.

  5. Good social skills: people with emotional intelligence often make great leaders. They are able to regulate themselves, understand others, and look at the big picture. They work well in teams and have excellent communication skills.

It’s not surprising that having high emotional intelligence is a great asset in life. With it comes the ability to identify and name your emotions, harness them, and apply them to critical thinking and problem-solving. Additionally, someone with emotional intelligence is able to understand the emotions of others, and consequently influence and affect the emotions and actions of others, as well. 

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Emotional intelligence can lead to greater happiness and success in life. With the ability to understand and regulate your own emotions comes freedom. Freedom from reactions, from emotional tantrums, from victimhood. When you have emotional intelligence, you have the freedom to make decisions with purpose instead of from a reactionary place. 

Emotional intelligence is also an important part of building relationships with others. Someone who is high in emotional intelligence is sensitive to what others are feeling and knows how to help others navigate through difficult and negative emotions. High emotional intelligence makes someone a great friend and an excellent listener. Think about who you would want as a friend and chances are, it’s someone with high emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence is also a great asset in the workplace. It allows you to work well with others, make grounded, non-emotionally reactive decisions, and continually improve upon your skills. Someone who is emotionally intelligent is approachable and influential, making them excellent leaders. They understand other’s experiences, have empathy, want other people to succeed, and can make decisions based on the big picture. In addition to the ability to understand and respond to the emotions of others, an emotionally intelligent person can accept feedback and admit their own mistakes.

Ways to Increase Emotional Intelligence

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Although some people are born with high emotional intelligence, the good news is that emotional intelligence is a skill that can be developed. Even if you feel like you don’t have high emotional intelligence right now, chances are, you can hone your EQ skills over time

The first step is to work on your emotional reactions in difficult situations. Practice self-soothing and taking time-outs when you are emotionally triggered or reactive. Another way to practice and increase emotional intelligence is by speaking less and listening more. Put yourself in others’ shoes and take the time to really understand their experience and perspective.

Finally, work on your ability to accept feedback. Often, feedback isn’t personal but rather an offering to help you improve. Taking responsibility for yourself and your work, and listening to the feedback of others is a skill that will take you far in life, improve your productivity, and increase the chances that others will want to be around you.

Remember, no matter where you are today, you do have the ability to improve your own emotional intelligence, and it’s likely that your overall quality of life will follow. If you would like guidance and support on your journey towards self-awareness and freedom from emotional reactions, our therapists at The Relationship Therapy Center are here to help! Contact our offices in Roseville or Fair Oaks, CA today. We look forward to supporting you.

Other Services offered at The Relationship Therapy Center in California:

Our Sacramento area counseling clinics located in Roseville and Fair Oaks, CA are pleased to offer a variety of mental health services. We will discuss the importance of self-care and emotional support to help you cope and to discover ways to find healthy ways of dealing with stress.   

Learning emotional intelligence can be beneficial, with the right therapist. Our compassionate therapists are trained to walk you through the process and help you find healing and peace. Please contact our therapy office to learn more about the many ways we can help you and your loved ones heal, grow, and love healthy.