Intellectual intelligence is measured by IQ. You’ve probably heard people refer to this as being “book smart”.
But often those who are book smart may lack emotional intelligence. high IQ thinkers are usually very logically driven. But being logically driven can block out emotional empathy.
This is where EQ or emotional intelligence comes in.
Is emotional intelligence real?
Yes, Emotional intelligence (also referred to as EQ or EI ) is real.
It is more real now than it was decades ago, and most of the world is talking about it.
Emotional Intelligence has permeated various vital fields, from academics, networking, romantic relationships, business, workplace efficiency, and leadership.
Psychologists, CEOs, and managers now point to emotional intelligence as the critical factor differentiating top performers from others.
Executives even think it is “a skill of the future,” a factor prospective employees and leaders should possess. Here’s the deal w. EQ
What is Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is among humans’ most valued traits—the intangible “something” we all have.
Emotional intelligence is your capacity to recognize, reflect on, understand, and manage your emotional life as well as other people’s.
It impacts how we manage behavior, make personal decisions, and navigate social complexities.
You’ll be surprised to learn that most of the world didn’t develop a more nuanced view of this concept until 1995!
We only did so after psychologist and science journalist Daniel Goleman popularized it in his bestselling publication—Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.
Goleman’s idea—that our ability to tap into, understand, and manage our feelings adversely heightens our chances of success—has gained prominence ever since.
This concept has greatly influenced how we think about emotions, human behavior, and relationships.
Top 10 Benefits of Emotional Intelligence
“What is emotional intelligence, what does it look like and how is it useful?” You may ask.
Well, emotional intelligence manifests in various actions in the real world. These actions, psychologists say, are what make the world a better place.
1. You Develop Control Over Your Thoughts
Stress, depression, pain, trauma may be unavoidable. You may not always have much control over them.
But, people with high emotional intelligence manage such complex experiences better.
They understand that they can control their reactions to unpleasant emotions if they focus on their thoughts.
By controlling their thoughts in a given moment, they don’t let emotions consume them.
Ideally, if you are emotionally intelligent, you resist being enslaved by your emotions!
We’ve all had unregulated moments of rage where we’ve lashed out to others.
Unfortunately, these are usually the moments that we lose respect from others and undo the rapports we’ve built with those around us (we can agree that getting respect and rapport back is never easy).
High EQ breeds self-regulation. It allows us to stop and think before we act or speak.
It prevents impulsive decisions and the moments you would otherwise wish you could take back.
3. Self and Social Awareness ( Ability to recognize emotions and understand how they impact yourself and others)
We need to be aware of ourselves and understand how our feelings affect our judgment, attitudes, and even productivity.
Well, emotional intelligence emphasizes how our emotions affect us and those around us.
It allows us to recognize other people’s emotions (social awareness). It guides us to understand emotions, making us deal with other people better.
4. Taking Criticism as a Chance to Learn Even If It’s Harsh.
Of course, no one loves negative feedback.
However, when you are emotionally intelligent, you view criticism as a learning chance, even when delivered in the worst way possible.
High EQ allows you to receive negative feedback with your emotions still in check.
It allows you to use criticism as a window into other people’s perspectives. This way, you become a better person.
5. Ability to Demonstrate Empathy
An emotionally intelligent person has a good understanding of their own emotional state.
The ability to tap into your own emotions allows you to gauge other people’s emotions more accurately.
High EQ allows you to place yourself in other people’s shoes, leading you to be more thoughtful and deliberate in everything you do.
6. Ability to keep your commitments
It’s sad how one can break a commitment or agreement whenever they please!
We all have done it; bailing on the weekend out with friends, missing a major job deadline, and breaking a promise to our partners.
With high emotional intelligence, you learn to keep your word. This way, you nurture a strong reputation for trustworthiness, honesty, and reliability.
7. Ability to Forgive and Forget
Forgiving is hard enough, not to mention forgetting the offense.
But then, hanging on to resentment denies us a healing chance.
High EQ allows us to make peace with ourselves and situations we can’t control.
It prevents the offending party from holding us emotionally hostage while they move on with their life.
8. Ability to Identify and Shield Yourself from Emotional Sabotage
Emotional intelligence also has a dark side.
Take, for instance, con artists and narcissists.
Such emotionally intelligent people understand how and when to manipulate other people’s emotions to promote their personal agendas and selfish causes.
You need to develop and sharpen your emotional intelligence to protect yourself when they do.
EQ can prevent you from being susceptible to fabricated information.”
9. You Apologize
“Sorry” is the hardest word. It takes courage and strength.
However, doing so portrays humility, a trait that will bring you closer to people.
When you develop emotional intelligence, you become a part of a group that recognizes when they do wrong and don’t hesitate to apologize to the affected parties when it happens.
You learn to apologize because you value your relationships more than your ego.
10. You Demonstrate Authenticity
High emotional intelligence will not allow you to conform.
You’ll say what you mean, mean what you say, stick to what you believe, and exercise your values even when everything and everyone around you pushes you to do otherwise.
You can only understand that not everyone can agree with you or appreciate your thoughts and feelings if you are emotionally intelligent.
5 Ways You Can Increase Your Emotional Intelligence
The people around you can help you to improve your emotional intelligence. All you have to do is to pay attention to them.
Observe and read people’s body language because non-verbal cues carry a lot of meaning in any context.
These signals can help you pick on how someone feels, allowing you to consider the various factors contributing to the other person’s emotions.
First off, listen to yourself. Notice how your body language affects those around you and the message you want to deliver.
Then listen to what other people are trying to communicate to you, both verbally and non-verbally.
Tuning in to yourself and others will help you understand other people’s emotions and act accordingly.
Emotional intelligence is about identifying and understanding emotions in yourself and others.
The ability to pause, reflect, and reason with emotions, especially in a tense situation, is a vital EQ skill you need to develop.
Cultivate this ability by constantly slowing down to evaluate the role of emotions in your behavior and decision-making.
Do so in other people as well.
Think of why the other person is feeling the way they do. It’ll help you to understand how emotions are influencing behavior in you and those around you.
4. Practice Empathy
We’ve talked about how tuning into and picking other people’s emotions can help strengthen your EQ.
But, you also need to put yourself into the other party’s shoes to comprehend their feelings or perspective truly.
By identifying, recognizing, and feeling someone else’s emotions, you get to understand the “why” behind their actions and feelings.
The good thing is that you can practice empathy wherever you are; in your workplace, in social interactions, with your lover, and even kids.
5. Embrace Positivity and Humor
Emotional intelligence starts when you know how to generate a positive attitude from within you and in others.
It doesn’t mean that you become bluntly humorous or “funny” for the sake of it, though.
Learn to inject humor at the right moment. Use it to lighten a moment, interrupt a pattern, and diffuse a strained situation.
You may not lighten up a room every time, but always strive to maintain a healthy and positive environment.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ) vs. IQ
You must have heard about being “book smart” and “street smart.” You may also have heard discussions about which of the two decides someone’s achievements in life.
First off, we must understand that emotional intelligence (EQ) does not directly relate to IQ (intelligence quotient), also known as cognitive intelligence.
Cognitive intelligence (IQ) refers to one’s ability to learn, recall, reason, solve problems, and make sound judgments. It is what we refer to when we define people as “intelligent and smart.”
On the other hand, emotional intelligence is the ability to pick up other people’s emotions and improve relationships by reacting accordingly.
We mostly refer to people with a high IQ as intelligent and smart. Such people can process information and do complex tasks much more easily and quickly.
A high IQ does not guarantee high EQ, though.
I mean, we’ve all seen a brilliant person (in the traditional IQ book sense) but with a hard time relating with other humans, making good decisions, or solving issues in the social scene.
And then there are other people who aren’t book smart but have incredible social skills. They do not have a hard time managing life’s complexities.
This is to say that both IQ and EQ are necessary factors of success in life.
For instance, IQ allows you to read, write, handle hard skills, define, and measure as in mathematics, accounting, and legal fields.
Emotional intelligence will help you to manage complexities in these fields. EQ gives you the ability to deconstruct, implement, process, and humanize the information for a better cause.
The good thing about EQ is that it is a skill you can learn.
You can always modify your emotions or change to befit a situation. You can always learn to be empathetic and choose when and where to use humor when relating with others.
However, IQ is a personality trait. It is inborn; either you have it, or you don’t.
This makes it fixed. There’s little you can do to modify or improve low IQ.
Emotional intelligence and mindfulness are vital skills to embrace if you want success in your relationship, business, workplace, and life in general.
The good thing is that you already know what to do to improve your EQ.
Just try these painless ways to boost your endeavors. You’ll save your life!
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