You’ve probably heard of the acronym “IQ” before. It’s a score based on a person’s intelligence. But a person is much more than just a test score based on their ability to solve problems through thinking, reason, and strategy.
A person has feelings and emotions on top of all of those thoughts that are constantly circling and spiraling in and out of their head. IQ scores can be improved with studying, learning, reading, writing, and through education and schooling.
But how can someone improve their own emotions and feelings? For some, they may even feel like their emotions or feelings control them instead of the other way around. That’s what emotional intelligence is for.
Let’s learn more about why it’s important to cultivate emotional intelligence and how you can do it.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is the ability to express and control one’s emotions. But it doesn’t stop there. Emotional intelligence also involves understanding, interpreting, and responding to the emotions of others.
Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?
Many individuals believe that emotional intelligence (EI) or emotional quotient (EQ) is just as if not more important than intelligence quotient (IQ). In recent years, there’s been more of a focus on how to improve emotional intelligence within both the academic and professional worlds. These are just a few of the many different ways that emotional intelligence can have a positive impact.
Individuals who have a higher emotional intelligence are more likely to be empathetic and show empathy for others. People with emotional intelligence are able to consider others and how they may be thinking or feeling. This small action can help someone see something from someone else’s perspective or step into their shoes. It can also help them cater to their communication or communication style when speaking directly with them.
Respond More Rationally
Emotions have a way of taking over sometimes, especially if situations are stressful or situations in which you may be passionate about a certain topic. Emotional intelligence can help no matter if the situation that you’re in is positive or negative. When you have emotional intelligence, you’re able to take a step back and think before you speak or react. Taking a step back to pause and reflect on what you’re going to do or say can help take your emotions out of the equation and help keep you level-headed. It can also prevent you from doing or saying things that you’ll later regret.
In addition to having a stronger sense of empathy, self-awareness is also increased when emotional intelligence is present. Not only are people with emotional intelligence better able to consider others and how they may be feeling, but they’re also able to dig deeper into understanding their own feelings. Instead of letting their emotions be the ones in control, they’re able to grab the reigns again and consider the different factors or attributes happening in their life that can be contributing to how they may be feeling about certain situations.
How to Cultivate Emotional Intelligence
If you’re not that familiar with emotional intelligence, it’s okay! Not only are we here to help, but you’re actually probably already unconsciously working on improving your own emotional intelligence without even realizing it! These are just a few of the different ways that you can improve your own emotional intelligence:
- Empathize with others
- Listen (verbally and non-verbally)
- Reflect on your own emotions, behaviors, and decisions
Emotional intelligence can help you improve your own abilities and also your relationships with others. If you want a little more support and push towards working to improve your emotional intelligence, we’re here to help. Emotional intelligence is something that can constantly be worked on and improved upon. Reach out to us today to set up a consultation for career coaching or anxiety therapy.
About the author(s)
Karen is the founder and Clinical Director of Cohesive Therapy NYC. She earned a Masters in Social Work from New York University and has extensive training in Hypnosis, Anxiety, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Brainspotting, and DGBI. She is a member of the Institute of Certified Anxiety Treatment Professionals, The Rome Foundation, the National Association of Social Workers, The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation, and the American Social of Clinical Hypnosis.