The Importance of Practicing This Important Skill
Have you ever been in a situation where someone else was emotional, and you knew how to act to reduce overreaction or soften complex emotions? If so, you displayed a high level of emotional intelligence. When we talk about traits of leaders, lovers, and family members, rarely does emotional intelligence reach the top of the list. However, it’s arguably one of the most important and the most unconsciously sought-after traits of all. Read on to learn more about emotional intelligence, why you should practice it, and why you should find an emotionally intelligent partner!
What is Emotional Intelligence?
While you just saw a little taste of emotional intelligence above, it’s likely more elusive and complex than meager words can describe.
It’s that mysterious reason lying behind the scenes that make you fall in love with someone. It’s that trait that makes a leader powerful as they become a leader of the people through respect and appreciation. Lastly, it’s the trait that everyone on earth should practice endlessly.
Components of Emotional Intelligence
How well do you know yourself? When you get sad, what physically happens to your body? What about when you’re mad or embarrassed? People who have self-awareness, which is a strength, can easily recognize when they get upset, allowing them to react in a more level-headed way.
Self-awareness blends well with self-regulation. When someone is strong in self-awareness, they’re able to control their emotions, and that’s what self-regulation is all about. If self-regulation is your strength, you can easily stop the pattern of negative, depressive thinking. Alternatively, you can stop yourself from reacting poorly when you experience anger.
People with strong emotional intelligence can find motivation from within. They don’t need external rewards to motivate themselves. Instead, they create their own motivation to accomplish goals. If you can easily commit to a task or a goal, you likely are strong in the self-motivation aspect of emotional intelligence.
There are some people, perhaps you, who deeply feel the emotions of other people. If that’s you, you’re empathetic. You can recognize and feel the emotions of someone else. This ability to understand the emotion from a first-hand perspective allows you to respond confidently and intelligently to emotionally heightened situations.
Someone who has good social skills knows how to get along with several types of people. They know how to respect others, make them laugh, and create good first impressions. They show verbal communication skills, listening skills, and nonverbal communication skills. Furthermore, they have a deep understanding of others’ boundaries through limited exposure.
Why Should You Practice Emotional Intelligence (EI)?
Emotional intelligence is what gives people the perception of being well-rounded. These people with strong EI skills feel emotions, recognize challenges and understand people and their behavior. The results of this trait bring several benefits, which were partially explored above, in the components of emotional intelligence. However, there is still much more to this powerful skill.
When you practice emotional intelligence, you’re developing a well-rounded awareness. This does not begin and end with you. This awareness extends to those in your circle and outside of it. Emotional intelligence allows you to understand any given environment you’re in and adapt your actions to fit it.
For instance, when you’re at work, there may be times that seem more playful—employees and managers are mingling and joking together. However, there may also be times where such behavior is disrespectful and out of place. Emotional intelligence allows you to read the room, understand what’s going on through speech and nonverbal cues.
The same applies to situations a bit closer to home, such as personal relationships. At some point, you may find yourself with a friend or partner who has recently had a challenging experience. Some people may want to talk or want to be comforted. Others may wish to have you in their presence, but they don’t want to talk or perhaps even be touched. You have to have the emotional intelligence to know how to act in such a tricky situation.
How to Practice Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is often something that comes naturally. However, it is also something that has to be practiced, and anyone can learn it. Consider the following methods for practicing and building emotional intelligence skills.
- Practice your observation skills—how people interact with each other or react to different situations
- Drop the judgment on others and dig deeper into others’ actions
- Practice humility and gratefulness
- Hold yourself accountable for all your actions
- Practice self-awareness in how you react to various situations
- Examine how you act towards friends, families, coworkers, and strangers
Practicing emotional intelligence is something that can be done at all points in the day. All it takes is a little awareness and intention. In the end, you’ll be rewarded with greater self-confidence, improved social skills, and an even greater hunger for self-improvement.