How to Boost Your Emotional Intelligence
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Emotional intelligence is a critical characteristic that allows you to effectively control, evaluate and perceive your emotions and the emotions of others. This ensures that you properly use information and respond rationally to various situations. This provides you with a greater level of empathy, the ability to keep your cool during a bad situation, and it even helps you to have more meaningful relationships. You can improve your emotional intelligence over time using a variety of effective methods.
Do Not Interrupt People When They Are Speaking
It is easy to interrupt others when they are talking, especially if the subject makes you uncomfortable. It takes time to break this bad habit, but working on it as the first way to boost your emotional intelligence is critical. Take the time to truly listen to what the other person is saying before you respond. This ensures a more fluid conversation and one that you will learn from.
Do Not Immediately Dismiss Your Feelings
When you have feelings, especially strong feelings about something, paying attention to them is a process. Taking the time to contemplate your feelings is actually a sign of a strong and healthy mind. You should never dismiss your feelings because this just forces you to bury them and they will inevitably rise to the surface again in the future.
Connect Your Feelings to the Situations Causing Them
Certain feelings often go with certain life-events and those with high emotional intelligence are able to connect the dots and make intelligent decisions. It is important to explore why certain things make you feel the way they do, because this gives you the opportunity to make changes so that you are not putting yourself in situations that are uncomfortable or negative. When you are able to do this successfully, you will find it a lot easier to remain in a positive head space regardless of the situation.
Listen to Your Body at All Times
Your body often gives you signals when there is something emotional happening. For example, if you go to work each morning with knots in your stomach, your body is telling you that your job is a major source of stress. You need to be able to recognize these signs and connect them to the things that are causing them. Once you can do this, you can work to reduce stress and other negative things in your life for a higher level of emotional intelligence and overall happiness.
Talk to a Trusted Friend About Your Feelings
There are times when it is very hard to identify exactly what you are feeling and why. Getting an outside perspective is critical and this can provide you with information that you would not otherwise have. Make sure that this person knows you well and that they have a clear mind. Being able to ask for some help, especially when it comes to your feelings, is a big sign of improving emotional intelligence.
Explore Your Unconscious Feelings
Many people are not even aware of their unconscious feelings because it takes some practice to identify them. You can use a technique called free association to start getting in touch with them. Get as comfortable as possible in a place with dim lighting and absolute quiet. Once you are comfortable, simply let your mind start to wander and pay close attention to the things that continue to come up when you use this technique. These things are clues to your true feelings, and you likely need you to give them some attention to these thoughts and feelings in real life.
Write Everything Down
When you are having strong feelings about something, take the time to write it down. Write down how you are feeling and what is happening that is causing these feelings. You can go back and reflect on these to learn why certain situations trigger such strong emotions within your heart. This allows you to better control your emotions so that you are never at risk for things like embarrasing emotional outbursts or reading into a situation incorrectly.
These changes are meant to be made over time. It is easiest to start with one and master it before you move onto the next. This allows you adequate focus on each of the methods so that you are improving your emotional intelligence gradually. This is a process, but you will start to notice some changes as you make your way through it, and t is important that you are patient as your feelings reveal themselves.
- Rosemary Kitchen
Segal, J., et al. (2014). Emotional Intelligence (EQ). Retrieved on February 6, 2015 from http://www.helpguide.org/articles/emotional-health/emotional-intelligence-eq.htm
Ni, P. (2014). How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence – 6 Essentials. Retrieved on February 6, 2015 from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/communication-success/201410/how-increase-your-emotional-intelligence-6-essentials