How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

By Andrea Harnn,
updated on Jan 18, 2018

How Emotionally Intelligent Are You?

Understanding our moods and emotions provides a wealth of benefits. Psychotherapist and relationship expert Andrea Harrn explains how learning about them can be incredibly empowering

woman stretching

We’ve all heard of IQ, but how about EQ? These days emotional intelligence is measured for business and employment purposes as a key indicator for success in the workplace. The smartest person with the highest grades doesn’t necessarily make the best employee.

On a personal and relationship level, it’s just as important. Emotional intelligence is having the capacity to identify and manage your emotions with the ability to empathise with the emotional state of others. This skill comes naturally to some, but can be worked on by everyone.

We all experience a range of on-going emotions and moods. However, often we can feel overwhelmed by our thoughts or bad about our feelings. We are all transitioning through life, and our emotions are an expression of who we are in any given moment. Therefore, to deny any part of ourselves is missing a wonderful learning opportunity for self-development.

Here are 10 key components to emotional intelligence and their benefits:

1. Self-awareness

Understanding your emotions and drives can guide you to respond in appropriate, helpful and positive ways. When you’re aware of yourself, you also become more sensitive and empathic to the needs of others.

2. Self-regulation

If you’re a person who has difficulty managing your emotional states, gaining more awareness and understanding as to why you think and feel the way you do can really help to redirect disruptive or difficult reactions into more helpful practices. Self-management = self-empowerment.

woman sat on the floor

3. Intuition

This is about listening to your gut instinct. Physical feelings can guide and protect us, but we often ignore them and listen to what our head is saying. If you are a sensitive type then you probably easily pick up on the energies around you – positive or negative. Intuition is the original seat of knowledge, so listen to what your body is telling you and trust yourself.

4. Self-acceptance

We all make mistakes, don’t we? Do you forgive yourself easily or put yourself down? Are you often angry or disappointed when people don’t behave the way you would like them to? When expectations are too high or rigid, this is likely to lead to disappointment. Think about why you feel the way you do and look for other possibilities. Try to see situations from other perspectives too. Accepting and understanding yourself and others will allow you to let go of resistance (a key stress builder), lead to clearer thinking and free up energy for more motivation.

5. Authenticity

Having a good understanding of your emotions will help you be true to who you are, and be more real with others. We all have ups and downs and times when we feel vulnerable. But don’t shut yourself away; have a conversation with a friend and be honest about how you feel.

Intuition is the original seat of knowledge, so listen to what your body is telling you and trust yourself
6. Empathy

When you’re more aware of yourself, you also become more sensitive and empathic to the needs of others. Having honest conversations about how you feel will allow others to open up too.

7. Motivation

Once you can accept yourself and others, you’ll be able to let go of disappointment, resentment, negative judgements or unrealistic expectations. This will free up energy to fuel passion and motivation to achieve your goals.

8. Social skills

Do you shy away from invitations with work colleagues, or embrace opportunities to socialise? Typical emotions people have around social interactions are fear and anxiety. What are the unhelpful thoughts and blocks that hold you back?

friends feet

9. Universal connectedness

We all make mistakes, say the wrong thing, act badly sometimes and regret our actions. Things happen for a reason – forgive yourself, learn from it and move on. What we see in others can be a reflection of ourselves. We are all part of a whole human chain of consciousness. For every action, there is a reaction. Be the person you wish to see reflected back at you.

10. Self-actualisation

We are all in a continuing process of growth, and through good and bad we strive to constantly move forward. Do you feel stuck? What stops you moving forward to the best possible you?

Emotional intelligence is an ongoing process, fundamental to effective thinking. By learning to understand your emotions you become empowered. By recognising physical symptoms that accompany certain feelings, you learn to control your mind and actions. You can then apply logic to put you in the right direction for positive growth.

By Andrea Harnn

Andrea Harrn is a psychotherapist and expert in relationships, passive aggressive behaviour, and emotional intelligence.

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