Emotionally Intelligent People Have 3 Things in Common. They are:    

1. Happier

2. Healthier

3. More Successful

This subject of Emotional Intelligence was brought to light in the 1990s when studies began showing people with average IQs were outperforming those with higher IQs.

Illustration From CognitiveInstitute.org

What exactly is Emotional Intelligence?

  • A person’s ability to label, control, express and handle their emotions while recognizing and coping with the emotions of others. 
  • The ability to use both the rational and emotional parts of their brain to make logical decisions.
  • A person’s ability to understand that their emotions are valid and rationalize their feelings.

While IQ (Intelligence Quotient) measures someone’s ability to learn, EQ (Emotional Quotient) measures someone’s ability to recognize emotion, understand it and deal with it.

IQ and EQ are not related, so a person’s intelligence does not determine their level of emotional intelligence.

The Institute for Health and Human Potential reports that EQ counts for almost double what IQ and technical skills are worth combined!

Travis Bradberry, author of “Emotional Intelligence 2.0” states there are two categories for EQ:

(1) personal competence and (2) social competence.

Personal competence is made up of self-awareness and self-management. A person’s EQ will be higher if they’re aware of their emotions and USE that awareness to positively direct their behavior.

Social competence is about social awareness and relationship management. Successful social awareness and relationship management occur when one is able to accurately depict another person’s emotions, empathize with them, and use their awareness to guide a successful interaction.

Being aware of your emotional triggers and focusing on your efforts to positively transform your behavior by being proactive rather than reactive is the key to success!

Many of us were taught to believe that the best way to deal with a situation is to be strong and not show any emotion.

This method might come across as having strength and confidence, but it can actually have a negative effect.

Keeping our emotions inside could lead to physical problems such as headaches, stomach issues, eating disorders, drug and alcohol use and other disruptive behaviors.

In the book, The Body Keeps Score”, by Bessel Van Der Kolk, he discusses how our bodies store our emotions when we are unable to express ourselves and it harms us not only mentally and emotionally but physically too!

How Do You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

A Checklist:

  1. Know which emotions are felt and why.  If you experience an emotional reaction to a situation or a conversation, try to recognize what you are feeling and give it a name. (angry, sad, scared, confused, embarrassed, etc.)
  2. Realize the link between your feelings and your ACTIONS. Consider how you would normally respond to this situation before you take action.
  3. Recognize how your feelings affect your performance. This is very important for work or class performance. If you’re “in a negative mood,” this negativity may prevent you from doing your best, maintaining motivation and sustaining self-confidence. You are able to give yourself permission to CHOOSE another more productive thought.
  4. Have a guiding awareness of your values and goals. Keep a journal and write down goals for recognizing and managing your emotions.

Our emotions signal to us our interpretation of the world, and they are always whispering or talking loudly. The ability to recognize and communicate your feelings as well as recognize the emotions of others is crucial because our lives involve struggle and these skills provide resiliency and create emotional confidence.

7 EQ Boosting Tips for Parents

  1. FIVE-SECOND RULE:  Kids are impulsive by nature and when unchecked they can become compulsive adults. Teaching children to stop and think about how they feel before they act by taking five seconds to respond to anything unless it is an emergency.
  2. TALK IT OUT: Encourage conversation by having regular family time for at least 15 minutes per night and just talk. This can be difficult for some families so there are conversation starters available at the bookstore.
  3. WITH OPEN ARMS: Accept your child’s emotions, feelings are neither right or wrong—they just are, and everyone is entitled to them, teaching it is okay to be mad, but not mean. Asking if they want to talk about their feelings and reassuring them you are there to listen will help them understand and learn about themselves.
  4. A MATTER OF TRUST: Helping your child sort out their feelings by sharing a similar situation may encourage them to open up and trust you with their feelings.
  5. JUST IMAGINE: Teach empathy through awareness by talking to your kids about the emotions of others is a great way to build the foundation for developing empathy. Asking them a question like, “Can you imagine how that person felt when that happened to them?”
  6. STEP IN: Set boundaries on behaviors, not emotions, it is what is okay and what isn’t okay for example screaming at someone is a behavior that is not acceptable, but being angry is and asking how are they able to express it in an appropriate way.
  7. HEAP ON THE PRAISE: Recognize when their feelings are in check, by acknowledging situations where your child could have let their emotions lead to unacceptable behaviors, but remained in control. Kids want to be told when they are doing something right and when we give them positive attention you will see an increase in more positive behavior.

Teaching kids’ self-awareness, empathy, emotional self-regulation, and social skills are more critical than ever as social media and texting threaten the very fabric of face-to-face human connection.

Setting limits on phone time, encouraging them to make a list of fun family activities they would like to do and modeling active listening are good ways to start.

We all want to be seen, heard and understood, we are biologically wired for it, even though we might not feel the same as someone else it doesn’t mean that their feelings aren’t valid to them. 

                                          MY FAVORITE POEM:

                            Your children are not your children.

           They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.

                     They come through you but not from you.

            And though they are with you, they do not belong to you.

               You may give them your love, but not your thoughts.

                          For they have their own thoughts.

                You may house their bodies, but not their souls.

           For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which

                         You cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

                                                                               By:  Kahlil Gibran

Improving your EQ will help you in all aspects of your life. Unfortunately, most of us are not taught these skills growing up! 

Contact me if you’d like more information and/or help.

Maria Bucci, M.Ed LPC DWC-F. Daring Way Facilitator by Dr. Brené Brown

Maria Bucci, M.Ed LPC DWC-F. Daring Way Facilitator by Dr. Brené Brown

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