Emotional intelligence isn’t the same as intellectual ability (IQ)but it is just as important. Possessing emotional intelligence allows you to connect with others more easily, forge more meaningful friendships and relationships and navigate life with less hassle. In job interviews, it is a well known fact that emotional intelligence – how you come across and how likeable you are, is more likely to get you the job than the statistics on your CV. You are far more likely to have life go your way when you have others on your side. Â Those who lack charisma and the ability to charm others (genuinely not superficially) are at a disadvantage so it pays to exercise your emotional wellbeing and intelligence.
Emotional intelligence (EQ) consists of understanding yourself and your emotions. Some people are so out of touch with their emotions that they haven’t cried in years and rarely get upset. They live in a numb landscape…”unplugged” as I like to call it. That’s all very well – it’s safe but you are flat lining. There are no highs and lows, almost like living in a glass box – you can see everything that’s going on but you aren’t experiencing it directly. There is a large amount of detachment when someone lacks EQ.
Possessing EQ also allows you to understand and empathise with others…it gives you the ability to manage your emotions and react in healthy ways to conflict and distress. Â Your IQ may get you into University but it is your EQ that will help you manage stress and emotions.
It’s often not the smartest people that are successful in life, it is the likeable people that go far.
Ways to increase your EQ:
When you are stressed, identify the emotions within. What happens when you are stressed? Look out for physical symptoms as a starting point. Your body will send you signals even if at first you don’t recognise what is happening internally. Does your heart rate go up? Sweaty palms? Notice the physical signs and there will be something going on emotionally.
Next, label the emotions…anger? sadness? Becoming aware of your inner emotions is a crucial step in becoming more in tune with your emotional repertoire. Â Without emotional awareness we are unable to fully understand our needs and motivations , or communicate effectively with others.
EQ helps us to interpret non verbal behaviour more easily. Seventy percent of our communication is non verbal and it pays to develop your skills in this area. When others like you and relate to you they are much more likely to help you out and promote you.
EQ is closely related to humour. Â Humour helps us to deal with stress and smooths over conflict and tricky situations. It helps us relax and move away from rigid thinking. Be childlike, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously.
Figure out why you might lack EQ. Have you been hurt in the past? Have you numbed yourself in order to deal with life? This may serve you in some ways but living a life that is unplugged means you might miss out on the lows but you will also miss out on the highs. Life is made up of highs and lows but it also brings us connection and feeling alive.
Get clever – rediscover your emotions. You will feel a lot less lonely and more a part of this wild mad place called Earth.