Emotional intelligence

How you can improve your EQ
We hear a lot about improving our “emotional quotient,” also known as emotional intelligence or “EQ.” But what is it? And how do you improve it? Emotional intelligence is, in part, about how we understand, acknowledge, and manage our emotions. Even negative ones.

But it’s also about being an effective and empathic communicator. People with a high EQ often have an easy-going social demeanor. They readily connect with others, read social cues well, and can resolve conflicts.

What are some ways you can improve your emotional intelligence? Verywell Mind has outlined traits of people with high EQ. Here are some tips for raising your own based on those traits:

Take time to listen carefully to how other people feel

Empathy is the ability to understand the emotions of other people. We interact with people in various settings – at work, school, home. Being sensitive to what others are feeling helps everyone feel more cooperative.

Practice recognizing your moods and feelings

Some people use a mood journal or a tracking tool. But learning what boosts your mood allows you to skillfully tune in to what you need so that you can take care of yourself and others.

Psychologist, author, and veteran science journalist Daniel Goleman believes that if you’re self-aware, you can recognize your moods, emotions, and feelings. But you also understand how your emotions and moods influence other people.

Tune in to both your emotions and your experience

Our emotions are important, and they drive much of what we do. Emotionally intelligent people balance their emotions, their values, and the logical outcomes of their choices in a healthy way.

Life changes can be stressful. But people with a high EQ understand how to manage the stress of the unknown. They know that change is necessary and OK. Change keeps you flexible and can potentially move you closer to attaining your goals.

Practice your social skills

One thing leads to another. When you are tuned into your feelings and those of others, you know how to read a room. Adopt a life-long learning approach to practicing social skills that help you maintain healthy social relationships.

Discuss feelings with others

Sometimes people are empathetic and in tune with their emotions but struggle to actually share these feelings with others. Emotionally intelligent people not only understand feelings, they know how to express them appropriately. Being open about your feelings is one way to increase your closeness with others. If you had a frustrating day, it can be easy to take it out on the people around you. If you need to shake off the stresses of the day, you could take a walk around the block to relax and shift gears before engaging in conversation.

Identify the underlying causes of your emotions

Sometimes we get upset or frustrated with the people in our lives. But is it really their actions we are upset about? Assess and analyze your feelings. Are there ongoing frustrations you haven’t talked about?

Be good to yourself. Know that our emotions can be complicated and hard to understand. Try to be well-nourished and rested when you reflect on your feelings and what caused them.

Recognizing and sharing your feelings will make you a better, more empathic friend.

“Knowledge comes from learning. Wisdom comes from living.” – Anthony Douglas Williams

Tips for building your emotional intelligence (EQ)

In Verywell Mind, writer and educational consultant Kendra Cherry explains that emotional intelligence can be used in everyday life and in all social interactions. And just like most things in life, we get better with practice. Here are ways to increase your emotional intelligence.

  • Accept criticism and responsibility
  • Move on after making a mistake
  • Say no when you need to
  • Share your feelings with others in healthy ways
  • Solve problems in ways that work for everyone
  • Refrain from judging others
  • Show empathy for other people
  • Have great listening skills
  • Know why you do the things you do

Source: Verywell Mind

Seven ways to improve your EQ

Self-awareness and empathy can serve you in everyday life, with friends, associates, and work colleagues. The folks at Lifehack created this quick list of ways to improve your EQ. Note: Doing these things may require some introspection.

  1. Take stock. We’re so busy these days that we often don’t check in with ourselves to see how we’re really feeling. Make the time. Set an alarm if you have to.
  2. Check yourself. Analyze your reactions to various circumstances or events. See how your emotions impact your everyday life. You might try writing in a journal.
  3. Take responsibility. No one “makes” you react in a certain way. You are responsible for your actions and reactions.
  4. Respond, don’t react. Think before you act. Take a breath. Or three. Decide how you want to behave.
  5. Practice empathizing. You can work on responses to others’ circumstances by analyzing your own feelings and asking yourself why you feel a certain way.
  6. Be positive. Make a place for gratitude in your life. Take time to feel grateful for the good things.
  7. Stick with it. You don’t become an EQ expert overnight. It takes practice. You’ll only get better.

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