There’s little doubt that a child’s welfare is determined by emotional competence. Children who grow up in an environment surrounded by emotionally intelligent people will also display high levels of it. This was confirmed by a study that showed that children of emotionally intelligent parents are better at regulating their own emotions, show lower stress levels, are better liked by their peers and described as more socially adept by their teachers.
It’s perhaps not surprising that a child’s own emotional intelligence is also related to its welfare. Children with deficits in self-awareness, empathy or impulse control are at risk of developing mental health problems and tend to have more problems at school.
All this evidence shows that the emotional intelligence of children is central to the future of our communities. The children of today are the parents, managers and politicians of tomorrow. In short, many will have a big impact on future society, and it would help any community if the people in charge were empathic, good at resolving conflicts and not prone to blindly acting on impulse.
Several very diverse societal factors shape a future community’s well-being, but obviously emotional intelligence is among the more influential ones. As we have learnt that emotional intelligence can lead to a fulfilled life, you may now be asking if it is possible to boost it. The answer is yes, and a series of exercises can help you achieve this.
If you want to enhance your self-awareness and self-management, you can practice using inner dialogues. This will assist you in identifying and naming your feelings. For example, if your friend tells everyone but you about his marital problems you may feel upset. But inner dialogue can help you resolve this. You should ask yourself, “Why am I hurt? Because my best friend confided his marital problems to everyone but me.“
Now, having identified this feeling and its cause, you can dampen its power. You could instead tell yourself, “I may feel left out but it’s possible that he didn’t want to bother me because he knew I was busy drawing up the annual accounts.” In this way, you’ll feel less upset.
If you want to improve your empathy, you can try to mirror another person’s body language. This is helpful because body language doesn’t solely express emotions – it also evokes them. So, for example, by mirroring another person’s tense posture, you may induce tenseness in yourself.
If you want to enhance your ability to self-motivate and think more positively, follow this advice: The way you explain your successes and failures has an impact on your ability to motivate yourself. To become self-motivated, start thinking like this: people who can convince themselves that failures are due to something they can change don’t give up so easily. They continue to try because they believe that a successful outcome depends on their own actions.
In contrast, those who attribute a setback to some permanent personal deficit are likely to give up soon. They are convinced that there is not much they can do about their success anyway. If you want to be successful, try to avoid this thought process.
You may now know quite a bit about emotional intelligence. But you may also be asking yourself – how can I use this knowledge practically? Here is some advice that can help you use your emotional intelligence in your everyday life.
The first piece of advice is: you can avoid misunderstandings in a relationship if you take into account the different ways that men and women deal with emotions. Typically, girls are raised to talk about their feelings and connect through intimate talk, while boys learn to minimize feelings that might make them appear vulnerable.
You could also follow this advice. If you are very upset during a dispute, try to take a break to calm down. Strong emotions tend to distort your thinking so you will likely say or do something you might regret. Fortunately, a cool-down period may help.
The final piece of advice is: if you have to criticize someone, be specific and offer a solution. By picking an incident and pointing out exactly what should have been done differently and what was done well, you’ll make yourself clear and keep the recipient from feeling devalued and confused.
Our emotions are important as they serve as indispensable sources of orientation and push us to take action. However, they can also make us act irrationally. That is why we need emotional intelligence. Emotional Intelligence is a set of skills that enable you to recognize and manage emotions – both your own feelings and those of other people.
Emotional intelligence is perhaps the most important factor in helping us lead fulfilled lives. Compared to IQ, it is a better predictor of academic success, job performance and life success. And, unlike IQ, we can increase our emotional intelligence throughout life.
Check out my related post: How does reading increase your intelligence and empathy?