WHAT IS EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Michael Beldoch, a clinical professor of psychology in psychiatry at Cornell University first coined the term in his research paper titled ‘Sensitivity to expression of emotional meaning in three modes of communication’. Then it was just a term. But as time passed it became a great deal of study among researchers. Many of them even concluded it to be bigger reason then intelligence quotient & general knowledge quotient in overall success of person’s life. But what exactly is this so called EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE or EMOTIONAL QUOTIENT.
Before Michael Beldoch the study of this genre was labelled as social intelligence. But later it came to be known as EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. Academically it is defined as ability to read & understand our emotions and that of other people, and then handling one’s own emotions in a productive way.
“The way we feel, is the way we act and is also the way we live.”
EXCERPT FROM BOOK Life The Way You Design | Part 1 – The Designer
But the question is…
HOW IT AFFECTS OUR LIFE?
We are not just human beings but we are emotional beings. We see everything through an emotional lens. Even those who think they are not emotional at all see the world through the same lens. It just might be that their emotions are very subtle to notice but emotions are always at play.
For a similar situation, different people react or respond differently, isn’t it? Failing in a business venture might become the cause of depression for someone and the same situation can become learning and a fuel to succeed further in life. From the same situation one person falls in life and one person starts rising in life. It all depends upon how the person interprets a situation and then act. And this is determined by the emotional lens we wear during different situations of life.
Even for the same person, he or she may react or respond differently in a same situation, during different states of mind. You may have notice this that when you are extremely happy or excited by some good news you take criticism very positively. But when you are angry or upset about something even a small remark on you makes you think the other person is so mean. Have you noticed this?
So this emotional lens is a determining factor on how you perceive a situation, process the information and take actions. Having this lens clear and in appropriate condition is having a higher EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE. But…
WHY DO WE NEED TO HAVE MORE EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE?
Whoever you might be or whatever you might be doing, in order to get success in your tasks you need to have these 3 fundamental qualities:
- Perceive With Absolute Clarity
- Process Information With Absolute Precision
- Take Right Actions In Right Directions
Without having stable emotions, steady intellect and ability to see one’s own emotional dilemma, all the above qualities are hard to get. And without those qualities success in whatever we do in life is hard to get. And so in this article we will cover ways & methods to increase our EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
3 THINGS TO READ YOUR EMOTIONS
- ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR DIRTY SIDE
Most of us have this subconscious tendency of defending our own self by not admitting our mistakes. We all have emotions and when our emotions overpower us we might get angry on someone, we intentionally ignore someone or we criticize someone. This is not the problem, the problem is that once we do make a mistake under the influence of these emotions we then justify our actions like ‘she made me angry’, ‘he is mean to me and so I did this to her’, ‘I don’t do mistakes’, ‘I have to do this to make him realize’, etc. Now understand that as long as you are doing the act consciously without letting your emotions over power it is all okay. But if your actions are just reactions that are influenced by your emotions, and just to defend yourself you justify your actions, then my dear friend the overall results will not be in your favour.
- Accept that sometimes your different emotions like rage, resentment or hatred take over you and you do things you wouldn’t do it when you are emotionally stable.
- When you realize that you committed a mistake under the influence of your emotions, accept it in your mind and see how you misread a situation.
- Depending upon the situation do something about it. Like apologizing for your misconduct or admitting your mistake. However this point is completely up to you, as in some situations accepting our fault can backfire.
For example you came home after a hard day work and your mother or spouse asked you something but you were too tired to make a communication and so you behaved rudely. When you realize this, admit it in your mind that it is something you shouldn’t do. See it that it was because of the full day stress. And if you can go and apologize, it is great. If not then it is okay but you keep in mind to not repeat it next time.
2. ACKNOWLEDGE OTHER’S DIRTY SIDE
Similarly other people to have the same tendency like that of yours. Now as you have observed this tendency in yourself you can see this taking expression in other people also. Just like you get angry on someone because you were upset about something else, other people also share similar traits. When you become more emotionally intelligent your awareness of emotions of people around you increases.
- When you see you friend or sibling getting angry about something, see if it is because of something else or not.
- Acknowledge that it is not that he or she is rude or mean. But just like you, he or she also sometime get their emotional lens dirty because of some unpleasant experiences of life.
Wait for them to get settled emotionally and then make them explain the play of emotion. This might take some time and energy, because everybody may be not as intelligent as you.
3. CHANNELIZE YOUR EMOTIONS
All the emotions are nothing but play of hormones. And the emotional disturbances that we often face are because of excessive release of hormones. Hormones that were released to do a physical activity but were not utilized, causes the emotional conflict in our mind that further creates problem in life. These hormones when gets utilized emotional conflicts get resolved. Let’s understand how it works.
When humans were hunters & gatherers we always faced danger of life in the jungle. Any time we could have encountered a predator. And when we did we just had two options run for life or fight till death. Both the processes are intense physical activities and require a lot of fuel. In order to assist this immediate process our body releases a lot of stress hormones adrenaline, testosterone, insulin, etc. Now as we have settled into societies we don’t have fear of immediate death via a predator. But body hasn’t forgotten the life saving tendency developed over millions of year of evolution. So when you see someone complaining about your work or criticise you, your body reacts the same way and releases those stress hormones. But you don’t run or fight so those hormones are stored in your body creating friction in your body, mind and emotions. And so you see all the conflicts in life.
One of the best & simple ways to address this is to do physical activity, because those hormones were released for the same. So what you do in such situation? You start a physical fight with the one who criticise you, right? No, you do some physical activities on daily basis. What it will do is that it will utilize all the stress hormones stored within the body over a period of time. And so in a given situation your response will be much more conscious. And so the outcome will be more productive.
Some basic activities that you can do are below
- Walking In Park
- Jogging In Park
- Playing A Physical Game (Not On A Phone)
- Even Singing Can Help
- Pranayama & Meditation
- Tai Chi
- Martial Arts
Acknowledge your emotions, the play of your emotions, see the play in people around you and channelize your emotions. Just by keeping these fundamental aspects in mind, you can improve your emotional intelligence. You will outperform your previous self in life.
THIS ARTICLE WAS ORIGINALLY WRITTEN FOR iOWN Magazine