We tend to admire and hear quite a bit about intelligence in the traditional sense.
More specifically, the one which is encompassed in the general intellect of a person- the ability to comprehend, evaluate, and respond to external stimuli. For instance, solving a math problem accurately or predicting an opponent’s next move in a heated game of chess.
However, there is another ‘form’, so to speak, of intelligence which is not to be underestimated.
That is emotional intelligence. But what exactly does that mean?
It is defined as the capacity to be “aware of, control, and express one’s emotions” while handling “interpersonal relationships judiciously and empathetically.”
Emotional intelligence by and large consists of five key skills:
1. Having self-awareness
In general, emotionally intelligent people tend to have a good sense of self-awareness. However, what does that mean exactly? Well, they are able to recognize when they are enraged or under the influence of strong emotions. Therefore, they make an effort to not give in to the temptations such emotions typically have in store for us. Recognizing their brain is “hijacked” by emotion allows them to make the decision to cool off and regain composure and perspective.
2. Understand their emotions
More often than not, people misunderstand their own emotions. Sometimes we react to a certain situation in a harsher way due to other underlying feelings we may be processing at the moment. Consequently, emotionally mature people have the skill to differentiate between those two sets of emotions. This allows them to deal with their feelings in a more effective manner, creating a better ground for communication.
3. Know when blame is being misplaced
To point the finger at the other person is something we tend to do while experiencing large amounts of anger. Misplacing blame, therefore, is a common issue that emotionally intelligent people seem to handle differently than others. Namely, by being more careful when it comes to “projecting their feelings” onto other people. Inner-reflection comes into place as a means to not let their own feelings of sadness, stress, or anxiety be shifted onto people who have nothing to do with them in the first place.
4. Being compassionate
This is, in all actuality, the one quality that makes the others above possible, as it could be described as a key ingredient to the whole mix of emotional intelligence. Being considerate and aware of the emotions, and even the struggles of others allows us to approach interpersonal matters in a more empathetic way. This does not mean, however, that emotionally mature people do not make mistakes in that regard. Of course, they do. However, they have the ability to quickly process that and make the situation right.
5. Skillful communication
Self-aware, compassionate people do not typically have the tendency to make everything about themselves. They are far from the egocentrism spectrum, thus allowing for a healthy, beneficial conversation to take place. Showing a sincere interest in others, respecting their thoughts and emotions is really what ‘skillful’, understanding communication is all about. People of this kind generally do not think of themselves as always having a superior opinion or suffer from the belief that they are always right. Hence, that makes it easier to communicate due to your opinion being validated and respected.
To sum up, emotional intelligence is not to be underrated.
Possessing the skills and qualities of an emotionally mature person definitely is helpful towards the sustaining of healthy, understanding relationships. Again, it is important to emphasize that this kind of people are not perfect beings who never make mistakes towards others. On the contrary, they most likely do, however, they are able to reflect upon the issue at hand and, therefore, achieve being a better version of themselves each and every time.