Emotional Intelligence

Is emotional intelligence important?

7 Mins read
emotional intelligence is important
Emotional intelligence is important in the sense that it encompasses everything we hold dear and attribute to our happiness, success, life fulfillment and purpose.

Emotional intelligence is important in the sense that it encompasses everything we hold dear and attribute to our happiness, success, life fulfillment and purpose. Emotional intelligence is the one concept that covers a multitude of facets that we consider to be vital to us as human beings and our whole existence on this planet.

I want you to take a break from reading this and just think of what is important to you in your life right now. I’m talking about your dreams, goals, relationships, principles, views on life aspects, political standpoints, religious and spiritual beliefs, imagine all of the things you hold most dear to your heart.

Now I want you to remember that feeling you have when you have those things, or when you imagine having those things. Which emotions are you going through right now, do they make you feel; happy, over joyed, at peace, passionate? You are obviously overwhelmed by the thought of being able to live in that moment having those things for life.

Now I want you to stop thinking about those things. Take a step back and forget about all the emotions that come with achieving those goals and living the dream. I want you to start imagining doing all of those things without feeling any of the emotions that you felt earlier on. Imagine living in that big house but the joy and happiness isn’t there, imagine it to be real, as if some disease had befallen us making us immune to feeling emotions. Have you done that?

Now ask yourself, “Do you really think you would want to work that hard, be that motivated to push on and strive to be better if there was no emotional satisfaction at the end of the day?”

No, you wouldn’t. This is what brings me back to what I always write about, the importance and vitality of emotional intelligence.

What is emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is simply the ability that each and everyone of us possesses, its your ability to notice your emotions and other people’s, being aware of them at each and every instance, analyzing them and being able to take the right step in addressing them.

Emotions and intellect are fundamentally what we are made of.

As much as intellect plays a huge role in our decision making, analytical thinking and problem solving, it is our own emotions that dictate the direction of our lives.1

When an emotion is triggered in your brain, your nervous system responds by creating feelings in your body (what many people refer to as a “gut feeling”) and certain thoughts in your mind.

A great deal of your decisions are informed by your emotional responses because that is what emotions are designed to do: to appraise and summarize an experience and inform your actions. Hence, emotional intelligence is important in helping you become more aware of these emotional responses so that they don’t control you but rather you control them.

Emotions are behind many complex dynamics in business and personal relationships. For example, a personal or professional relationship with someone who has narcissistic personality characteristics can trigger a consuming emotional response in you.

The 4 components of emotional intelligence

The four components are self awarenessself managementsocial awareness and relationship management, for ease of use and reference I have opted to jot all of the facts about them in form of a quick table format.

Self awarenessSelf managementSocial awarenessRelationship management
DefinitionsThe ability to be aware of your personality and individuality, its the clear understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions.The skills and confidence to take charge of your needs, your everyday roles and responsibilities, and importantly, your emotionsThe skill to understand other people and interact with each other: communicate and getting along, that help us understand each other and get along better.Involves using your awareness of your own emotions and those of others to manage interactions successfully
Traits involvedEmotional awareness, self knowledge accurate self-assessment (IQ & Personality), and self-confidence.Self monitoring, Self-control,
Conscientiousness, self discipline, self evaluation and self reinforcement
Empathy, altruism, social management and evaluation, people skills, communication skills, conflict resolution and public relations. Adaptability, consistency, self esteem, art of compromise and interpersonal skills.
ImportanceSelf awareness is where happiness begins and is the stepping stone to self knowledge and enlightenment.Helps you make the right choices when it comes to overwhelming emotions, and also helps you escape the prison of impulses and rush decisions.Helps you get along with others than people with low EI, this is because elements such as people skills, conflict resolution and empathy are low in people with low emotional quotient.Leads to better job performance, working better in teams, increased creativity, retention at work, and accepting change. Moreover you will enjoy better interpersonal relationships at home.
How to improve1. Keep a journal.
2. Self reflection and judge yourself objectively.
3. Ask your trusted friends to describe you.
4. Practice mindfulness exercises.
5. Take personality and other psychometric tests.
6. Write down your dreams and goals.
1. Practice accountability.
2. Perform self control practices – reinforcement.
3. Keep a journal for progress monitoring.
4. Keep a vision board.
1. Put yourself in someone else’s shows – empathy.
2. Ask others how they feel.
3. Read books on social skills.
4. Keep a close tight circle that you trust.
5. Be less quick to judge.
1. Practice the art of compromise.
2. Be more empathetic and altruistic.
3. Ask how people feel.
4. Acknowledge others’ emotions and feelings.
5.Think before acting, be slow to judge.
6. Appreciate others.
7. Be positive
8. Manage your boundaries.
the 4 components of emotional intelligence

These 4 components of emotional intelligence summarize the entirety of the pursuit of happiness, that is why I have dedicated this site to talking about the emotional intelligence quotient.

People say that happiness is like an orgasm, the more you chase after it the more it runs away from you, which is somewhat true. However, just riding the wave and chasing after the wind in the hopes that you will just bump into happiness is nothing but ignorance, and ignorance isn’t bliss.

The Importance of emotional Intelligence

Emotions guide our lives. 2 According to recent studies, it has been seen that EQ may be more important than IQ when it comes to predicting long term happiness and job success.

However, I’m not going to pay attention to how emotional intelligence affects your work place success but your overall happiness and sense of peace.

In one of his talks, Alain de Botton, a philosopher and founder of The school of Life, said that monetizing emotions and building gadgets and tech revolving around emotional education may be the biggest gold rush in the history of man kind.

He argued that if he asked a room full of people what is more important in their lives, most of them would raise their hands and say family, relationships, love and happiness in general. Very few would mentions their careers and money. This is because even though we strive so hard to become successful and make a name for ourselves, deep down we are glued to what truly makes us happy and that is the comfort, love and happiness that our emotions bring us.

How many people would avoid paying for a gadget, technology or just another sciency thing that will make you be in control of your own happiness, very few. We are all more affected by what happens at home than what happens at work. A failing marriage is more prone to affect us way more than a failed business venture.

Therefore, it has been seen over the years that the only reason why people pay less attention to how their emotions drive their actions is because science hasn’t figured out yet how to control and monetize human emotions.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of ‘Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ‘, said that learning to take charge of your emotions is the one thing that separates success from failure. Just think about it, all the things you have been hearing from the self help gurus involve things like positivity, affirmations,habits, mindfulness and meditation.

Most of these so called ‘smart people tactics’ are based on your level of emotional intelligence. What i’m trying to say is this – all self help advice is based on emotional intelligence and emotional maturity, basically:

  1. Positivity – this is all about trying to look on the brighter side of things, Fighting every instinct in your bones that makes you wanna be skeptical and negative. Basically, by being positive, you end up being in control of your negative emotions such as regret, anger, and jealousy. These is the self management part of emotional intelligence that teaches you how to harness your emotions, and direct them into something productive rather than letting your emotions control you.
  2. Affirmations – affirmations are not truly a key to success, this is highly debatable. However, it basically involves the repetition of certain phrases or mantras in your mind that help you stay positive and focused on the goal. This is done so because it is believed we attract what we think and believe in. Emotions play a big role of affirmations by helping you shift your mindful thinking from a negative stand point to a positive outlook on the future. This involves fighting the urge to doubt yourself or allowing yourself to be swept by the hardships of today.
  3. Mindfulness – This is a scientifically proven method of fostering the art of living in the moment. It helps you calm down and take control of your mental state and peace of mind. Mindfulness also involves meditation and the goal of all of this is to help you take charge of your emotions, by meditating or being mindful, you are forced to face your emotions, the sadness, anger, regret to the point where you are able to understand them better and make sure that you are not controlled by your impulses but rather your tactical intentional actions.

I could go on and on about how cultivating a sense of emotional maturity is vital to your life by saying things like how important self awareness is, but I think it is safe to say that you get the point.

Being emotionally intelligent isn’t this rocket science type of thing, it is very simple because it is built it our DNA, we just get better at it by being more humane and trying our best to just be better.

Footnotes

  1. Mary, C (2010).Like It or Not, Emotions Will Drive the Decisions You Make Today. Retrieved from Psychology Today.
  2. Lisa, F. How emotions guide our lives. Retrieved from Psychology Today.
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About author
I'm a psychology enthusiast and a fried chicken lover. I write bite sized articles unpacking the complexities of the human mind. The mission is to advocate for what's more important in life - the pursuit of the truth and the highest good one can do with that truth - for themselves, the people around them and the society as a whole.
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