How to be emotionally intelligent

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Emotionally intelligent people are people who are adept at reading other people’s emotions, and are willing to avoid making other people feel disrespected or awkward. They understand their own emotions, understand other people’s emotions, and are willing to get along with them without hurting their feelings or self-worth. People considered to be emotionally intelligent are said to possess a high emotional quotient, just as people considered to be intellectual geniuses are said to possess a high intelligence quotient. And with high intelligence quotient being genetically linked, it is a wonder whether emotional quotient is also inborn. However, studies have shown that intelligence quotient (IQ) and emotional quotient (EQ) can also be developed. In order to know how to be emotionally intelligent, we have to understand the characteristics of highly emotionally intelligent people.

  • Emotionally intelligent people have better control over their impulses and consider other people’s feelings of self-esteem without jeopardizing theirs. They have a rare understanding of other people’s insecurities, fears, and pains, and try to avoid prickling their emotional wounds. Emotional intelligence is therefore linked to empathy.
  • Emotionally intelligent people are masterly at dealing with the experience of rejections, insolence, and criticisms made against them. Their feelings of self-worth are never hurt because they know how valuable and significant they are, irrespective of their imperfections. And since they have an exceptional ability at managing hardships and crises, they have the ability to help people deal with setbacks better. 
  • Emotionally intelligent people know how to motivate other people, and have a proclivity towards making other people feel good about themselves. As employers, they know how to motivate their work-force and earn their respect. And as employees, they understand the needs of their coworkers, and manage to get along with them amicably

                       How then can we develop emotional intelligence?

Listen to comprehend and empathize

It’s difficult to listen to other people’s ideas or opinions if you do not value them. Listening is a kind and selfless act which you must sometimes show, not because there’s something to benefit from it, but because it is thoughtful to consider other people’s feelings of self-worth and show that you respect them. Sometimes, people just need you to listen to them; they don’t necessarily need you to share your ideas. You should therefore know when to listen and know when to encourage, reassure, and be supportive. 

Be willing to be vulnerable

Open up about some of your insecurities and fears. Do not hide the fact that you have anxiety issues, suffer from low self-esteem, feel left out, or lack self-confidence. Doing this makes you seem genuine, trust-worthy, imperfect, and human. It will make other people realize that they are valuable and worthy of respect, despite being imperfect themselves. They may also be willing to share about themselves, with the knowledge that they will not be rejected or ostracized by you. 

More so, opening up makes it easier for other people to understand what you may be going through. Although, you may lose the respect and admiration of many, you will be thankful that you did- because you now know those who genuinely care about you and those who don’t. Only deeply insecure and terribly scarred people shy away from letting other people in to some extent. 

Focus on making other people feel good about themselves

One of the best things you can do for other people is to make them feel good about themselves. You may be smarter, more experienced, better-looking, or more generous. Always remember that it’s never about you, since you are confident in your own qualities. It’s about making other people feel better because they may be more scarred than you think. You are going to leave the world of the living someday, the least you can do is to make other people feel good about themselves.

Do not be critical

We sometimes criticize those we love to help them make the right decisions. But our criticisms can sometimes be more corrosive than the intentions behind them. You are also more likely to make other people hostile towards you. While you must give constructive criticisms to your loved ones (and share some bitter reality with them), you must shut your mouth and say nothing to other people unless they ask for your opinion. If you have nothing good and pleasant to say, say nothing.

Try to connect with their emotions

Look deeper by asking such questions as “… Do you sometimes feel ignored as a result?” “… Do you wish you were given more attention?” “Do you think your experience might have colored your view of the world?” “… Would you feel better if you had more time to yourself?” “… What would make you feel better?” Many people are deeply insecure, and there’s a cry within. Most people are egocentric and hostile, and would never care. Therefore, by asking thoughtful questions about how they feel, you show that you care and are willing to help them.

Having high emotional intelligence doesn’t translate to having an obsessive desire to save the world or improve other people’s lives. On the contrary, you are supposed to be quite focused on your personal ambitions. But you know how to relate with other people, showing them respect and understanding them. You also know how to avoid toxic people peacefully and without acrimony.