You’ve heard of IQ, but what about EQ? Emotional intelligence measures the ability to be aware of our own emotions, behaviours and motivations and to act with appropriate maturity in different situations. While intellectual intelligence is all about how well we can learn and understand facts and concepts, emotional intelligence is about how we connect with the feelings of ourselves and others.
EQ vs IQ
You may be thinking that intellect is the most important skill that you need to develop… but this isn’t actually the case. Intellect can only get you so far. In order to really succeed and achieve a balanced life, you need emotional intelligence.
Have you ever noticed how some of your friends just seem to manage their lives really well? They aren’t likely to go off the rails after an emotional breakup. Their lives aren’t filled with drama splashed all over social media. They go out of their way to help people. They have a good sense of responsibility. These are all signs of emotional intelligence.
Certain people are naturally more emotionally mature, but fortunately you can learn emotional intelligence and change the way you connect with people in your world.
Different aspects of emotional intelligence
Being able to recognise your emotions is a sign of emotional intelligence. Self-awareness also includes self-knowledge and being honest about strengths and weaknesses.
It’s all very well understanding your emotions, but can you process them appropriately? Self-regulation is largely about being able to respond with insight instead of simply reacting based on how you’re feeling. Self-regulation is also about your sense of responsibility, honesty and adaptability. People who are self-regulated are less likely to fly off the handle when life doesn’t go according to plan because they are flexible.
What motivates you? Money, fame, acclaim, praise? Many people are driven by external rewards, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, with emotional maturity comes the ability to be motivated by an internal desire to do good or achieve goals.
Emotional intelligence comes from being able to connect with and process your emotions… and from that then comes the ability to connect with others. Emotionally mature people are sensitive to the thoughts, feelings, beliefs and needs of others.
5. Social skills
Human connection is vital to emotional intelligence. It is the ability to communicate ideas and feelings and manage different types of social situations with empathy and understanding. Important social skills include leadership, conflict management, building relationships and cooperation.
How to be more emotionally mature
1. Go out of your way to help
Helping others can show you the value of putting aside selfish motivations and instead focusing on the needs of others. You learn by seeing the positive impact you can have when you act selflessly.
2. Think before you act
Next time you’re faced with a difficult or emotionally charged situation, take a step back before you react impulsively. Put thought and consideration into your words and actions instead of just running with your emotions.
3. Be empathetic
Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. It’s easy to be judgemental when dealing with other people, but by trying to see things from a different perspective, you can really learn a lot about how to better communicate your feelings.
4. Admit when you’re wrong
Saying “I’m sorry, I was wrong” is probably one of the most difficult sentences to utter, but it shows huge emotional maturity. The more you are able to show humility, admit fault and be vulnerable, the easier it will become in the future.
5. You’re a work in progress
Emotionally mature people don’t pretend to be perfect. Being kind to yourself and understanding that emotional intelligence is not something that happens overnight is a sign of maturity, not weakness. Take it easy – but always try to be motivated by good choices.