Want to know how to stand out from the crowd by using your emotional intelligence? Here are 19 tips for you to consider when in the company of others.
If you have a low emotional intelligence you may find it difficult to identify your own emotions correctly and to understand and empathise with others. If you struggle with your emotional intelligence you may find it impacts relationships, how you connect with others and your pursuit of happiness.
But the good news is that you can develop your emotional intelligence. In this post I?m going to share with you 19 details to not only help you build emotional intelligence but to help you feel more confident and connected in your interactions.
The most advantageous details on building emotional intelligence.
Emotional intelligence meaning.
Emotional intelligence is defined as how we identify and understand our own emotions as well as being able to understand the emotions of others. An example of emotional intelligence is being flexible with your emotions and being able to adapt to the situation.
Imagine being emotionally intelligent in your workplace. This may be that you?re resilient when faced with new ideas or projects from your boss. You may welcome the new team member and go and sit with them and assist them with their task.
In relationships emotional intelligence may look like active listening to each other. It may be that you?re having an argument but you still manage to compromise. The more you understand your own emotions and can mange your behaviour the better your emotional intelligence will be.
Emotional Intelligence is a skill and there are specific ways in which you can develop and refine your abilities.
Start by really taking notice of how you handle your emotions. What are your strengths? Where are your weaknesses? Next time you?re having a conversation take note of how you?re feeling. What emotions are coming out? Look at how you think the other person is feeling. How are they receiving your dialogue?
By using emotional intelligence you may discover that when you?re around your boss you become anxious so don?t really say what?s on your mind. By knowing this information you can work on being able to say this in a respectful manner.
2. Self awareness
Self awareness is the competency of being able to understand and reflect on how our emotions affect our behaviour. Self awareness incorporates both social and emotional skills and is so important for emotional intelligence.
By understanding yourself, you are able to have confidence in knowing where your skills need to be honed in to can keep practicing. A way to build self-awareness is to take note of what other people say or do that bother you. Do they have different values? Do they have a different opinion? Do you have difficulties setting boundaries but then dislike it when conflict arises around these boundaries?
By becoming more self-aware you will gain better relationships, reduce anxiety, be more productive and will have better emotional intelligence.
Receiving feedback for emotional intelligence can be daunting. But this is how we learn where our strengths are and where we need to do a little work to improve our skills.
Asking a friend to give you feedback can be a great place to start. By asking a friend it can prosper your relationship as they can see that you value their opinion but it also sends out the message that you are interested in improving your emotional intelligence.
When receiving the feedback listen carefully. In your mind you might be screaming ?no, I don?t do that?! But just take a deep breath, and decipher what useful information you can take onboard.
If you?re not sure that you completely understand then ask questions. You?re looking to extract all the information you can from this feedback. It?s not to say that everything that your friend says is correct or that you are ready to take action yet but it?s a great avenue to start the conversation and start creating self-awareness.
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Ever noticed your reactions to your own emotions? When you?re in the moment that you experience them? Often how we react to different emotions becomes a mental habit and a learned habit. This is why your reaction is important in emotional intelligence.
Your reaction can be verbal or non-verbal. Sometimes your body language lets people know exactly what you?re feeling. For example if someone says something that makes you feel angry. You may not say it but instead clench your fists and bestow a frown on your face.
For emotional intelligence you need to learn how to break the cycle of your reactions. The first step is to change your perspective. If you look at the experience from a different perspective and change your belief, you can feel the difference. Those reactions are not as strong and overpowering. It will take time, commitment and practice to create change.
The next step is to completely understand the motive behind wanting these changes. How will these changes help you in your relationships, your career, your connections with people? Once you can visualise this, it will become your motivation to keep going even when faced with challenges.
Being able to regulate your own reactions for emotional intelligence can have a powerful effect on our lives. It can help us become more connected with the people around us which will help to build confidence and fulfilment.
To evaluate how we are progressing with emotional intelligence is ongoing indefinitely. Each time we learn something new – from this experience we grow. It?s imperative that you include this step as this how the progressive learning is met.
You may have a professional set back, a relationship disagreement or conflict with your boss. To learn and move on positively with this means evaluating the experience. What were the positives? What were the negatives? Where did your strengths lie? How could you handle this situation differently next time?
When you evaluate the experience you are also encompassing another important aspect of emotional intelligence. You are building resilience. Each time you get back up and face a conversation you are gaining insight into what works and what doesn?t. It is all a stepping stone to help you reach the top.
After a negative experience where you may have felt overpowered, undervalued or left feeling angry it?s important to include self-care into your routine.
If we continue without self-care then you may find that life feels out of control and those emotional outbreaks will start happening more frequently. We all need to stop once in a while, take a step back and take a deep breath and indulge in self-care.
Self-care helps to bring balance and nourishment into our life. It feeds our soul and gives us the energy to step back out into the world. Having a self-care plan can is a must in maintaining positive mental health and to improve emotional intelligence.
If you are stuck for self care ideas I can give you some tips that I have found to benefit my clients. Listen to affirmations and practice positive self talk. By challenging those negative thoughts and replacing them with positive thoughts you will feel the difference.
Exercise and eating healthily will fuel your capabilities of overcoming challenges. If you?re feeling good and hit a speed bump then you tend to look for the solutions rather than the problems.
Make sure you?re including time for ample rest and relaxation. If you?re feeling exhausted all the time then that will hinder your efforts in growing your emotional intelligence.
Make a choice to be happy. Dance and sing to your favourite music, get out into nature, do the things that you love to do. When we make that conscious choice to be happy it totally changes our perspective which also alters our inner feelings.
What is your driving force for wanting to have emotional intelligence? What is it that will give you the motivation to keep trying when things become challenging? It is so important to understand why you are doing this and your motivation behind it.
At some point in trying to achieve emotional intelligence you are going to be faced with a challenge or leave an experience that didn?t go as planned. This is where you need to be really tuned into what your motivation is. It?s this motivation that will keep you moving forward and to help you reach your goals.
When you?re faced with a situation that has left you feeling unhappy its important to forgive yourself, forgive others and then move on. Holding onto grudges or the actions of others is only going to leave you feeling miserable and disappointed.
This is the time the motivation needs to kick in and why you need to have a clear vision of why you are doing this. As you practice just remember that each time you are getting closer to achieving emotional intelligence.
By taking responsibilities for ourselves and our feelings we are taking charge of our happiness. Only ourselves can dictate our feelings. If you?re feeling angry ? only you can change it. If you?re feeling sad ? only you can change it. Yes other people can influence how we feel but ultimately the ball in our court.
As individuals we can?t control the world around us or the behaviour of others. But we can control ourselves. Remember that you are in the drivers seat of your own life. You can shape your future by taking full responsibility and self-management in how you respond in situations.
Each time you face a challenge stop and think ?what are my choices here?. Identity the pros and cons of each choice to help make the decision. You are in control of your path. Once chosen then whole heartedly pursue it with the knowledge that this is your responsibility and accept any outcomes achieved.
Once you master self-management and take responsibility for your own emotions you will not only be on track to gain emotional intelligence but you will gain a sense of freedom.
Knowing our triggers is vital in gaining emotional intelligence. Often when we are triggered we respond quickly without really thinking about it. For example your trigger may be that you need to feel in control, you need to feel valued and appreciated or you need to feel part of every team.
When faced with this situation it?s vital to become fast at identifying when the emotion is triggered. If you don?t realise that it has been triggered then you?re not going to know what you need to fix.
When we feel an emotion it?s not always what we say that let?s you know that it?s been triggered it can also be non verbal. You?re facial expression may alter or you may start to clench your fists.
Try to take note of what you?re feeling and doing when you?re triggered. It may be that you feel anxious, your heart starts racing or you start to feel sweaty. Verbalise to yourself ?I am feeling angry etc again? as this will help to tell your brain to initiate the thinking and to see the whole picture from a distance rather than just being in it.
Knowing your triggers is important for emotional intelligence.
When we engage in conflict it can leave us feeling lousy, angry or helpless. Here we have a choice. We either indulge in the negative feelings and feel sorry for ourselves or we channel that energy into something more useful.
If you?re feeling angry because you had an argument with your boss about the finance report you wrote – you could spend the rest of the day mulling over it, feeling annoyed and frustrated and just feeling miserable. Or you could channel this negative energy into something more positive and productive.
You may decide to have another look at the finance report to see if you could alter anything or include more detail. You may go to the gym to work off the feeling. You may decide to ring a mate and ask if he wants to shoot some hoops. Whatever activity you choose it?s all about moving away from feeling angry to a place where you can become resilient and create change.
Learning to channel negative emotions into something productive is a useful tool for building emotional intelligence.
11. Comfort Zone
When we become stuck in our comfort zone we are denying ourselves of the opportunity to grow and see what we can achieve. Often we can create our own stressors by ingraining in ourselves that a particular situation is bad or we try to keep avoiding a particular situation.
For example you- may dislike going to staff meetings as it means that you need to talk in front of a large group of people. So you make excuse after excuse not to attend. Not only does this create more anxiety but it reinforces to your brain that this situation is way out of your comfort zone.
If you?re trying to achieve emotional intelligence there are going to be plenty of opportunities for you to get out of your comfort zone. Try to imagine that you?re a rubber band and each time you stretch further you are expanding your opportunities to build resilience, grow towards your potential and creating emotional intelligence.
Trust is important to build emotional intelligence. But to build emotional intelligence trust is needed. When we think of trust we tend to thing of trusting other first. But trust starts with you.
You need to trust yourself. When you are faced with unwanted emotions it?s vital to stay present with these. Really think about what is happening and how are you feeling. By being in the present moment with these feelings you?re pulling apart and observing the meaning of them, what is the message behind them. Once you place trust in yourself to decipher and understand these emotions you can then focus on how to move forward and cope with them.
Trusting yourself to be able to cope with whatever emotion you feel gives you the confidence to cope with whatever situation or event that your faced with.
Being emotionally honest with yourself is the foundation of self trust which is the support needed so you can overcome whatever is thrown your way. Trust is imperative in emotional intelligence.
13. Active listening
Active listening is an important communication skill to learn and is vital for emotional intelligence. It goes beyond just listening to words but actually hearing what is being said and understanding the motive and implication behind it. What message is the other person trying to convey?
Not only does active listening help you to feel more connected with the other person but it is allowing them to feel more valued and positive about themselves. Active listening can really help with emotional intelligence.
It?s so easy to become distracted in conversations. You may receive a notification on your phone, you may be distracted by others or you may even start daydreaming. But to be engaged in active listening you need to stay fully present in the moment and in the conversation.
What is being said is not just verbal either. Look for non-verbal clues too. It may be a facial expression, a hand gesture, how they?re sitting. This is all part of the communication.
Being part of active listening means asking open ended questions, reflecting what you hear so the other person knows you have been listening and can correct you if you have made an error in your understanding.
Keep judgement of the other person out of the conversation. Create a safe non-judgemental space for them to talk honestly and openly where they will feel confident and comfortable to share what?s on their mind.
Active listening will help you in building emotional intelligence.
Empathy is being able to feel what the other person is feeling. If someone is sharing their feelings and thoughts with you it?s important to try and put yourself in the other person?s shoes.
When showing empathy try not to show judgement. You?re not the judge and jury. Your job is to listen and to recognise what the other person is feeling.
Often when we start to feel empathy we start to feel a little vulnerable and this can scare some people. Some view this as sign of weakness and so they turn away from it. But being vulnerable is what creates connection.
Emotional intelligence is created from not only the emotional aspect of empathy but also the thinking aspect which means connecting the dots. Remember that only we can determine our thoughts. You need to find the aspect of the conversation that connects you to this other person.
15. Healthy foods
Eating healthy foods and maintaining a good diet has so many benefits in creating a good mood. If we feel tired, feel sick or just always feel ?off? we are not creating a good environment for us to perform at our best.
Eating healthy foods will help with emotional intelligence. When we can think properly and function at an energetic level we are setting ourselves up for success. If you?re trying to self-regulate your emotions and you?re feeling tired then chances are you will be unsuccessful and just give up.
Healthy foods include eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, protein and healthy fats. If you want the best chance of succeeding at reaching emotional intelligence have a look at your diet. Is there something that you could change to make it healthier.
16. Peer pressure
Peer pressure is when someone is coerced into doing something he or she doesn?t feel comfortable doing. An obvious example is when teenagers may end up drinking alcohol and doing drugs from peer pressure.
Emotional intelligence is when you can say no to your peers. Usually when something is wrong or bad you hear that little voice inside your head telling you so. You need to stay fully committed to yourself and have the confidence to say no.
Practising being able to say no instead of succumbing to peer pressure will be the most easiest if you start early. The earlier you start the less affected you become from the peer pressure and the other people know exactly where you stand.
Feel confident in your choice and back yourself to keep avoiding the temptation of peer pressure. To have emotional intelligence you need to be able to say no.
If you are the person that loves complaining about everything and anything then start here to work towards emotional intelligence. First ? stop complaining about everything! Look for the positives. There has to be at least one!
Remind yourself of all the good things that you have in life. Yes life doesn?t always go to plan so you will need to accept some change. But finding that silver lining and accepting things aren?t always perfect will offer you a totally new perspective.
Think about how the other people in your life feel about all your complaining. It may be friends, family, work mates. How is this affecting them? Are they feeling totally drained after speaking to you?
Try not to bring down others with your negativity. Lifting them up with positivity is going to have a much more happier effect and is something that is needed for emotional intelligence.
Drama is usually built on people looking for attention. The love to feel the excitement and hysteria surrounding the drama. Sometimes the drama stems from something totally insignificant and the person turns it into a massive problem.
Try not to be this person. If you find that your circle of friends contain people like this it may be time to start accessing who your friends really are. If you?re thinking that you are this person then start thinking about how you communicate with others.
Try to avoid drama and conflict by staying in your lane and just focusing on what is happening in your life. It?s one thing to care for people but it?s not needed to become totally ingrained into someone else?s life and to solve the problems for them.
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Mindfulness exercises can help to extend emotional resilience but can also help in overcoming fear. When we fear something we tend to try to avoid it at all costs. Learning how to sit with our emotions and be non-judgemental can help you to feel more relaxed.
The more we practice mindfulness the more we tend to learn how to self regulate our emotions. We learn to dissolve the strong emotions using mindfulness exercises and by doing this we are gaining confidence.
Once you do start to feel more confident within yourself you will notice the change in your emotional intelligence.
In this post you have learnt all about the details needed for emotional intelligence so you can stand out. Like anything it does take practice but the more you do it the more proficient you will become.
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