How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
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According to Psychology Today, "Emotional intelligence refers to the ability to identify and manage one's own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Emotionally intelligent adults can effectively identify their emotions, harness them to solve issues and conflicts, and regulate those emotions in difficult situations."
According to Daniel Goleman, an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, there are five key elements to it:
- Social skills
If you have trouble identifying your own emotions and react immaturely to situations and other people's behavior instead of responding maturely, this article shares 9 tips on how to become a more emotionally intelligent adult.
IDENTIFY YOUR EMOTIONS
Start this personal responsibility journey by identifying your emotions. Take a look at how you react to other people and situations. If you start yelling at others when things don't go your way, that's a definite display of immaturity. Consider the following ways to identify your emotions.
- Pay Attention - Evaluate your behavior and how you emotionally react or respond in various situations. Stay open and honest with yourself.
- Start Journaling - Keep track of your progress in a journal. Make sure you honestly track all emotions and behaviors to ensure productive changes.
- Ask for Help - Confide in a trusted friend or family member that you are trying to become more emotionally intelligent. Ask them to help you identify times when you react poorly and track those changes as well in your journal.
LEARN HOW TO EXPRESS YOURSELF
You must acknowledge that you have emotions, and that's okay. Embrace who you are, but acknowledge that you will likely need to make changes in the way you respond to others and circumstances. Consider the following ways that you can more effectively express yourself as an emotionally intelligent adult.
- Personality Test - Take a personality test to identify why you act the way you do and how your current emotional intelligence level could be hindering your progress as a mature adult. Do a Google search for "free personality tests" and you'll find a variety of tests online that you can complete. We highly recommend the free personality test created by Myers & Briggs: 16 Personalities. It was designed to identify a person's personality type, strengths, and preferences.
- Acknowledgment - Once you take the personality test, learn from it. Seek to understand why you act the way you do. Maybe you'll start to understand why you always avoid conflicts or why you get heated during arguments.
- Get Educated - Research online to find quality books on emotional intelligence and how you can better manage your personality to more adequately engage with others. Two helpful books are Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ by Daniel Goleman and EQ Applied: The Real-World Guide to Emotional Intelligence by Justin Bariso.
HAVE COMPASSION FOR YOURSELF
It's important that you learn how to love yourself throughout this process of becoming a more emotionally intelligent adult. You'll probably discover some things about yourself that you won't like. This is especially true if you're willing to be one hundred percent honest with yourself during the process.
- Write Letters - This is related to the journaling part of the process. Write a letter to yourself when you begin the process, during the process, and when you're finished. Write the letters in the journal so you can reread them while you're learning more about who you are and in the future when you need to remind yourself how far you've come in your journey. Write down why you are taking this personal journey, what you want to gain from it, and how you've succeeded.
- Take a Me Day - You're going to need to take time to yourself through this process to effectively handle all you're learning and to ensure you'll keep going with the journey. Do something you love. Take a spa day. Have fun.
- Praise Yourself - When you discover more about your immature behavior, don't focus on that too long. Learn from it and move forward. Praise yourself for the progress you're making. If you start judging yourself too harshly, you could become too depressed over the process and never fully complete it.
TAKE CHARGE OF YOUR EMOTIONS
Don't let your emotions rule your life. Take charge of them and start following the tips mentioned in this article so you can become a more emotionally intelligent adult. You'll make your life easier and become a more enlightened person that other people will be drawn to.