Understanding Emotional Intelligence (EQ)

EQ matters as much as IQ regarding happiness and success in life. Learn how to increase your emotional intelligence to achieve your goals and have more meaningful relationships.  

What is emotional intelligence or EQ?

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. 

Emotional intelligence helps you succeed at school or work, build stronger relationships, and achieve your career and personal goals. It can also help you connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about what matters most to you.

Four attributes commonly define emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-management – You’re able to control emotional response. Control and manage feelings and behaviors in healthy ways. Begin to take the initiative, adapt to change, and follow through with commitments. 
  2. Self-awareness – Recognize that your emotions are yours. Recognize how your own emotions affect your thoughts and behaviors. Have self-confidence and know that things are always working out for you.
  3. Social awareness – You have empathy. You can recognize other people’s emotions, needs, and concerns. Learn how to identify the power dynamics in a group or organization, pick up on emotional cues, and feel comfortable socially. 
  4. Relationship management – Develop and maintain better relationships, inspire and influence others, communicate clearly, manage conflict and work well. 

Why is emotional intelligence so important?

As we know, it’s not the most intelligent people who are the most successful or the most fulfilled in life. You probably know academically brilliant people who are socially inept and unsuccessful at work or in their relationships. Intelligence quotient (IQ), or your ability to think, isn’t enough on its own to achieve success in life. Your IQ indeed helps you get into college, but it’s your EQ that will help you manage your stress, change, and emotions when facing the load and exams. IQ and EQ are most effective when working with one another in tandem. 

Emotional intelligence affects:

Your performance at school or work. High emotional intelligence can help you navigate the social complexities of the workplace, lead and motivate others, and excel in your career. When it comes to gauging important job candidates, some companies now consider emotional intelligence as important as technical ability. EQ testing is standard before hiring.

Physical health. If you cannot manage your stress, you are probably not managing your emotions. The lack of stress management can cause serious health problems. Unmanaged stress can cause high blood pressure, suppress the immune system, and increase heart risks such as heart attacks and strokes. Uncontrolled stress also contributes to infertility and speeds up the aging process. Emotional intelligence improves stress response and stress management. 

Your mental health. Lack of emotional management and stress can impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to depression and anxiety. If you cannot get comfortable with emotion or manage your feelings, you will struggle to form strong relationships. This can lead your feelings of loneliness and isolation, furthering mental health problems. 

Your relationships. Healthily expressing your emotion allows you to communicate more effectively, forging stronger relationships at work and in your personal life. Understanding and managing each emotion you feel will enable you to be more truthful and expressive, taking accountability in your relationship with yourself and others. 

Your social intelligence. Being aware and in tune with your emotions connects you to other people and the world around you. Social intelligence allows you to measure another person’s interest in you, reduces stress, balances your nervous system in social communication, feel loved and happy. Social intelligence also helps you identify your resonance with others. 

Daily Practice

Start with awareness. Do the Vibeonix assessment daily. Notice the emotions that show up early in the morning, during the day, or at night. Notice your emotional patterns. Observe the fluidity of emotion and accept that there may be something new to learn about yourself.