We find ourselves wondering if it is possible to teach Emotional Intelligence or if we can learn it because we know that lacking emotional intelligence can affect almost every area of our lives. Therefore, it is important to know not only if we can improve, but if it can be improved how to do so. 

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional Intelligence is a person’s ability to recognize as well as understand and manage their emotions and the emotions of other people. 

Why Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Emotional Intelligence plays a roll in our lives every day, whether we are at home, at work, at school, or even at the grocery store. Whenever we are in a situation where we could have emotions or where we could interact with other people, we are in situations where emotional intelligence could come into play. 

High emotional intelligence can also affect your career because it can make you a better leader, a better team player, help you manage stress better, improve your mental well-being as well as your physical health, allow you to understand other people’s emotions, improve your decision making, increase your productivity, and help you to remain calm in stressful situations. 

Can You Improve Your Emotional Intelligence? 

The simple answer is yes. A person can improve their emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence is not a skill that we are born with. It is something that we develop over time, which means that it is something that we can learn. Of course, some people are naturally better and resolving conflict than other people, but there is more to emotional intelligence than that. 

Emotional intelligence will allow you to:

– Become more aware of your own emotions and the way that you react to the things going on around you. 

-Become more mindful of people’s emotions and feelings. Sometimes treating other people the way that you want to be treated isn’t enough. Sometimes you have to go a little bit further and treat them the way that they want to be treated with respect. 

-Learn how to show empathy. 

-Not allow your emotions to influence your decisions. While your emotions are important, they are emotions, and they should not affect your actions. An emotionally intelligent person knows that they should work through their emotions before taking action. 

How To Improve Emotional Intelligence.

1. Start Paying Attention To Your Behavior

Being aware of your emotions is part of becoming more emotionally aware, but so is paying attention to your behavior. Notice how you behave when you are dealing with certain emotions in your life and how those emotions affect your life. Do these emotions affect how you communicate with others? Does your behavior towards other change because of these emotions? What about your productivity at work? 

2. Accept Full Responsibility Not Just For Your Behavior But Your Feelings As Well

This is probably one of the hardest things for people to do; however, your emotions and your behavior are yours. Those feelings and those behaviors came from none one but you. That means that you are the only person that is responsible for them. If you are upset or angry because of what someone said and you lash out, you are responsible for that behavior, not the person that upset you. They did not “make” you behave that way. You are not some puppet, and they are not pulling your strings. You are in control of your own behavior. You made the choice to lash out. 

On that same note, they are not responsible for your feelings. They did not make you feel upset; you chose to feel that way. You allowed yourself to feel that way. That other person is not in charge of your feelings, and they do not have control over them, only you do. 

Once you start accepting that you are in control of your behavior and your emotions, your emotional intelligence will start improving dramatically. 

3. Respond Instead Of React

There is a difference between reacting and responding, even though it may be a subtle one. Reacting happens unconsciously when we are emotionally triggered. For example, when we snap at a person who has interrupted us in the middle of a conversation. Or we yell at the person who bumps into us in the grocery store. 

Responding, on the other hand, take a conscious effort on your part. It takes you noticing how you feel about what is going on and making a decision about how you want to behave in that situation. For example, when someone interrupts you in the middle of a conversation, explain to that person that it is a bad time for them to interrupt you, that it is a rude thing to do to the person you are speaking to, and that you will catch up with them when you are done with your current conversation. 

You don’t have to snap at them or be mean; simply get your point across quickly so you can get back to what you were doing and move on with your life. That leaves you unaffected emotionally. That is the best thing about emotional intelligence, you are left unscathed emotionally. Which is so much better than being upset about the situation all day long. 

Don’t forget to practice empathy. It is all about understanding why people feel and behave the way that they do while being able to communicate that you understand to them. Not only does this apply to those around us, but it applies to ourselves as well. 

You can start by practising showing yourself empathy. When you notice that you are feeling or behaving a certain way, start asking, “Why.” At first, you may say, “I don’t know.” But don’t accept that answer. Dig a bit deeper and pay attention to your behaviour as well as your feelings until you start getting some answers. Before long, you will start noticing that your emotional intelligence is improving by the day.