People who are emotionally intelligent or have a high EQ (emotional quotient), have the ability to identify and manage their own feelings. Additionally, they are able to recognize emotions in others. When someone else is feeling distressed or uncomfortable they can empathize with those feelings. This makes them good friends, good partners, and good leaders. Chances are, these are the kinds of people you want in your life — the kind that can handle their own emotional healing and even help support yours.
What Does It Mean to Have Emotional Intelligence?
Someone who has emotional intelligence is cognizant of their own emotional state, even if it’s one of sadness, frustration, stress, or anger. When you’re emotionally intelligent, you can identify your feelings and manage them, but you can also tune into the emotions of others.
Emotional intelligence and emotional healing go hand-in-hand. When you go through something difficult, the more emotionally intelligent you are, the better equipped you might be to handle that hardship and your own emotional healing. People who are emotionally intelligent may be better leaders, better parents, better friends, and better relationship partners than those who are not.
Measuring Emotional Intelligence
There is no psychologically validated scale for measuring emotional intelligence the way IQ is measured. It’s more of a set of social, communication, and interpersonal skills. However, based on the belief that more emotionally intelligent people might make better leaders or better workers, many employers will administer emotional intelligence tests to prospective employees, which are designed to indicate how emotionally “smart” they might be.
Why Emotional Intelligence is Important
Have you ever dealt with someone who made you feel like you were talking to a brick wall? Someone who never seemed to understand how you feel and just didn’t seem to “get it”? Most of us have had people like this in our lives. Maybe you thought they weren’t very smart, or they just weren’t a good listener. But perhaps they just didn’t have the level of emotional intelligence that you have.
It could be argued that life is really about relationships. We are born into family relationships. We connect emotionally with friends. We must form business relationships in order to succeed at work. Without a level of emotional intelligence, these relationships would be extremely difficult to form, let alone gain satisfaction or productivity from. While IQ or intelligence is important, how meaningful or successful could our lives be on intelligence alone?
As Theodore Roosevelt famously said, “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Emotional intelligence may be critical to both our physical and mental health and well-being. We draw on our emotional intelligence to inspire or care for others. We use it to lead others in worthwhile pursuits. Without emotional intelligence, we could never maintain the relationships we need to be happy, and emotional healing would be impossible. We wouldn’t be able to forgive, form lasting friendships, or make deep connections with others.
10 Signs of High Emotional Intelligence
1. Think About Feelings
It sounds simple and it is. Emotional intelligence is largely about awareness, both of self and others. Self-reflection is key, as is empathy. You may not agree with someone, but you can see where they’re coming from. Reflecting on feelings is key to emotional healing.
2. Control Your Thoughts
You may not be able to control how you feel all the time, but you can control how you react by monitoring your thoughts. If you can reign in your thoughts, you can avoid becoming a slave to your feelings.
3. Take Constructive Criticism
Negative feedback isn’t fun, but even when it’s unnecessary or false, it can be used as a learning experience. Emotionally intelligent people can ask the question: “How can this feedback help me improve?”
4. Think Before Acting
The simple act of taking a moment to stop and think before acting — or reacting — is a sign that you’re able to consider the appropriateness of your reaction and avoid making rash decisions based on a momentary feeling. This ability is a good sign of real emotional healing.
5. Be Authentic
Say what you mean and mean what you say. This doesn’t mean you express every thought or emotion, but that you’re guided by principle.
6. Give Praise
Everyone wants to be appreciated and valued. When you praise someone for a job well done or for their character, you satisfy their need and build trust. This is something emotionally intelligent people are not afraid to do. And rather than a general, “you’re so great,” they can be specific in their praise. Giving praise can contribute to the emotional healing of those around you.
7. Say You’re Sorry
It takes guts to apologize. But doing so demonstrates empathy and humility, and will make others want to be around you. It’s part of the emotional healing process. Giving an apology doesn’t necessarily mean you’re wrong, but it does mean you place the relationship above your own ego.
Emotionally intelligent people can move on from a disagreement or offense. They know that holding a grudge doesn’t allow emotional healing but actually allows others to hold their emotions, hostage. They likely won’t forget past hurts, as sometimes this information can help prevent making the same mistakes again – but instead focus on forgiveness and moving forward.
9. Serve Others
Selflessness is one of the hallmarks of an emotionally intelligent person. When you’re secure in your sense of self, you naturally look to help others and see how you can give of yourself.
10. Don’t Allow Emotional Sabotage
Emotionally intelligent people can feel it when someone is trying to manipulate them and know when to back away.
Simple Ways to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence
Empathy is one of the keys to emotional intelligence. It’s about understanding why someone feels a certain way and how those feelings might affect their behavior. If you’re empathetic, you’re able to communicate to them that you understand where they’re coming from. While some people may be naturally more empathetic than others, you can improve your empathy with practice.
Begin with yourself. Ask yourself, “Why am I feeling this way or acting this way?” You might not know the answer at first. But if you keep paying attention to your feelings and behavior — stopping to acknowledge them and reflect — you’ll get better at empathizing with yourself and then with others.
Observe Your Own Feelings and Emotions
In the busy grind of daily life, it’s easy to lose track or lose touch with our emotions. This may make us more likely to act without thinking, missing out on the insights we’d gain if we took more time to stay in touch with ourselves. By paying more attention to your feelings, you can learn to trust your emotions, manage them, and learn from them.
To practice this, take time to purposely evaluate your emotions. Check in with yourself by setting an alarm a few times a day if you need to. When it’s time, breathe deeply and think about how you’re doing emotionally. Are your feelings manifesting themselves in a physical way? What does it feel like? Practice this regularly, and eventually, you’ll do it without having to remind yourself to check in.
Practice Emotional Healing
While you work on your emotional intelligence, realize that emotional healing is part of the equation. The less emotional baggage you carry, the easier developing your emotional intelligence is likely to be. With tools like the Emotion Code®, you can release the emotional energies that could be affecting your emotional healing. With those energies removed, you can focus on becoming a more emotionally intelligent person.
Take Responsibility for Your Emotions
Many of us tend to place blame on other people or circumstances for the way we feel. But in reality, your feelings and behavior come from within you — not any external source. Since your feelings and behavior belong to you, you’re ultimately responsible for them.
You’ve probably seen people react harshly to something someone says. Maybe you’ve done this yourself. It’s often hard to control anger, frustration, or hurt feelings when insulted. But while we can’t control what other people do, we can control how we respond.
When you feel hurt, consider this responsibility and take stock of your emotions before you react. Those feelings can provide valuable insight into your experience with the other person, the relationship dynamics, as well as your own needs. But in the end, your feelings and how you manage them aren’t anyone’s responsibility but your own.
Once you truly accept responsibility for how you feel and behave, your emotional intelligence will improve.
Focus on Responding, Not Reacting
As you take responsibility for your feelings and behavior, you might find yourself better able to respond to people and situations rather than simply react. There is a subtle but important difference between the two.
Reacting is like a reflex, an unconscious effect. When your emotions are triggered by something, you may feel like reacting in a way that expresses emotion. For example, you might snap at your kids when they interrupt your work. Or you might get defensive when your boss offers what he or she thinks is constructive criticism. Wanting to react is natural, but it’s much better to respond instead.
Responding involves a conscious process. It requires you to take note of how you feel and then cognitively decide how to behave. Maybe instead of getting defensive with your boss, you realize you’re feeling that way and decide to take the criticism as a learning experience. Or when your son interrupts you, rather than lashing out you take a minute to explain why now is not a good time for an interruption. Rather than uncontrolled reactions, these are emotionally intelligent ways to respond. It takes practice, so be patient with yourself as you work on responding.
Embrace the Process of Emotional Growth
Emotional intelligence isn’t an achievement — it’s a lifetime pursuit. It’s always possible to get better at it as you go through your own emotional healing process. You may get to a point where you feel like you’ve mastered it but don’t neglect your emotional intelligence. If properly cared for and maintained, it can serve you well for your entire life.
Could Trapped Emotions Interfere with Your Emotional Intelligence?
When you have trapped emotions — and we believe most people have several — you might find yourself easily falling into certain emotions. For example, do you feel you easily become jealous, frustrated, anxious, or feel worthless or guilty? Does it seem like your reactions to people and circumstances have a pattern that you don’t understand and seems like overkill?
Think of it this way. Wouldn’t you be more likely to feel guilt, anxiety, or worthlessness at the drop of a hat if some part of you were already feeling that way all of the time? When you have a Trapped Emotion, this is essentially what happens. The physical energy of that particular emotion could be lodged anywhere in your body, so when a situation arises where you might feel that emotion, you are far more likely to feel it and feel it more severely. If you find yourself getting jealous a lot, it could be that part of you is existing in a state of jealousy all the time!
Trapped Emotions and Emotional Healing
It makes sense, then, to think about how trapped emotions might affect your emotional healing. How can you heal completely from an awful experience if those emotions — which we believe are very real physical energies — never leave your body? You might even think you’ve moved past a difficult time in your life, only to feel like the events and their emotions resurface when you experience some kind of triggering event. But after those energies are released, you may find yourself better able to heal emotionally than ever before.
Many people who work with the Emotion Code® find that emotional healing becomes easier, or even happens right away, after releasing trapped emotions. And when emotional healing can take place, how do you think that affects your emotional intelligence?
Trapped Emotions and Emotional Intelligence
After working with the Emotion Code, we have a lot of practitioners, clients, and readers tell us that they feel their ability to recognize, feel, and process emotions is enhanced. Their sense of intuition and empathy are heightened. These things are at the very heart of emotional intelligence.
If you can process emotions effectively, they may be less likely to become trapped. But even if they do, you’ll know how to release them by using the Emotion Code. And as you work with yourself and others, your emotional intelligence is likely to rise to new levels.