According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence (also known as EQ ou EI) “is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others”. Most of our anxiety and depression disorders can be linked to a lack of specific emotional intelligence features.
Gladly, you can practice to react to difficult situations just as you would practice playing an instrument, or enhancing any kind of skills. Here are some tips that might be really helpful and:
1 – Self-awareness is the keyword here. Learn to acknowledge your emotions – pay attention to your feelings and how they affect your sensations. What do you feel when you’re sad, tired or angry? What kind of body response these feelings cause? Take the time to get you know yourself even if it means being confronted with tough issues. If you can, keep a journal to record your emotions – writing them down will help you to interpret them.
2 – Learn to accept adversity. It is okay to fail, don’t punish yourself because of that and don’t listen to inocuous criticism. If something doesn’t go as you expected it, take the time to consider your options: do you want to give it another try, or do you think it is time to quit and shift your focus to something else? Think about what went wrong and don’t rush into decisions.
3 – Try to keep yourself calm long enough to respond to adverse situations and direct confrontation. Most of the time, getting aggressive is our imediate reaction when someone says something offensive or that hurts us in anyway, but that’s not the way to go. Take a deep breath and think for a while about what you want to say. Choose responding instead of reacting.
4 – Be assertive. Make what you want and how you feel very clear. Don’t hide your emotions. Don’t think that they’re not valid or that they’re silly. Express yourself in a nice and polite way – but never keep feelings and thoughts to yourself.
5 – Practice empathy. Learn how to put yourself in other people’s shoes. Don’t criticize or be judgemental, try to understand the situation before jumping to conclusions. Trying to understand other people will help you understand your own emotions and how to deal with them.
6 – Be honest to yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. Be proud of what you do well. And don’t be ashamed to say you’re not very good at doing something. Ask for help when you need. Admit your shortcomings so you can improve.
7 – Managing your impulses is the key to emotional intelligence,- and therefore, it is certainly the hardest tip of all. Being in control of yourself will keep you from spending unnecessary money, buying stuff you don’t really need, getting into arguments, and much more. Practice it. You won’t be able to be successful every time – but it will get easier. Be proud of yourself when you manage to do it.