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How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence

Updated on December 20, 2012

Emotional Quotient

Understanding emotions and your environment.
Understanding emotions and your environment. | Source

Many Forms of Intelligence

Intelligence is an important factor in making our way in the world. What we know and how we use our knowlege is part of our intelligence. It is usually termed as academic and verbal intelligence.

Often we think how smart we are is only dependent on our ability to do math or science, how we write and speak, how creative we are. I believe even humor is a form of intelligence because things are funny when we are able to look at something in more than one way. Intelligence can also be correlated to how quickly we acquire skills, and there are many other ways we learn and understand our environment.

In the world of psychology, intelligence is viewed more as a concept, it is not a concrete thing, for intelligence is abstract.

There are many forms of intelligence, one that is often not considered as much, is our emotional intelligence or EQ. The ability to acquire the skills that help us understand emotions of ourselves and others, to be able to empathize with another person, and to be able to relate and negotiate with other people is part of our emotional intelligence.

The skills that enable us to inter-relate with people, to react appropriately, and to read the signals that someone else gives off, is largely connected to an individual’s ability to succeed socially, professionally, and in love.

Emotional Intelligence and Personality

Emotional intelligence is part of our personality, and our personality in directly connected to our emotional intelligence. With our ability to understand emotion, we can learn more about our own thoughts, and influence the actions we choose to take. Emotional intelligence involves the perception, understanding, management, utilization, and expression of emotions.

When we look at emotional intelligence, it is important to consider that there are gender differences in the way men and women react to emotions, and therefore emotional intelligence can not be a generalized term for everyone.

Emotional Intelligence can be categorized:

  • self awareness

  • self regulation

  • motivation

  • empathy

  • social skills

How to Improve Your Emotional Intelligence

Self Awareness - knowing your own true feelings and the ability to manage them will help your ability to see how you react, and to realize how these reactions affect others. Being aware of your own self confidence will help you value who you are, how much you trust yourself, and your own capabilities. The higher your self confidence, the greater self worth, the more you believe in yourself, and the more you capable you become, all leading to a higher self esteem.

Self Regulation
- we often can’t prepare our emotions throughout the day. When we experience emotion, it is largely spontaneous. We can’t control when this will happen to us, but we can sometimes regulate how long our emotions lasts, and the sometimes the intensity of it. The ability to alleviate the negative reaction we have from feeling angry, anxious, or sad can start with rethinking about a situation in a different way. Sometimes by taking a long walk, through meditation, or by spending some time in prayer. By doing this we can gain self control, integrity, self responsiblity, flexibility, and innovation. Self regulation is an important aspect in emotional intelligence. When we learn to manage impulses that can be disruptive, when we maintain higher standards of honesty and trustworthiness, when we are conscientous and adaptable, and when we come up with new ideas we can help guide ourselves through emotional impulses, which will lead to better results.

- helps us achieve and aim towards a clear target with a purposeful and positive attitude. Learning to think in a more positive light will yield more positive results. Negative thoughts pop into everyone’s minds, but learning to reframe them can keep you be more motivated and help you develop a can do attitude that will get you over the inevitable obstacles that pop up. People who are motivated have a stronger drive to accomplish. They want to achieve and have high standards of excellence. Being motivated involves committment, and often teamwork so that everyone sees the same picture. Motivated people act when the opportunity arrives and look for opportunities. And when you are motivated you are optimistic about your beliefs, about what you want, and what you will and can do. With this optimism comes persistence, so that no matter what interference you encounter, or what setbacks get in your way, you will continue to go forward.

- the ability to recognize and meet the needs of someone else enables you to understand how that other person may feel. It is part of relating to another and greatly helps enhance relationships. People who are empathetic are very good at sensing what other people need beyond the feelings.

Social Skills
- are a part of the interpersonal skills a person needs to attain success in your life and your career. Having people skills is very important in negotiating with people, in meeting new people to further your contacts, and to be able to be persuasive. The ability to communicate so that the ideas you express get conveyed properly is integral in good social skills. In addition to sending clear messages, having the ability to inspire and guide will help with your leadership skills. When you have good social skills, you can bring about change and resolve disagreements, which help in conflict management. The ability to understand and negotiate is important in dealing with the many different personalities you will encounter. It is equally important to build bonds and nuture relationships to foster cooperation and collaboration so that the things you are looking to achieve can be accomplished.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotion regulation is an important skill to acquire
Emotion regulation is an important skill to acquire | Source

The Importance of Emotional Intelligence

Genetics may be a factor of intelligence, but emotional intelligence can be improved. We all have different temperaments and personalities. We all have different ways we approach things, but everyone can take these qualities and enhance them.

This is especially apparent as we raise our children. A child who is naturally shy, might be encouraged to meet new people or experience new things so they get out of their ‘shell’. Challenging children against the norm of their personality can encourage them to take on new situations. By learning to master new things, they may be less afraid and turn out less shy as they get older.

As an adult, people who are more worrisome and fearful, have a more negative self image, or harbor anger, may blame others for their plight in life and not achieve greater emotional intelligence. The use of our emotional intelligence will always help us feel more satisfaction and fulfillment in the things we do.

The ability to have social intelligence, to be able to understand people and to relate to them and have them relate to us, is an effective and useful tool for us to learn more about. How we express our emotions affects how people react to us. If we overreact, others will overreact to us. If we are sensitive to the emotional state of another, we can change the emotional climate of those who are around us.

Being in tune with someone else and the better we are able to read someone else’s expressions of emotions benefits us all. Some emotions are subtle, some are obvious. The ability to manage and regulate our own emotions is a vital aspect of emotional intelligence relating to interpersonal relationship and for those who lead and those who follow.

Leaders, Followers, and Emotional Intelligence

We look to our leaders to calm us in anxious times and to reduce negative emotional reactions as much as possible. A leader who possesses emotional intelligence will create an impression that they have everything under control. Their ability to remain calm and clear headed is of great help to the masses who may not have the same qualities necessary for emotional intelligence.

A leader always seems more competent when they are managing their emotions and can “read the crowd”, to anticipate their needs. A leader may in actuality, feel differently than what they are letting people see, and that too, is part of their emotional intelligence. Leaders also use emotional intelligence to foster beneficial thinking. Positive moods allows for creative thinking. Negative moods enhance reasoning and critical thinking. In order to accomplish something successfully, a leader with emotional intelligence understand how to model the thinking that will reduce the risk of error and lead to a better outcome.

The More We Know About Our Own Emotions

The more we know about our own emotions and the more desire we have to get beyond the obstacles that are in our way, the more we can increase our emotional intelligence. Self awareness is especially important for so many reasons. It is not easy to have self awareness, but it is well worth the effort it takes.

Having book smarts and knowledge is just one part of being intelligent. One of the most important qualities you can have is emotional intelligence. Often it is impossible to get far in life if you don’t have the emotional qualities that enhance your humanness.

Emotional intelligence is a kind of social intelligence. We all have the capabilities to understand the behaviors, thoughts, and feelings about ourselves and others. The benefits of learning how to better our interpersonal situations will help us act more appropriately with different people.

Emotional intelligence is practical knowledge about the environment, it is never really taught or shown how to. It is more an implicit or tacit understanding about people, ourselves, our environment, and the interaction of it all. We have the ability to acquire this knowledge so that we can enhance our relationships with others, further we want to go, and cooperate better with others..

Do You Believe in Emotional Intelligence?

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Do You Believe You Have Emotional Intelligence?

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    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago

      Hi Solomon, I am glad you enjoyed this article. Thanks for your comments.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this thought provoking piece of an article. My first time of reading on Emotional Intelligence although I have abstract knowledge of it. It was well written.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Ian, I am very glad you liked this article on emotional intelligence. Thanks for your up votes and wishes for a wonderful New Year.

    • lanablackmoor profile image


      6 years ago from New England

      Fascinating hub on a fascinating topic! People really do conflate the ideas of intelligence and intellect all too often, disregarding that there are multiple forms of intelligence. Voted up!

    • CrisSp profile image


      6 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      Very interesting, thought provoking and well written hub on one important subject in our lives. Sometimes we thought we already know it all until our protective facade is damaged and we are compelled to stand the test of times that often involved our emotional intelligence.

      Voted up, useful, interesting and sharing.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Audrey, I am so pleased you enjoyed my article. Thank you for stopping by and for sharing it. Have a wonderful New Year!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Paradise, Thanks for adding to my hub with the info you have read in the book. I think there is much more to your smiles than you are giving yourself credit for. Wishing you happy holidays, and a wonderful New Year.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Kathi, Thanks for your teaching me about interpersonal intelligence. Glad you stopped by and wishing you a wonderful New Year again!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Rambansal, Thank you for your comment. The terms intelligence and intellect are pretty much used interchangeably and there isn't much difference between the definitions of the two words. But I appreciate you bringing up that point.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 

      6 years ago from California

      Just a wonderful article on this subject! Sharing!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      6 years ago from Upstate New York

      I read a book on emotional intelligence a while back. It was interesting reading. It took a look at how children intereact with each other, from the time they are babies. And apparently some children are much more outgoing, willing to interact with other children, willing to explore their space, much more readily from practially birth. Some babies clung ot their mothers; other babies were vey curious about the babies around them and wanted to go visit! Some babies remained on the floor exactly where they were put; other babies began to crawl or make sort of floor swimming motions towards other parts of the room, especially towards other parts of the room with other babies!

      They did have in this book some practical steps on how to improve your emotional intelligence as an adult. Part of it is practice reading facial expressions and non-verbal clues people present; they had pictures and you had to identify how the person in the picture was feeling, and so forth. Another part of it was identifying your own facial expressions and nonverbal clues, to examine what kind of emotional temperment you are projecting. This was very enlightening to me; it seems I am full of meaningless smiles!

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Vocal, I am very glad you found this article helpful. I appreciate your up votes and sharing. I am humbled by your kind words and always appreciate you stopping by and commenting.

    • toknowinfo profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago

      Hi Carol, Thank you for your kind comments and for sharing my hub on facebook. I agree with you, there are people who are book smart, but lack the ability to relate to people on an emotional level.

    • Fossillady profile image


      6 years ago from Saugatuck Michigan

      Very wise to be self aware and know what your best intelligences are. Multiple intelligence is taught to teachers and calls it interpersonal intelligence. Great article

    • rambansal profile image

      Ram Bansal 

      6 years ago from India

      Won't you consider differentiating between 'intelligence' and 'intellect'. I think what you mean is 'intellect' which is an attribute of personality. Intelligence is information gathered through use of intellect.

    • vocalcoach profile image

      Audrey Hunt 

      6 years ago from Idyllwild Ca.

      I feel as though I have been working on my emotional intelligence all of my life. I still have a passion for knowledge on this subject and am a sponge when it comes to an article like this one. I so appreciate and respect your knowledge. This one I will bookmark and keep it close by. Thank you and voted up and sharing.

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 

      6 years ago from Arizona

      I found this hub very thought provoking. I have never put this into words but have had these thoughts. I know so many people who lack emotional intelligence though brilliant...In face most people lack a good deal of it..Thanks for this great hub. Voting up and sharing on facebook.


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