What is emotional intelligence and is it important? Can you learn, or relearn, emotional intelligence? Is it related, directly or indirectly, with the ability to manage people? Or, leadership? Or, People skills? Why do you think so?
Wikipedia defines emotional intelligence as: the ability, capacity, skill or a self-perceived grand ability to identify, assess, manage and control the emotions of one's self, of others, and of groups.
Does emotional intelligence really involve controlling the emotions of others??
Prior to the age of 30 I could easily perceive the emotions of others yet struggled to control my own. I would challenge anyone who would give off mixed signals - let me tell ya, They Don't Like It!! lol Anyway, now I feel like I gained the ability to control my own emotions (to a certain degree) but lost the ability to perceive the emotions of others unless its extreme. Can emotional intelligence be relearned?
I hate this New Age "Let's Call it Something Else" BS
Why Not just say "Arrogant Hypnotheripist!" or "Parking Warden!"
maybe just re-read Mark Twain and see how he did it! I think he was the most emotionally intelligent of all!
first thing, you gotta be watching and listening and really noticing people and what they do and say and then, you gotta be ready just to leave them alone! is what I think.
just a thought.
lol Oh yeah, that was a lesson learned!! I was thinking in terms of writing, just to really know which emotions are which, ya know?
Okay, so watching , listening, and really noticing what people say and do. Thanks! Mark Twain? You mean reading Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn? Really.....can do!
Here in China they talk about EQ along with IQ - I have rarely been in any discussion that does not use the two things together.
In the modern workplace and society generally - where who you know is at least as important as what you know - then considering both together would seem to make sense.
Learning EQ is probably as impossible as learning IQ - unless we go through some major life change. For me, after a lifetime of being THE Boss in my working life I have had to adapt to a completely different and deeply social life. I would honestly say that after ten years of change, back to Uni, move to China, teaching, and other more life-changing but harder to describe situations - if my EQ has got better it is hardly noticeable.
That's how I feel about social skills - I seriously don't think my social skills can be improved because if they could I wouldn't keep making the same mistakes throughout my life, now would I? lol
I mean, I can understand it when I see it but not when I'm involved. Do you think that's true with EQ?
I agree - except that we can't learn how to stop making the same mistakes; this is self-control and I operate a strict policy of keeping my mouth tightly shut and moving myself out of the emotional issues of any converstaion where my bu!!sh!t detector keeps sounding alarms. I have adopted the Chinese manner of "it is not my business", even in the face of the most cynical emotional manipulations, unless it directly affects me.
I think you can change your EQ - if you remember that it may not be possible to stop feeling the emotions, but it is possible to stop ACTING on them. Like when you feel extremely jealous of someone - if you just watch yourself feeling jealous for awhile and do nothing about it (don't say something bitchy or punch someone in the face) the emotion will naturally subside and you will be perceived as someone with a high EQ just because you didn't act like a jealous b****
If your emotions are getting you into trouble its just time to learn more about yourself, what triggers your emotions and see how other people are responding in the same situations. You have to be able to control yourself before you can manip - I mean, control others! Self-control is the highest priority, if you don't control yourself than someone else will see your vulnerability and control you. Or if you really get way out there with the emotional stuff your relationships will all be very unsatisfying - not to mention you might get locked up and medicated! (worst case scenario)
I speak from experience - I tread the lines between socially acceptable and social renegade and social ineptness - all the time. After years of being so socially inept that ( before the internet) people went out of their way to shun me, I have found a balancing act that works. and luckily, people on the internet don't often make me want to blow my top. But I still can't shut myself up!
Just my view but would say that you (and me) are controlling the effects of our EQ, not changing it ??
probably. You're so damn astute! I know that I am so addicted to this cyber world because most people readily and willingly are manipulated and that is the way I use my kind of humor - dragging my vict - um er - audience into a corner and then giving them a little jolt of humor with some wordplay or some unexpected comment. It's so much easier to do online where people are reading, not listening, therefore usually really getting what you say. We get to show off our intelligence and then say something rednecky to put everyone at their ease. Right, pardner?
Interesting! Okay, so...since I've been regaining emotions lately most likely sooner or later I might start picking up the emotions of others but what I'll need to remember is to not ACT on them. Right?
Looks like I need to change some journal entries! lol Name That Emotion! Or, Name That Emotional Trigger!
Interesting what you say about self-control and controlling others...I had thought those who lack self-control go out of their way to control others. But, maybe that's not in relation to emotional self-control?
Isn't the internet great? Much easier to be social. And no need to shut the mouth unless you desire a filter....
I would say that people who lack self-control TRY to control others but unsuccessfully.
Emotional self-control can make you an observer and if you get lucky you get to also observe yourself, that is a first step on any self enlightenment I would say.
People who really truly lack self-control are usually recognizable by their inability to ever change their outlook, their opinions, their words, their whole routine. They feel most comfortable in a very rigid routine and have (usually outmoded) opinions about things and people. They say what comes to mind and do not self-edit, so often they speak without having all the info. When they get into arguments they resort to name calling and putting down their opponent's life, or wife, or the way they speak. People with no self-control desperately want to control their world, but usually are just laughed at.
Most of us lack some self-control when we are really angered or in love or when we want something desperately. It is very hard to be in control all the time - so that is why a wise person told me once that I should "choose carefully where and when I will lose control" - like you can spout off with someone who loves and understands you, but maybe not with your co-workers. He also told me that the struggle of trying to maintain control would make me feel old and empty, so I should just try to open my heart and accept people, especially when they aren't doing or saying what I would like them to do or say.
I haven't experienced that the people in "leadership" positions had especially great EQs. On the contrary, some of them are just very good at getting the money and power through manipulation in order to further their own egos - that isn't high EQ, that's just manipulative behavior to get what you want. People with high EQ are truly loved and respected and may not be the obvious leader in the group, even though every one will listen to what they say and often act on their advice.
I really do try to model myself after these kind of people - who are usually very modest, low-key people who put their own egos last. Of course, I like to act out with sarcasm, cynicism and dirty-talk sometimes, I hope I don't get totally out of control with it or actually harm or hurt anyone else. Its a challenge.
Oh wow, mega. You really hit the nail on the head of some people I know but wish I didn't know. Now I know why I wish it so often. Funny, I used to argue with them that they needed to learn self-control...so they flipped it on me and told me I needed to relinquish control...(said I was a control freak) Yeah...needless to say I didn't get to know them very well before getting involved.
I like that - Choose carefully where and when to lose control - it sounds like such an obvious thing, doesn't it? But I know there are times I could do a better job of remembering it. lol So, you're also saying it's a good thing to lose control once in awhile? Not necessarily in a bad way, but maybe say...at the fair by going on some crazy rides? I like it.
Okay, so EQ doesn't exactly equal leadership. It can be a factor but mostly it's those manipulative types who are able to force themselves into the position. D@mn! We gotta do something about that!!
Thank you, China Man for your observations. It sounds like someone without self-control would be able to gain control over someone who's vulnerable. Now I need to learn how not to be vulnerable....
Before I can answer, I must ask a question- Are you actively thinking about control of your emotions(constantly thinking about it)? If you are not, and you realize you no longer need to actively manage your emotions, then I would say that you will begin to see what you need to see.
I'm not sure how much of my writing you've read, but being self-interest, which means always working to improve yourself and your interactions with others, allows for self-growth, which apparently you are doing now. Being a perfectionist? Stop. The failure rate is too much to bare.
Rafini, when you enter into a situation, you have to be able to express your ability in your words, either writing or voice. You hold anything back, then something is missing. When you are in control of yourself, including emotions, appearing calm gives people a relaxed feeling, so as to not put the spotlight on them. There are some people who seek the spotlight, and you are not one of them, so for you, it takes more focus.
You can control how some acts around you, by the way or method, for which, you use to interact with them. You can phrase a sentence, so as to elude understanding, thus forcing someone to response, just to gain perspective.
Leadership qualities: take charge, stronger willed than average, controlled mannerisms, personally unchallenged in social skill sets.
Okay, I'm done rambling.
Cagsil - No, I'm not thinking of controlling my emotions constantly. It's kind of difficult to explain...I feel I'm responding naturally but most of the time I have no idea what emotions I'm feeling. Today I noticed I feel resentful on an almost constant basis but if I'd been asked I probably would have said I was 'happy' or 'good' or something else positive. Then I realized the reason is because my moods/emotions have stabilized. I can recognize almost anything can be an emotion (I need to revisit that thread! lol) That is such a huge improvement!!
Remember what I said about my group in class? It was strange...cuz it was the same as when I was a child and I was completely overwhelmed with emotion. That's why I'd been crying all day. Not so much because of what they said or what occurred but because it was the same experience. It was also interesting because I was reacting to adults and not children but I felt the same reactions coming from them as I felt coming from the girls of my childhood that I had dealt with. (1 accusing me and 1 blaming me) I really thought that if I ever came up against it again I would have known what to do...but I didn't.
Cagsil, regarding my perfectionism...for the most part its healthy because it's my norm. If I tell myself to stop then I have to stop functioning - and I've already done that. It wasn't much fun. I have learned I can make mistakes the only problem is, my mistakes do tend to be catastrophic and people I know love to point them out to me. Repeatedly. The most important thing for me to remember is that I'm entitled to make mistakes - Just like anyone else.
When I enter a situation I need to focus more in order to express my ability? My ability for what? What I mean is...what is it I need to be focused on?
Controlling how someone reacts to me by eluding understanding and gaining perspective - this is social skills? And social skills are a necessity for leadership?
I have a month before classes start again - hopefully I can find the hubs your talking about. Or, what topic are they under? Thanks.
Emotional Intelligence is just like Military Intelligence.
They do not belong in the same sentence.
Since when does anyone assign "intelligence" to human emotions. That has to be an extremely dumb concept, meant to make people perform in a specific manner. It's absurd.
One only needs intelligence to handle their emotions, and a conscious awareness, for which, they can perceive an on-coming event where emotions will need to be kept in check.
It's about leadership quality, which allows one person to step into a situation, and take control, by handling their own emotions and calmly managing the emotions of others.
Emotions are not and nor can they be intelligent. Just the person who controls them.
Emotional Intelligence is a term that comes from its link with IQ, Intellignce quotient - not a descriptive term. It is 'officially' Emotional Quotient or EQ - I think.
It is nothing to do with leadership quality, it is to do with controlling the immediate social environment around a person. You know, like not using supercilious language, calling names, not showing our own ignorance by trying to talk down to people in an attempt to promote our own ego. Stuff like that.
yes, I agree, I would prefer the term "emotional savvy" because that describes the skill involved, which is more being perceptive and accepting of other people and what they do and say. The emotions aren't intelligent - in fact, allowing oneself to feel emotions, very strong emotions, all the time will just rot one's liver and in other ways wreck the brain and body.
This involves one thing I am always on about - adrenal rushes and being addicted to them - when one finds oneself seeking conflict to get mad and thinks they're just being more "involved" this is an adrenal junky. You know, that little rush you get when someone has just said something stupid that really grates on your nerves? People get addicted to that, and then other people manipulate them while they're feeling that little high, and the aftermath of the rush which is a kind of release very much like the affect of alcohol.
In terms of writing - if you are writing fiction, I have found it is best not to label the emotion someone is feeling, but rather let them portray it in their actions and words and thoughts. Larry McMurtry does this very well - he puts his characters in very trying situations and they act and react, but he seldom says "Rosey was mad" or "Jack was happy"
I know what you're saying. My problem is labeling the emotions for myself so I know what behaviors would be appropriate. (I started a similar thread a couple months ago - asking something like "What are emotions?" It was VERY helpful!!)
Are you saying that you don't trust the feelings you have in response to another's emotional signals? Because if you're saying you have trouble knowing what you yourself feel, maybe its being stuck in the cerebral world of words? And have you tried any of the releasing exercises - breathing, movement, letting out a shout or finding something to make you laugh til breathless. The aim is to get further away from too much thought about the situation or emotion and instead allow yourself to truly feel. The label can come later.
This is really good for me, this discussion, because lately I have had some emotional stuckness, feeling bad sometimes, and I have needed to have this advice about releasing. I spend an awful lot of time with words, so when I am with people I often just want to retreat, or I feel too strongly about some little thing that happens.
I just re=read what you were saying and see you were talking about WRITING the emotional content, not necessarily about yourself in real life - and I still think that if you put yourself in the position of the character and allow yourself to feel in response to the situation you are writing you will be able to write the correct emotional response - it will feel real. I think in this way writing is like method acting. And this is how great writers come up with their own style. They are being themselves, only in a different world
Makes sense. I am talking about myself in real life AND with writing. If I can't truly feel my feelings and emotions then how can I write about them? The biggest problem is I'm writing my life story and having trouble with the emotions. I don't know if they're accurate or not. You think it would feel real even if I'm having difficulty with my emotions? That would be cool.
Sounds like another journal entry is in order! (can't remember what I was going to call it! Emotionally Speaking...maybe...Emotional Style...hhmm...Emotional Responses <--- I think that's it!)
yeh - that's good - when you're writing about yourself in the past all you really have to do is be honest - if you describe your actions honestly and the reactions they caused and the other way around - you will get insight into what emotions were going down at the time. Also with things said - also about the things you don't recall, which may be as revealing as anything you do remember. It would be fascinating as a study to go back and forth between now and then and recall the emotions and see what you feel now about the things you were feeling and doing then. You do feel the emotions probably, but you may have a little trouble FINDING them when you may have buried the emotions for survival reasons. I suggest you go gently on yourself - sometimes we bury emotions because we must - disturbing them may cause you troubles now that you don't really need. I know that is true for me.
I wish I had the courage to write about myself and really explore things - some of my life experience is still too painful - some is too dull and some wouldn't be believed I think. Meanwhile, the things I write probably reveal a lot about myself to me. I have come to realize that a large part of why I have survived so far is because I have learned not to keep digging around in the sore places.
Be honest and the emotions should come - sounds good to me. hehehehe my emotions have been lost, buried, dug up and tossed around the block. Although I'd say my life was horrible it wasn't to the point of my considering suicide (until a few years ago anyway - and that was due to adult trauma not childhood issues) I guess I should have mentioned that - the story I'm working on is about my childhood. Adulthood will come in another book or two.
There are many reasons to write a life story, and just as many not to. I would like to know, though, if I'm writing in the form of a Character Study or an emotional exploration or just what exactly. I'm guessing when it comes to me I'll probably be just about done writing it.
It seems that the dictionary definition is not accurate. "Control your own emotions, others and groups." Adolf Hitler used to fly into terrible rages, apparently, if things weren't going his way. Meaning his personal emotional control wasn't good. Yet he could gain control of others' emotions with his rivetting speeches. So in gaining control of others emotional reactions it is not necessarily essential to be able to be a master of your own. I'm not in agreement with China Man who says that people with poor EQ try to control others but are unusually unsuccessful.
I am inclined to go along with Mega1, in that we should be able to feel an emotion and choose a 'response,' rather than to simply 'react.' - as most of us do. Self mastery is not something the majority are inclined towards, so it looks like EQ will remain at a relatively low level for the populace at large for a long time yet.
Interesting. You believe emotional intelligence is rare? And, that we are able to choose a response but will usually react instead? Is it in our best interest to choose a response? I mean...wouldn't a natural reaction be more honest than a chosen response? I don't know if I would want to trust someone who chose their response rather than reacted naturally....
emotional intellegence is the most important intellegence of all because it is so close to the soul
I used to think that most of the human world's ills were caused by self-indulgence - that because human beings usually seek first to indulge themselves in pleasure, food, survival etc. that they never truly gain real community with others and are therefore doomed. I am still thinking this way, though I have met some folks along the way who do CHOOSE when and where to indulge themselves. We can do the same with our emotions - indulge in emotional thinking, reacting, acting out of emotions only choose when and where to indulge ourselves! Obviously, I don't succeed with this since I am constantly indulging in petty moods and emotions. The only thing I have succeeded with is that I don't get into petty quarrels anymore. so far.
I think by meditating I get closest to the kind of control I need to be fully alive in the world - not trying to control the world, but just behaving like a conscious individual in the world. Meanwhile, I have not learned not to pig out on cherry pie!
rafini- here's one of those releasing exercises - its easy to do, you can stop it anytime you want, and since it is just raw emotion that you bring up - not emotional response to anything or anyone real, you can easily give yourself permission to feel it - no one else involved.
You need room - with a couch with some pillows, and you need to be alone. You need a block of time to yourself, at least an hour - you may need some "recovery" time after you do the releasing exercise..
You stand in the middle of the room - pick out a song you know the words to - or at least a verse of it. It's not important what song or whether you can actually "sing" it. What you do is take some deep breaths and start singing the words to the song, holding each syllable of each word as long as you can, singing as loudly as you can. (best to do this when no one is around or they'll think you've gone bonkers) Keep your eyes open and keep looking around you at the room. Stand still. Keep going past your feelings of ridiculousness and focus intently on each syllable - holding it, singing it as loud as you can, sort of singing the tune of the song but after awhile the notes will just turn into a kind of monotone and you will just be struggling to remember the next word of the song. You get way past caring whether you are sounding good or not. When you finish with the words you know of the song, start again at the beginning.
Usually you feel frustrated when it gets harder to do this but you force yourself to keep singing loudly, holding onto the syllables and after awhile emotions will just start bubbling up for no real reason, just hard to keep on singing without meaning so loud! When you get to the point where you are having some feelings, and it is way too hard to hold onto the singing of the song - no matter what the feelings are - give into the feelings for awhile, let yourself cry, or laugh, or get angry and shout - display for yourself your feelings and then go to the couch and the pillows and slowly let the feelings subside, breathing deeply. Relax for awhile. Even go to sleep if you feel like it.
If this works for you, it probably isn't a good idea to do the exercise too often - maybe once a week? or even less often, because it is powerful and tiring.
If the first time you try this you can't keep going and don't get any real emotions to come up, let it be and try again the next day or some other time when you really want to release some emotions. It may surprise you what you start to feel. What you are doing is teaching yourself that you can feel emotions deeply and nothing bad will happen because you feel them. You are teaching yourself that its ok to have emotions and that you can control them and take care of yourself. That emotions are healthy, human phenomena.
We used to do this exercise in method acting class, in front of the class, looking at each person in the class, for method training for actors - but it is a good one to do alone as just a release.
Wow. Does it really work? Probably a silly question....I mean, I do feel better when I sing along with the radio.
Wonder what my cat's will think....
Yes, it works, it really does - important to remember why you're doing it - to actually give yourself permission to feel.
Your cats should not be in the room with you. They will get used to it if you do it say, twice a month. If it upsets them, maybe find them another place to be for that time where they can't hear you and you can't hear them.
I'm serious - it sounds weird, but it does really work and makes sense if you think about it. It's like releasing a log jam. Then after you release your feelings you see that you can control them by just letting them naturally go - let go of the feelings. And I wouldn't do this exercise often over a long period of time - as you can see it could become indulgent and would probably cease to work right, anyway.
I read your Growing Up hub and it was very interesting to me - I can see that when writing for public consumption sometimes we have to decorate the facts a bit and convey things using judicious amounts of fiction. . .otherwise its a public journal and that for me is impossible! It isn't that important whether the stories you write are truth or diluted or just plain fiction - that you are doing the process of self-examination as you write will help you AND help the writing. I could relate, as many can, to your description of the mother and entirely understand that she would not have realized that her own depression was making her son feel confused maybe and so he would act out. Kids aren't able to separate their feelings of dismay and frustration with a mother who doesn't act "right" from their feelings ABOUT her - so he would say he hated her, when what he really hated was her unhappiness and that he recognized that she wasn't able to give him what he needed, possibly. Still he loved her, and that's why he was so conflicted!
but it is inexcusable that the psychiatrist would not explain to her what I just explained and give her a reason to want to seek healing. Although I am all too aware that many doctors don't talk to their patients this way. They too often treat people like they were "cases" instead of living, breathing, feeling people who sometimes just need to understand themselves. Definitely it is very bad when doctors don't give patients full and complete explanations for medications they prescribe. Anti-depressants and mood stabilizers and anxiety meds all have horrible side-effects. Much better to seek wise people to talk to and use mild herbal teas and treat yourself really well so you can really feel good, and accept it when you need some healing.
Anywway - I gotta go try to sleep - you have brought up a bunch of stuff for me, too. It's not all bad, but I gotta think some.
Thanks, Mega, for your insights. You've explained things I didn't understand in a way I could understand. I'm grateful.
Good night & take care.
A day or two ago I just barely dropped in and read this thread, commented and popped out. I know that it has pretty much fizzled, but when I came back and read this, I felt that I needed to comment.
mega1, you have shared some very, very helpful and insightful comments throughout, but I have to disagree strongly with this statement (the first one I quoted here). Maybe you were exaggerating to make a point; I don't know. But the meds you mentioned do not all have horrible side-effects. People react differently to different meds, and that is why it is so extremely important to find a competent, knowledgeable, trusted healer to work with whom the patient can tell honestly what is going on.
Several years ago, I took Prozac (low dose) because of fibromyalgia-like symptoms. I was thrilled to take it, because I do have a tendency to be depressed, and I was "going through" stuff at the time. It helped me a whole lot at first, but over time, I realized that I was constantly feeling sort of spacey and almost removed from reality. So I stopped taking it. ...and then back to depressive tendencies....
I visited a different doctor and shared my experiences. I was given a different antidepressant, still a low dose, and I have not experienced the same sort of side effect at all. Yes, I have had one mild physical side effect that I have learned to manage by taking care of other areas of my health that actually already needed attention even without the side effect of the antidepressant.
I know that my one experience does not speak for every person who takes or needs to take the meds you mentioned. But I think there is a degree of irresponsibility involved in discouraging people from taking medication when they actually need it. Each patient needs to weigh the pros and cons of any therapy offered and needs to have some trusted counselor and/or healer (even an alternative practitioner) who is wise enough to help negotiate all of the different options without prejudice.
As I mentioned before, most of your advice has been totally spot-on, and I realize that your statement about medication may have been intended to make a point. I believe, as you indicated, that people who are depressed, anxious, or otherwise moody need to have people in their lives to talk to and people who can help them find other alternatives beside medication. Absolutely I believe it's better to find the other alternatives, if they will do the job! But if medication is needed, it should not be considered a cop-out or a sign of weakness if someone chooses to take it; and people should not shy away from all appropriate medications simply because of the fact that some of them may not work well with a specific individual. After all, some people respond better to ibuprofen than to aspirin; some people respond better to Benadryl than Sudafed; some people do better with chamomile than with St. John's Wort.....
What a waste of the human language,no such thing, all made up words by some dork.
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