What Is Emotional Intelligence?
According to Psychology today, emotional intelligence is the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.
It is generally said to include three skills: emotional awareness; the ability to harness emotions and apply them to tasks like thinking and problem solving; and the ability to manage emotions, which includes regulating your own emotions and cheering up or calming down other people.
Emotional intelligence is the “something” in each of us that is a bit intangible.
It affects how we manage behavior, navigate social complexities, and make personal decisions to achieve positive results.
All people experience emotions, but few can accurately identify them as they occur.
Research shows that only 36% of people can do this, which is problematic because unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and wrong decisions.
Ask yourself if these qualities of emotionally intelligent people apply to you:
1. You can master your emotions
While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “downtrodden,” or “anxious.”
The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.
2. You care about others
Emotionally intelligent people are curious about everyone around them.
This curiosity is the product of empathy, one of the most significant gateways to a high EQ.
The more you care about other people and what they’re going through, the more curiosity you’re going to have about them.
3. You Embrace Change
Emotionally intelligent people are flexible and constantly adapting.
They know that change is the norm in this life and that fear of change is a major threat to their success and happiness.
4. You have self-awareness
In other words, you know your strengths and weaknesses.
– What you’re good at and what you’re bad at.
– Who pushes your buttons and what excites you.
– Where to start and how to succeed.
5. You Are Not Easily Offended
Emotionally intelligent people are self-confident and open-minded, which creates a pretty thick skin.
You may even poke fun at yourself or let other people make jokes about you because you are able to mentally draw the line between humor and degradation.
6. You Know How to Say No
“No” is a powerful word that you should not be afraid to say.
When it’s time to say no, emotionally intelligent people avoid phrases such as, “I don’t think I can” or “I’m not certain.”
Research conducted at the University of California, San Francisco, shows that the more difficulty that you have saying no, the more likely you are to experience stress, burnout, and even depression.
Saying no to a new commitment honors your existing commitments and gives you the opportunity to successfully fulfill them.
7. You Let Go of Mistakes
Emotionally intelligent people distance themselves from their mistakes, but do so without forgetting them.
By keeping their mistakes at a safe distance, yet still handy enough to refer to, they are able to adapt and adjust for future success.
8. You Don’t Seek Perfection
Emotionally intelligent people won’t set perfection as their target because they know that it doesn’t exist.
Human beings, by our very nature, are fallible.
When perfection is your goal, you’re always left with a nagging sense of failure that makes you want to give up or reduce your effort.
Emotionally intelligent people set realistic goals and expectations for themselves and others.
9. You Appreciate What You Have
Taking time to contemplate what you’re grateful for isn’t merely the right thing to do; it also improves your mood because it reduces the stress hormone cortisol by 23%.
Research conducted at the University of California, Davis, found that people who worked daily to cultivate an attitude of gratitude experienced improved mood, energy, and physical well-being.
It’s likely that lower levels of cortisol played a major role in this.
10. You Are a Good Listener
Emotionally intelligent people know that “hearing” and “listening” are two different things.
They re-phrase a person’s statements in the form of a question to make sure nothing got lost in translation.
Finally, we as Muslims must learn from our beloved prophet (PBUH), whom Allah Almighty sent to mankind and taught him to be the best in ethics and manners so that we would find the most complete and best example in him.
In his seerah (PBUH), we will find the greatest lessons of intelligence, wisdom and virtue.
First published: November 2019