When it comes to psychological research, emotional intelligence is probably one of the most advanced areas of research available today. Historically, a large amount of attention has been paid to general intelligence. Though writers have touched on similar subjects since the time of Darwin, most researchers did not take the subject seriously until very recently.
EI is defined as the ability of a person to manage their feelings, as well as handling the feelings of others. Being able to control your emotions in a positive manner is a very important part of functioning properly in society. Those who are unable to control their emotions often have enormous problems, both social and personal.
The first step in developing your emotional intelligence is to increase your emotional literacy. Instead of labeling other people or situations, you will want to take the time to label yourself. When you find yourself in a situation, whether it is positive or negative, you will want to begin defining the situation by how you feel as opposed to what you think about the situation.
The best way to do this is to start saying "I feel" more when talking about these events. For example, if something good happens, such as you getting a raise, you could say something like "I feel great about this raise I got," as opposed to saying "things are going well," or "my company finally rewarded me for my achievements."
While this may sound overly simple, you would be surprised by the effect it can have on your life. For example, if you are driving in a car with someone, and they are driving at a speed which is making you uncomfortable, you could say something like "I think we are going too fast," or "I’m afraid of going this fast," as opposed to telling the person driving that "you are going to get us both killed."
Learning how to express your feelings is one of the key foundations of emotional intelligence. Another important aspect of increasing your emotional intelligence is to learn the difference between thoughts and feelings. While many people don’t know the difference between the two, the truth of the matter is that there are differences.
Difference Between Thoughts and Feelings
When someone is referring to their thoughts, they will often start off a sentence by saying "I feel as.." or "I feel like….". When a person is referring to their feelings, they will often start off a sentence by saying "I feel" and then the next word will describe the way they feel, such as happy, sad, or bored.
To further elaborate on this, when a person is jealous of another person or situation, a "thought" statement would be something like this: I’m jealous of your success. In contrast, a "feel" statement will sound more like this: "I’m feeling jealous." Can you see the difference between the two? Increasing your emotional intelligence means that you must always have more control over your feelings.
It is important for you to take the time to analyze your feelings as opposed to studying the actions of yourself or other people. Once you do this, you will be in a much better position to allow your emotions to locate those emotional needs you have which are unmet.
One of the most important aspects of emotional intelligence is being able to utilize your feelings in such a way that you’re able to make decisions. For example, before you decide to do something, ask yourself how you will feel once you do this. You should also ask how you will feel if you don’t do this. It is also helpful to ask others how they feel, and what would make them feel better about themselves.
Emotions can be used to set goals and achieve them. As strange as it may sound, it never hurts to establish "goals for your feelings." You will first want to think about the ways in which you would like to feel, or the ways in which you want other people to feel. You will want to get feedback from this and then work your way towards accomplishing your feeling goals.
For instance, your could measure you feelings based on a measure from 0 to 10. It is possible for you to ask others how they feel so that this can assist you in determining how close you are to achieving your goal. While anger is destructive for most people, you should use it as source of energy to guide you in reaching your goals.