Emotional intelligence is crucial in life and the workplace. It’s the ability to understand, manage, and express how you feel. So it will help you interact with others in the best way possible.
No one is born with this charismatic ability, but it’s something we should all learn.
That’s a good thing because 90% of high-performance workers have a high level of emotional intelligence (EQ). 80% of low-performance workers have a low EQ.
The following strategies will increase your emotional intelligence fast:
1. Build emotional intelligence with self-awareness
“We are dangerous when we are not conscious of our responsibility for how we behave, think, and feel.”
— Marshall B. Rosenberg
Emotionally intelligent people are self-aware. They know what feelings they’re having and how to deal with them.
The next time you’re arguing with someone, notice your mental state. Maybe you’re worried, insulted, or annoyed? Whatever it is, if you name it, you’ll understand what’s going on better.
An excellent way to sort out your feelings is to write them down in a journal. Journaling has countless benefits, such as venting frustrations, clarifying your goals, and gaining awareness of yourself.
2. Increase your emotional intelligence vocabulary
“The greatest ability in business is to get along with others and influence their actions.”
— John Hancock
People with high emotional intelligence use more “feeling words” to describe what they’re experiencing. Being able to explain exactly how you feel helps you to become more self-aware.
Low EQ people might describe how they feel with words like good, bad, or fine. Whereas a high EQ person might say, they’re inspired, jaded, or uneasy.
Example feeling words:
Knowing how to describe your feelings helps you to uncover what may have caused them.
3. Use emotional intelligence when you communicate
“When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotion.”
— Dale Carnegie
Emotionally intelligent people use positive body language and speak assertively. They express themselves while still respecting others’ feelings.
Have you ever verbally ripped into someone while in a rage and regretted it later? You can avoid this with some high EQ communication.
In the heat of an argument (especially if alcohol, lack of sleep, or hunger are in the mix), it’s easy to say things you don’t mean. Don’t focus on “winning” the fight; instead, aim to resolve it. That way, both of you can walk away happy.
If the situation gets intense, stay calm because flipping out will only exacerbate the problem. Always remember that how you respond affects the other person’s reaction. So, don’t fuel their fury either; listen to their issue and try to resolve it.
Also, don’t be on the lookout for someone to offend you. Instead, when you feel your blood boiling, stop, label what you’re experiencing, and choose a charismatic response.
If someone flips out at you, turn it around in your favor. You can see why this would be useful!
4. Manage your emotions
“Whatever is begun in anger, ends in shame.”
— Benjamin Franklin
Your mood dramatically influences your perspective. Having the power to change how you think is the key to adapting to situations better.
For instance, if you and a friend have a political disagreement, and you feel like calling them an idiot, step back for a minute. Consider what’s at stake here. You could flip out on them and ruin the relationship, or you could agree to disagree and change the subject. Thus, avoiding an argument that won’t change anyone’s political beliefs, anyway.
Also, don’t jump to conclusions regarding people’s behavior. When you take everything personally, you build up negativity for no reason. People behave because of how they are, not because of how you are.
The way you perceive something can directly change how you feel about it. So, when you feel a rush of emotions flood your body, take a minute and ask yourself why you’re feeling this way. Knowing why will immediately calm you down. Then look at the situation in a more positive light.
When you feel irritated, you could take a walk, meditate, or redesign how you view the situation. Otherwise, you could vent to a friend about it.
5. Use empathy
“Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution.”
— Kahlil Gibran
Empathy allows you to understand what other people are experiencing. When you tell someone that you know what they’re going through, they instantly feel closer to you.
When someone is talking to you, be present and truly listen to them. Dive into what they’re saying. Observe the subtle facial movements and body language they use. Try to understand them—practice deciphering how others feel without them telling you.
6. Feel negative emotions but don’t ruminate on them
“Experience is not what happens to you — it’s how you interpret what happens to you.”
— Aldous Huxley
Emotionally intelligent people don’t bury their feelings and hope they disappear. They know it’ll fester and intensify till they deal with it.
As a result, they might reach for alcohol or anything to make them feel okay again. But if that gets out of control, they’d be in another colossal mess.
So don’t hide from your thoughts, but don’t obsess over them either. Stay grounded and restructure the situation with a more positive outlook. Focus on the optimistic side of the situation, instead of ruminating on the negative.
To get your mindset back on track, you could exercise, think of a few things you’re grateful for, or get some fresh air.
7. Test your emotional intelligence
“Let’s not forget that the little emotions are the great captains of our lives and we obey them without realizing it.”
— Vincent Van Gogh
Take a free EQ test below to get an idea of how emotionally intelligent you are and what areas you should improve. Taking EQ tests will help you build self-awareness too!
Additionally, you can ask a friend for their opinion about your EQ. They can give you valuable insights that will also build up your self-awareness.
But don’t get defensive when they offer advice; instead, listen and try to learn from it. It’s to your benefit. Use criticisms to improve yourself, not to become bitter.
In short, when you boost your emotional intelligence, possibilities open up in all aspects of your life. You become more likable, and less stressed, and people want to work with you. Plus, you’ll make more money and have more fulfilling relationships.
So, learn more words to describe your mental state. Also, change your negative perceptions to be more positive. Soon, you’ll free yourself from added stress with your new high emotional intelligence!
Also, it’ll help if you have free, life-changing motivation emailed to you every week! Sign up below!