Types of emotional intelligence: which one do you identify with?

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Robert Maurer


Types of emotional intelligence: which one do you identify with?

Emotional intelligence allows us to understand how we feel and helps us find ways to express our emotions. In this article, we talk about the various types of emotional intelligence.

Last update: 09 September, 2021

Emotional intelligence is a skill that allows us to better relate to our emotional world. It helps us identify what we feel, give it a name, understand emotions, express them and manage them correctly. How could it not be otherwise, there are different types of emotional intelligence.

Being able to manage your emotions and understand yourself is not the same as understanding others through empathy, for example.

In this article we talk about the different skills into which emotional intelligence is divided according to Daniel Goleman and Dr. Bar-On.

Types of emotional intelligence: Daniel Goleman

Emotional intelligence is defined by Goleman in 1995 as “the set of skills that contribute to good functioning and success and which are different from the intelligence quotient (IQ).

“After him there will be other authors who will also talk about it, but it is worth remembering that it was Goleman who defined this concept first.

There is not just one type of emotional intelligence, but several. Goleman himself divides emotional intelligence into:

Intrapersonal emotional intelligence

It would be the ability to communicate effectively with oneself, as well as to manage one's emotions adequately. This subtype of emotional intelligence is made up of several elements or components:

  • Emotional self-awareness: it helps us to know our emotions and to act accordingly.
  • Self-regulation: it allows us to regulate and adequately express our emotions, for example anger.
  • Self-motivation: it implies being able to motivate oneself, to be enthusiastic about undertaking challenges and projects.

Interpersonal emotional intelligence

According to an article by Elia Roca, interpersonal emotional intelligence is the ability to effectively understand and manage the emotions of others. This, in turn, is divided into:

  • Empathy: it allows us to put ourselves in the other person's shoes, to feel his emotions and to understand his point of view.
  • Social skillsThey help us relate appropriately to others and gain gratification from those relationships.

5 types of emotional intelligence: Bar-On

In addition to Goleman's proposal, there are also other classifications of the different types of emotional intelligence that are worth dwelling upon.

Dr. Reuven Bar-On defines emotional intelligence as "the set of emotional, personal and interpersonal skills that influence the individual's overall ability to cope with the demands and pressures of the environment." And he breaks them down into five:

Intrapersonal skills

Intrapersonal skills have to do with how we manage our emotions. We can compare this type of ability with the intrapersonal intelligence proposed by Gardner, through his model of multiple intelligences.

In this case we speak of an intelligence that has to do with the relationship we maintain with ourselves. It also has to do with how we treat ourselves, how we identify and express our emotions.

Interpersonal skills

Interpersonal skills, another type of emotional intelligence, allow us to adequately express what we want to say. They also help us have good communication with others, understand them through empathy, connect with other people's emotions, etc.

Stress management

On many occasions, self-control makes the difference between success and failure. Stress is the body's reaction to threats; it occurs when our resources are insufficient to meet the needs of the environment.

Learning to manage stress is a skill that has to do with being able to implement the right strategies. Some of these strategies require not only knowledge but also practice.


Our adaptability has a lot to do with our flexibility in dealing with change. We can say we have this ability when we are able to adapt to changes in the environment without causing us great inconvenience or without compromising our performance.

Positive mood

Finally, Bar-On also proposes positive mood as another type of emotional intelligence (or a component of it). The mood is a disposition in the emotional life that lasts over time more than an emotion.

Our mood can make us feel in many ways: positive and energetic, apathetic and without the desire to do anything. In a way, although it is normal to go through different moods, positive mood is a probable consequence of having some emotional intelligence or in any case a good emotional regulation.

Goleman is certainly a leading author in the field of emotional intelligence, but other authors, such as Gardner, have also talked about it through his theory of multiple intelligences.

This kind of intelligence is getting more and more attention in the education system today, because, what good is understanding math if we can't understand our emotions?

For all these reasons, emotional education is important. Just as we teach children to relate to others, through language or numbers, as tools they will need in their adult life, it is also appropriate to teach them, in an explicit and conscious way, to regulate their emotions. A positive emotional state favors empathy, generosity and honesty, but also joy.

“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence; it is not the triumph of the heart over the head, it is the intersection of both ”.

-David Caruso-

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