Why is emotional intelligence so important?

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Robert Maurer


Why is emotional intelligence so important?

Last update: February 06, 2015

Within the concept of emotional intelligence it is possible to incorporate different skills related to emotions, since the same can be defined as an ability to manage them, a predisposition to express them, a capacity to understand them and even to transform them.

The good news is that emotional intelligence can be worked on and improved throughout life, which is evidently not the case with other intellectual abilities.

What are the benefits of emotional intelligence?

Among the many advantages, we can say that emotional intelligence fosters healthy interpersonal bonds, as it includes the ability to share and understand other people's emotions as well.

On the other side, people with emotional intelligence have a better chance of achieving excellent job performance. In fact, some research has shown that most successful professionals have this characteristic.

How to improve emotional intelligence?

Below we share some aspects with you to consider if you are looking to improve your emotional intelligence. These are skills that we should all improve:

Stay calm, even under pressure. Most people experience different levels of stress in their life. The way we handle the stressful situations of everyday life can make a big difference between acting reactively or assertively and, consequently, emotionally suffocating or achieving inner balance. If you find that you are feeling upset, nervous or anxious most of the time, then perhaps it is time to make a decision about it, such as starting some physical, artistic, or recreational activity that can help you gain and maintain emotional stability. . However, consulting a psychotherapist may be the best idea if you feel that your altered states are reaching unhealthy peaks.

Accept and deal with emotions of a negative nature. We must learn to develop the ability to manage negative emotions effectively to prevent them from getting the better of us and damaging our judgment. However, how do you do it? The first thing we need to do to do this is change our way of thinking about situations, as we transform into what we think throughout the day.

Read correctly the signals sent to us by others. It is a social capacity and has to do with knowing how to decisively perceive and interpret the expressions of other people, be they verbal, physical or emotional. This means not misinterpreting the intentions of those around us, which certainly causes misunderstandings. If we cannot understand a strange expression, it is advisable to look for at least a couple of possible explanations before coming to a hasty conclusion or making judgments or accusations. Of course it is also advisable to dialogue with the other person to clarify doubts.

Manifesting intimate emotions in interpersonal relationships. If we want to maintain strong and lasting bonds, it is important to learn how to effectively express our emotions of love, tenderness, respect, etc. Unfortunately, there are many people who are unable to express this type of emotion, even when they do it in a very intense way. It is an emotional incapacity that can derive from interpersonal conflicts, since in addition to loving, accepting and valuing the other, it is good to be able to communicate it, let the other person know. Likewise, it is necessary to respond appropriately when the other is doing it. It is not a question of saying "sweet things" at all times, but there is no doubt that the expression and exchange of intimate emotions helps to nourish and strengthen the bonds.

Expressing complex emotions at the right time. Assertiveness is a capacity that allows us to openly manifest what we consider important, take a clear position and even set limits on what we believe is acceptable or not in a relationship. This includes being able to exercise the right to disagree in certain circumstances without being objectionable. Being assertive means being able to set our priorities and knowing how to say "no" without feeling guilty about it.

The epoch in which emotions were considered as a "secondary" process, below other human abilities such as reason and logic, is now past. The most recent research shows that the emotional sphere plays a decisive role in people's lives. 

Today it is known that intelligence (relative to the traditional concept of intellectual coefficient) is no guarantee of triumph in any aspect of existence. What good is it to be intellectually bright if you are emotionally inept? We consider, in fact, that most of life's problematic situations are caused by emotional disabilities.

Emotional intelligence, on the other hand, opens the door to greater possibilities for development both on a personal and social level and, ultimately, to happiness. 

Image courtesy of Erik Johansson

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