Emotional Intelligence

Emotional Intelligence has been defined as the extent to which a person is aware of his/her own thoughts and emotions and those of others. It also refers to an ability to manage our own emotions as well as the emotions of others in our relationships.

Emotional Intelligence has received much attention since Daniel Goleman published his work on the topic in 1995. For many years, success potential had been estimated by one's IQ (or Intelligence Quotient). However, research has shown that a high IQ didn't always equal success in jobs and relationships. For example, one can have a high IQ but see life in terms of "black and white" (rigid thinking).

Rigidity can lead to problems in relationships and in the workplace if one is unable to see or respect others' points of view. Consequently, this can lead to relationship or career strife, even among highly intelligent people.

Being less rigid and possessing the ability to see the "gray area" in life circumstances can lead to greater satisfaction in relationships as others will feel you are able to understand them. Leaders of many successful corporations have cited this ability as a cornerstone to their success.

High EI can be quite an asset in many areas of life. You may recall an old saying "By understanding ourselves, we better understand others." By understanding ourselves (i.e. Emotions and behavior), we can live happier and healthier lives.

Life is not always easy, but with a healthy EI, you would be better able to cope with and adjust to life's struggles and not take hardships personally. As a result, you are also better suited for success in relationships and careers because you understand others better. You also would have a better understanding of relationship struggles and greater ability to solve them due to understanding the origins of problems, and can thus differentiate your issues from those of others.

Some people believe that EI is an innate ability to understand ourselves and others. Others believe that our life histories are contributing factors.

If you were raised in a home where feelings are not talked about or viewed as "scary," you might have had the experience of shutting down or denying your own emotions. A person who was traumatized might have the experience of shutting down their emotions, because certain emotions evoke a reminder of the emotional pain they felt during or as a result of the traumatic experience.

However, by talking through past hurts and painful experiences, one can achieve mastery of their emotions, and become more self-aware of his/her thoughts and emotions. Once these are understood we can understand how they impact our behavior, either positively or negatively.

If you feel that you would like help to better understand yourself and others, contact us today for a consultation. Counseling can assist you in understanding the roots of your thoughts, emotions and behavior.

Change is an agent that comes from within, and by making positive changes within ourselves, we feel better as a result, and we can also make positive impacts on our relationships.

You may even thank yourself later.

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