How to develop emotional intelligence and improve our relationships with the people around us

Intelligence is an important part of everyone’s personality, but very few people understand this concept in its broad sense. We are used to seeing intelligence as just the ability to reason, analyze and synthesize information. 

The truth is that there are several types of intelligence that receive very little attention. Knowing and managing our emotions is no less important to our healthy development as individuals than the ability to reason. 

This kind of intelligence is known as emotional intelligence. Much less, if any, attention is paid to the ability to recognize and manage our emotions. Emotional intelligence is something we are not taught in school or in our families. This is exactly why many mature people do not know their emotions and have difficulty managing them in a healthy way. 

Emotional intelligence plays a big role in building social skills and communicating with others. According to the extent to which we have developed our emotional intelligence determines the quality of our interpersonal interactions and relationships. It allows us to understand and manage our own emotions as well as those of others. 

The result of well-developed emotional intelligence leads to better understanding, interaction and mutual support. This builds stronger interpersonal bonds and longer lasting relationships. 

What are the benefits for us and our relationships with people of developing emotional intelligence 

The benefits of developing emotional intelligence for extremely many. We can look at them in two ways: as benefits to ourselves and benefits that are reflected in building our relationships with other people. 

Let’s look at some of the main benefits we receive once we achieve emotional intelligence:

● Better understanding of ourselves: who we are, where our emotions come from, how to recognize them 

Developed emotional intelligence helps us understand and accept our own emotions, leading to better self-awareness and self-improvement. When we are aware of our needs, fears, and desires, we can more effectively communicate them to others and place ourselves more firmly in relationships.

● Interpersonal understanding: developing empathy

Developing emotional intelligence helps us understand other people’s emotions and needs. When we are empathic and able to put ourselves in the shoes of others, we achieve better understanding, empathy and support in our interactions with them.

● Healthier relationships in which we feel happy

When we develop emotional intelligence, we achieve healthier and higher quality relationships. The ability to express our emotions and adapt to the emotions of others leads to better communication, conflict resolution and trust building. Being able to better understand those around us and express empathy help create deeper bonds and more enjoyable interpersonal relationships.

● Better leadership

Developing emotional intelligence is essential for leaders and managers. The ability to understand and manage the emotions of them and their teams helps create a supportive and motivating work environment. Leaders with high emotional intelligence are more effective at managing people and showing empathy for them. 

Next, we look at three important aspects of developing emotional intelligence and how they can help improve our relationships.

  • Understanding your emotions

Emotional intelligence begins with the ability to understand our own emotions. This involves being aware of how we are feeling at any given moment and understanding what triggers them. 

To develop this ability, we can engage in practices such as meditation, keeping a journal, or simply taking time for introspection. When we understand our emotions, we can more easily communicate them to others and achieve better understanding and interaction in our relationships.

  • Managing your emotions

Once we understand our emotions, it is important to learn how to manage them in an effective way. This involves learning to deal with negative emotions such as anger, anxiety or frustration without unconsciously feeding them and without damaging our relationships. 

Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation practices and imaginative reckoning can help calm the mind and overcome negative emotions. 

Sharing our emotions with others is also an important aspect of managing them. Communicating with openness and sensitivity can help express our emotions in a clear and constructive way, while being open to the emotions of others.

  • Understanding your emotions

Emotional intelligence begins with the ability to understand our own emotions. This involves being aware of how we are feeling at any given moment and understanding what triggers them. 

To develop this ability, we can engage in practices such as meditation, keeping a journal, or simply taking time for introspection. When we understand our emotions, we can more easily communicate them to others and achieve better understanding and interaction in our relationships.

  • Managing your emotions

Once we understand our emotions, it is important to learn how to manage them in an effective way. This involves learning to deal with negative emotions such as anger, anxiety or frustration without unconsciously feeding them and without damaging our relationships. 

Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation practices and imaginative reckoning can help calm the mind and overcome negative emotions. 

Sharing our emotions with others is also an important aspect of managing them. Communicating with openness and sensitivity can help express our emotions in a clear and constructive way, while being open to the emotions of others. 

Developing empathy and social skills

Emotional intelligence also involves developing empathy and social skills. When we are empathic, we are able to understand and feel the emotions of others and show empathy. This creates a stronger bond and mutual understanding. 

To develop our empathy, we can practice active listening, putting ourselves in the shoes of others and showing care and support. 

Social skills help us interact effectively with others, understand social norms and build strong relationships. They include the ability to set healthy boundaries, establish and maintain healthy communication, and adapt to different social environments.

Qualities of emotionally intelligent people 

It is easy to guess whether a person is emotionally intelligent or not. These people exhibit a spectrum of qualities that make them good conversationalists, show their communication skills, and present them as trustworthy people in the lives of others. 

Empathy – showing empathy indicates that a person is able to understand the emotions of others without allowing them to affect them negatively. 

Healthy boundaries – setting healthy boundaries does not mean selfishness. People who can define their actions according to how they feel in a situation are able to manage their boundaries in a healthy way without hurting themselves or being rude to those around them. 

Intrinsic motivation – Emotionally intelligent people don’t need validation of their worth. They find motivation within themselves and rely on themselves as the person who will always support and motivate them. 

Self-control – the ability to maintain self-control and stabilize emotions in difficult moments is one of the most important qualities a person can develop. Emotionally intelligent people are able to assess a situation maturely without wallowing in the impact of the negative emotions it creates. 

Social skills – people who have good emotional intelligence and have developed the qualities mentioned above have good social skills. They are active listeners, do not interrupt their interlocutor and are able to communicate with people of all ages. 

Self-confidence – Emotionally intelligent people are confident people. They believe in themselves and draw strength from their inner self. They only prove themselves to themselves and it is a great success for them when they act in a way guided by a combination of emotions and reason. 

Developing emotional intelligence is a key factor in improving our relationships and achieving deeper and mutual satisfaction in them. By understanding our emotions, managing them and developing empathy and social skills, we can create a stronger connection with ourselves and others. Developing these skills takes time, practice and awareness, but the results are extremely valuable and can change the way we experience our relationships and life in general.

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