As defined, Emotional Intelligence (EI) is one`s ability to understand, and manage, his emotions, as well as those of other people. According to psychologists, EI is your ability to understand and influence the mood of both you and other people in a more positive way.

Daniel Goleman, the science journalist and bestselling author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ believes all-star performers in any field have high EI. He also believes it’s the shortest way to winning people`s hearts, leading a happy life, and making more money.

Why is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Many studies believe EI will make you socially intelligent. Others also believe EI has many benefits to your health and life such as:

It bonds you with people.

When you have high EI, you become more empathetic and make people feel understood. Many people yearn for this deep level of connectivity and will like you more if you give it to them.

EI is also good when dealing with women. Want to make a woman agree with you, name out loud the emotion she`s feeling. Women are emotional beings who appreciate empathy more than any other thing. Making a woman feel you both share the same wave will make her more agreeable.

It improves self-discipline.

The first step to quitting any bad behavior is knowing why you do it. Mental fitness—according to studies—is as important to you as physical exercising. If you think about it; addiction and procrastination are usually ways to regulate one`s emotions. 

People smoke, drink, or overeat to cope with stress, boredom or loneliness, and if you can solve these underlying emotions, quitting will be much easier. According to research, people who have high EI are also more disciplined. Studies also found that addicts and heavy drinkers are usually characterized by low EI.

High EI can make you popular.

A study in 2016 found that the popularity of emotionally intelligent students increased in time more than that of low EI students. The study also found that, despite being popular at some time in their lives, narcissistic students lose popularity as they grow old because of their poor EI scores.

EI makes you more assertive.

When you are aware of your emotions, you become more motivated to speak up for yourself in critical situations. This means EI can improve your self-confidence and self-image.
It can save your marriage

John Gottman, the bestselling author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work believes that couples who are high in EI are usually the least to get divorced since they`re more empathetic and accepting which creates more intimacy between them. 

Now that you know why you should improve EI, it`s time to show you how.

How to Become Emotionally Intelligent

The following five tips are your key to building proper Emotional Intelligence. If you use them to heart, you`ll build EI in no time. 

Here they are…

1.Improve your ability to identify different degrees of the same emotion.

Learning how to distinguish between different degrees of the same emotion is a must if you want to improve EI. According to Lisa Feldman Barrett, author of How Emotions Are Made, high EI means not only you can tell if someone is happy, but you can also differentiate between different degrees of happiness.

“If you could distinguish finer meanings within “Awesome” (happy, content, thrilled, relaxed, joyful, hopeful, inspired, prideful, adoring, grateful, blissful),your brain would have many more options for predicting, categorizing, and perceiving emotion, providing you with the tools for more flexible and functional responses,” Barrett says.

2.Tell people what THEY feel.

The next time you have a conversation with someone, take their own perspective for a moment and ask what goes in their mind, how they feel, and why? This is the easiest way to win them.

3.Seek new experiences

The more experiences you have, the easier it will be for you to understand other people`s experiences. Listen to different types of music, try new foods, read new books, visit new places, and read how-to articles about professions not related to yours. 

This will help you learn new concepts and expand your comfort zone even so you can identify as many experiences as possible. As Barrett put it: 

“You want to be a collector of experiences to provoke your brain to combine concepts to form new ones.“

4.Create your own expressions

According to Barrett, a good way to build self-awareness is to invent your own emotion concepts. In other words, give your feelings names then use these names with your friends and family.

Brazilian people are great at this and they are famous for associating the English words they don`t understand with Portuguese words that sound similar.

Forty years ago, Brazilian singer, Tom Zé wrote a meaningless song called “Jimmy Renda-se” based on some of the famous viral words in America —including Jimi Hendrix. Later, this song became a hit and was used two years ago as the official soundtrack for the hit movie, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.

5.Learn new words

When talking about EI, you are as good as the size of your vocabulary. You get better at regulating, and expressing your feelings when you use the right word(s) to describe them. According to Barrett, you should learn as many new words as possible, both native and from other languages, so you can improve your EI scores.

Read a lot, listen to thought-provoking content and check the dictionary from time to time. According to this interview, one of the keys to Eminem`s success was spending hours every night studying the dictionary.

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