You’re probably smart, but do you have emotional intelligence? Assume you’re in a heated argument with your manager, and your blood is boiling. You know you shouldn’t say something you’ll probably regret, but you’re struggling to control your emotions. This is where emotional intelligence comes into play. Understanding and managing your own emotions, as well as those of others, can make all the difference.

Discover 4 ways on how you can develop your emotional intelligence

Recognize your feelings and emotions

Emotions can really be confusing. It’s like going on a rollercoaster that you didn’t sign up for. But don’t worry, emotional intelligence can be learned.  The first step is to recognize your emotions. So, ask yourself, “What the hell am I feeling right now?” Don’t be afraid to be specific. Saying you’re “meh” won’t help you get to the bottom of the problem. Instead, try to broaden your emotional vocabulary. You know, one that distinguishes between being “hungry” and “angry.”

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Once you’ve identified what you’re feeling, try to trace it back to its source. Was it your boss’s passive-aggressive email, or the fact that you skipped breakfast? By recognizing the emotion and its cause, you can begin to untangle yourself from it and make better choices for your well-being.

Get to know yourself better 

Knowing yourself better is essential for developing emotional intelligence. One way is to determine your own strengths and weaknesses. You may be the queen of sarcasm, but you also have a tendency to overthink things. It’s better if you’re aware of such things, even though it can be difficult to accept.  Another way is to seek feedback from friends and coworkers. Because sometimes we’re too close to the situation to see what’s really going on in the big picture. Finally, understanding your triggers is also important. Maybe you become grumpy when you haven’t eaten in a while, or you are triggered by that one coworker who always leaves the coffee pot empty. By recognizing these triggers, you can take steps to avoid them or at the very least prepare yourself to deal with them. 

Learn how to empathize with others

Consider this scenario: you’re at a family gathering, and your cousin begins talking about a recent breakup. You can hear the sadness in his voice, but you’re at a loss for words. This is where empathy comes in, and it is a necessary component of emotional intelligence. Rather than offering platitudes or attempting to “fix” the situation, try to picture yourself in their shoes. Perhaps they just need someone to vent to, or a shoulder to cry on.

Emotional Intelligence: 4 Simple Ways To Become An Emotionally Mature Person
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By showing empathy, you acknowledge their emotions and validate their experience. And don’t forget to show empathy in your everyday interactions – even a kind smile or a simple “How are you?” can brighten someone’s day. So, the next time you’re having a conversation, take a step back and try to see things from the other person’s point of view. This way you’ll form deeper bonds with and gain a better understanding of the people in your life.

Question your own beliefs

We all hold our beliefs and opinions close to our hearts. We can easily become trapped in a cycle of confirmation bias, in which we only seek information that confirms our existing beliefs. However, by actively seeking opposing viewpoints and challenging our own beliefs, we open ourselves up to a wider range of perspectives. Emotional intelligence allows us to question our beliefs and be open to new ideas, resulting in a better understanding of ourselves and others. We can improve communication, strengthen relationships, and foster personal growth by stepping outside of our “opinion bubble” and engaging with those who hold opposing views. That’s why in  a debate or discussion, it is essential to listen to the opposing viewpoint with an open mind and consider new information rather than being convinced that you are always right.