Intellect, athleticism, good-looks, and even “grit” are all qualities that find value in our society. Some more important than others.

A trait that does not feature as much when describing a person is emotional intelligence. This quality may be one that is harder to recognize than other ways to define a person but can be just as important. The good news is that unlike some other traits this can be positively developed.

download

 

So what is emotional intelligence?

Simply put it is the capacity one has to be aware of, control, and express emotions. This skill creates a higher chance of success in interpersonal relationships.

Growing in emotional intelligence can be done with intentional work. One proactive option is to practice self-exploration when feelings arise. Try to specifically identify what feelings you are experiencing. Hurt, anger, and sadness are surface emotions. Being able to recognize a feeling such as rejection, disrespect, or a sense of loss helps solutions to be possible. By recognizing specifically what the emotion is occurring a more specific solution can be planned. Additionally, determining whether that feeling comes from a rational or irrational place is possible. It also helps discuss these feelings with other people.

Ways to practice:

Write down specifically what you are feeling–there may be more than one emotion.

Say out loud what you feel to judge how rational the feelings are.

Focus on remaining calm in highly emotional situations. Mentally prepare yourself to respond a certain way. Pause before reacting.

Although cliche, there is a reason “how does that make you feel?” is asked in counseling sessions. Work on improving emotional intelligence and you may be surprised at how much your interpersonal relationships will improve.

Therapy is a good place to develop emotional intellect. We at Christian Counseling Center are trained and have experience walking with people as they grow this trait. Give us a call at 270.442.5738 for more information or to set up an appointment.

 

Justin P. Lewis, MA, LMFT

Advertisements