How to Increase Your Emotional Intelligence: Part 2
In an earlier article, we decided to dive into the topic of emotional intelligence and talk about how to increase your emotional intelligence and awareness. This included looking back at the past, asking others for perspective and being observant of the present. Once you master these three steps it is time to focus on the future and on moving forward to start really pushing yourself to improve your emotional intelligence.
Here are some more tips to help increase your emotional intelligence:
- Make Goals for the Future
After you have observed how you react in emotional situations throughout your everyday life, you need to make goals for yourself for the future. You need to look at how you react to situation and how you think you can improve and use this data and information from your past, from what others say and from your current journal, to make realistic goals for yourself for the future.
Write down what these goals are and what you need to get better on with your own emotions. It may sound like an exercise in futility, but the key to really building your emotional intelligence so you can relate to others better all starts with your own understanding of your emotions. The more goals you have for yourself, the better.
- Stop and Take a Breath
Have you ever heard of the anger management theory about “the pause”? This is the idea that when you get very uncontrollably angry that you need to pause and count to three before you react. This is a great idea in principal but if you are not in control of your emotions at all, it can be a really difficult theory to practice.
However, if you truly try to stop and take a breath before you emit any type of emotion whether it is sadness, anger or frustration, you are going to start to build that control that is so key to emotional intelligence. The goal is to stop and think before you act or you speak.
Next time you are faced with an emotional situation, whether you want to cry or scream, or anything in between, take a moment and pause. Take a deep breath and count to three. It will help you maintain control and gain composure over the situation at hand.
- Try to Understand Others
A great deal of emotional intelligence comes from your own practices and your own emotional reactions. However, with time, you can start applying your heightened emotional intelligence to others. The best way to start is to begin by looking at “why” other people react in one way or another. The more you can understand why someone feels the way they do, the more you can understand them.
This is how you start doing this. When someone you are interacting with expresses emotion. Stop and think. Ask yourself these three questions:
- Why are they acting this way?
- Why do they feel this way?
- Why do I feel differently?
This will help you get in the other person’s shoes and to see things from their perspective. This is the key to emotional intelligence. It may be difficult at first, but a great way to practice is to stop and write down your answers to these three questions after you have had an interaction with someone else.
- Learn From Criticism
When it comes to building your emotional intelligence one of the best things you can do is to keep learning from situations you encounter. You are going to face situations when you receive criticism. If you can take these opportunities to really learn from your situation and to not let emotions take over, and instead improve from your criticisms, you are really going to start improving.
Whenever you receive negative feedback, you can get angry or you can stop, control your emotions and learn from the situation. It will help you improve and can help you understand yourself and others better in the process.
Building your emotional intelligence is no easy feat. However, if you keep these seven tips in mind, with time you can start building a better, stronger and more in tune sense of intelligence about yourself and about others as well.