How to Become Emotionally Intelligent

Published Categorized as emotional literacy, emotions

I had a lot of fun making my most recent video called: How to Become Emotionally Intelligent! It includes a lot of what I have learnt in recent years.

I think the following table goes well alongside this video as it outlines what could be taught and the reasons why these things will help to improve your emotional intelligence.

Aspect of emotional intelligence that can be taught (and learnt)What learning this helps you do….
Identify and name what you are feeling  Makes emotions more conscious.
Helps with the processing of an emotion.
Helps you link what you are feeling with strategies that might help you.
Helps the thinking/labelling part of the brain engage with an emotional situation.
Have a large emotion vocabulary  Have the words to be able to express exactly how you feel, which helps you regulate in itself.
Makes feelings more conscious.
Increases your awareness of the scope of different emotions.
Know the physical symptoms of different emotions  Be able to recognise emotions as they arise.
Helps you focus inwards rather than react automatically outwardly in a way that could make situations worse.
Makes emotions more conscious.
 Notice emotions in the moment they arrive  Have more chance of avoiding potentially damaging responses that make situations worse.
Have more flexibility when to choosing how you respond.
Increases the chance of noticing any automatic, unhelpful thinking and responses associated with emotions.
Improves self-awareness.
Recognise what triggered your different emotions  Become more conscious of reactions which help and those which make situations worse.
Be more likely to be able to reframe beneficially. e.g. From ‘he’s nasty’ to ‘I wonder what’s going on for him? He must be in a bad mood.’
Be able to consider if a situation that triggered an emotion has an issue that needs sorting or if your emotion just needs managing.
Expect to feel both enjoyable and unenjoyable emotions  Stops you panicking when you feel unenjoyable emotions.
Can prevent you from thinking you are ‘bad’ for experiencing negative emotions. e.g. I am ‘bad’ for feeling angry.
Understand that emotions give us messages that are sometimes helpful and sometimes unhelpful.  Have awareness of when and how to act on an emotion arising.
Be able to consider if a situation that triggered an emotion has an issue that needs sorting, if it can teach you something about yourself or if your emotion just needs managing (and some coping strategies would be helpful).
Express what you are feeling in a resourceful way e.g. being assertive  Decreases the chance of making a situation worse.
Improves relationships skills
Improves wellbeing
Increases agency.
  Be able to empathise with others  Develops acceptance and tolerance of different reactions.
Helps you develop an awareness that your behaviour impacts on others.
Enhances interactions and relationships.