Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between behaving in a socially acceptable way and being considered to be way out of line. While most people will have heard of emotional intelligence, not many people really know how to spot it – in themselves or in others.
Emotional intelligence is essentially the way you perceive, understand, express, and manage emotions. And it’s important because the more you understand these aspects of yourself, the better your mental health and social behaviour will be.
It might be these are things you do without even really thinking – which can be the case for a lot of people. Or it might be that these are skills you know you need to work on.
Either way, improved emotional intelligence can be very useful in all sorts of circumstances – be it in work, at home, in school, or even when you’re just socialising with your friends.
So if you want to know if you’re emotionally intelligent, simply check the list below.
1. You think about your reactions
Emotional intelligence can mean the difference between a good reaction and a bad reaction to circumstances. Emotions can contain important information that can be useful to personal and social functioning – but sometimes these emotions can also overwhelm us, and make us act in ways we would rather not.
People who lack emotional intelligence are more likely to just react, without giving themselves the time to weigh up the pros and cons of a situation and really thinking things through.
People who are less able to regulate their negative feelings are also more likely to have difficulty functioning socially – which can exacerbate depressive feelings.
People with major depression have been shown to have difficulties understanding and managing their emotions. And research has also shown that more depressive symptoms are present in people with lower emotional intelligence – even if they are not clinically depressed.