Emotional intelligence is a bit of a hot topic these days, and for good reason. For decades (perhaps centuries), it was thought that the people with the highest IQ (intelligence quotient) would win the “Most Likely To Succeed” superlative each and every time. However, recent research indicates that people with the highest EQ (emotional intelligence…I guess the people in charge were pretty married to that “Q”) are actually far more likely to achieve in business and in life. It’s about dang time!!
If you want to know more about emotional intelligence (and words emotionally intelligent people use), your Self Care Bestie has you covered. Feel free to let me know if you have any questions!
Emotional Intelligence – This is probably a good place to start, right? Emotional intelligence refers to a person’s ability to recognize and correctly identify their own emotions, as well as their ability to recognize and correctly identify the emotions of others. For example, an emotionally intelligent person realizes when they lash out at a spouse or friend, they are actually feeling hurt, not angry, by something that person did or said. Likewise, someone with a high EQ is much more likely to be able to identify what a spouse or friend is feeling by taking their facial expressions, body language, and words into account. The good news? While EQ is something that happens more naturally for certain people, it is also something that can be developed over time. See, there’s hope for us all! 🙂
Personality – Merriam-Webster’s definition of personality is: A set of distinctive traits and characteristics. There are many different ways to discuss and differentiate personality, as evidenced by the multitude of personality inventories available (i.e. Myers-Briggs, Four Temperaments, and Enneagram Type Descriptions). Personality is generally considered to be fixed, though small changes due to circumstances can happen at various points in one’s life.
Situations, Moods, Thoughts –
Being able to differentiate between situations, moods, and thoughts may seem like an easy task, but you would be surprised how many people mistake one for another, especially where moods and thoughts are concerned. Emotionally intelligent people know that they are describing a situation
when they are talking about what exactly happened. They are also far less likely to embellish the story with dramatic details or judgments and more likely to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. A mood is a one word descriptor of how someone is feeling.
Frustrated, angry, depressed, and anxious are all examples of moods. Thoughts
describe exactly what is going through your mind at a given time; it’s the self-talk that happens when you experience a situation that leads to you feeling a strong mood. “I can’t handle this,” “She never understands me,” and “our relationship is going to end” are all examples of thoughts. Side note: You can also have happy thoughts, of course, but I’m a therapist so I’m using common examples that I hear in my office. Usually people don’t come to see me because of their happy thoughts. Just sayin’.
Underlying assumption –
Dr. Christine Padesky, author of Mind Over Mood
(a resource I turn to time and again as a clinician), discussed underlying assumptions as “an If…then…” belief that guides our behavior and emotional reactions at a deeper level than thoughts. For example, “If I don’t get an A on my assignment, then I’m a terrible student.” Emotionally intelligent people can more easily identify their underlying assumptions about themselves, other people, and the world at large. Doing the work to recognize one’s underlying assumptions (like filling out a thought tracker
, journaling, or talking to a therapist) will absolutely increase one’s EQ over time.
Ok, my friends…do you know of any emotional intelligence words I’m leaving out? Let us know in the comments!
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