You Don’t Need to be Smart, to be Smart

This is where EQ comes in.

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Remember a time where you encountered an obstacle. How did you react to it? Did it shatter you? Did it make you stronger? Are you able to explain why you still remember it today?

Emotional Intelligence (EQ)is the ability to understand emotions. It is a person’s ability to be empathetic, communicate effectively and, reduce stress.

Your EQ affects how you perform in school, how you motivate yourself to strive for a certain level of excellence. The strength of your social relationships can depend on your ability to sense other’s feelings and connect with others.

There are five categories of recognizing EQ: Self-awareness, self-regulation, self-motivation, social awareness, and, social skills. Let's take a look,

The Five Categories of Emotional Intelligence

  1. Self-awareness, the ability to recognize your own emotions and believing in your own capabilities. Asking yourself questions like, why am I feeling this way? Our emotions range deeper than sadness and anger, realizing that you are regretful instead of sad connects a deeper understanding of your own morals and personality.
  2. Self-regulation, managing your own emotions, and managing emotional impulses. If you’ve ever said anything you wish you could take back because you were upset or angry, this is what self-regulation is all about.
  3. Self-motivation, meaning being persistent and constantly striving for a level of excellence. Searching for failure is also a huge part of self-motivation because it means you can learn and achieve your goal no matter the obstacle.
  4. Social awareness, inviting diversity, and sensing what others need to develop and how you can help them achieve it. Instead of asking “how are you really feeling today?” and saying “I notice you’ve distanced yourself lately, I’m here for you” is what others need.
  5. Social skills, your ability to communicate and work effectively with others, or even just creating a bond with someone else. Strong, meaningful relationships can drastically increase the quality of life, they can help relieve any kind of mental stress or even help you advance in life!

“Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” — Stephen Covey, 7 habits of highly effective people.

What is Cognitive Intelligence?

This one should sound familiar, cognitive intelligence is focused on memory, reasoning, and, logical problem-solving abilities. IQ testing is used to diagnose your level of cognitive intelligence, which is often misinterpreted as intellectual potential.

Our society is continuously growing and, accepting differences. However, we still use IQ to determine someone’s intellect, when the idea of ‘smartness’ spans from problem-solving to recognizing when someone is upset without them telling you. In fact, many companies today use IQ scores to differentiate between qualified applicants and, not-so-qualified applicants.

Why should I care?

Although EQ is a fairly new concept, many studies argue that having EQ is equally, if not more important than IQ. Many people believe IQ testing is too narrow and there are other ways to determine if someone is smart, because intelligence is a multi-dimensional concept.

Being able to recognize your own emotions, be persistent plays a huge part in how you deal with obstacles in life. EQ distinguishes those who are willing to find success and those who are waiting for success to find them.

Things like networking, developing relationships, and understanding yourself aren’t considered skills on an IQ test. This is not to say the IQ doesn’t matter. But your EQ can be developed and improved much more than your IQ can. That being said,

How can I develop my own EQ?

A simple way of improving your emotional intelligence is by encouraging your internal dialogue, talk to yourself! Although talking to yourself can be commonly associated with mental illnesses, when you become overly stressed or emotional, asking yourself questions as to why you feel this way can improve your self-awareness.

Another easy way is to be mindful and observant. Sometimes taking a step back can help us be more present, and recognize social cues. Focusing on how other people’s emotions change can help you connect with them and gain insight to your own emotional reactions.

Key Points:

  • IQ assesses one’s ability to problem-solve, recognizing patterns and their logical reasoning
  • EQ will test someone’s knowledge of emotions and how they react to them.

Remember that EQ doesn’t only apply to your work life, it applies to everything. Developing EQ takes time, but is definitely worth it in the end. If you want to learn more about EQ, here are some recommended articles:

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16 y/o learner

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