People’s probable levels of success are often judged by which college they attended, how high their SAT score was, and what “Sex In The City character are you” result they got from taking a Facebook quiz.
However decades of research has proven that emotional intelligence (EQ) is a huge factor in the odds of someone having great success in their lifetime.
So what exactly is it that makes someone emotionally intelligent? There are many parts that make up emotional intelligence, below are some ways to improve one’s EQ.
Increase your emotional vocabulary.
When you are feeling a certain way, make sure you have words to express it. We are all used to answering “good” when the cashier asks. However when someone in your life inquires how you are doing, don’t just respond with good or bad, express how you are feeling with words.
Stay flexible; realize that life is always fluctuating. Expect change is coming, instead of hiding from it.
Know your strengths and weaknesses
If you aren’t great at something, understand that “underwater basket weaving” might just not be your thing. You probably have a lot of other things that you are great at though! People with high EQ’s know which situations they can succeed in, and which will not allow them to prosper.
Have thick skin
People are going to say things. You are going to be rejected in life. If you are able to learn from these experiences, and grow – success will come much easier.
Grow your social awareness
Make sure that you have the ability to read others. Have social awareness. Know when you are upsetting someone; understand why your actions are hurting their feelings.
Understand the power of no
No is a powerful word. Learning when to say no is extremely important. Research conducted at UCSF has linked a person’s inability to say no along with stress, burnout and depression.
Let go of mistakes
One must be able to get over their own mistakes and the mistakes of others. Of course there are specific lines that should not be crossed, but I have watched many friends end their friendships over the pettiest of reasons. Don’t cry over spilled milk, unless it’s on carpet. Then it can really start to smell over time.
Be thankful on days other than Thanksgiving
Many people only take time to appreciate what they have, when they are full of turkey. Take time every day to focus on what you’re grateful for. This can greatly improve your mood. Focusing on what you’re grateful for can reduce the stress hormone (cortisol) by 23%.
Coffee does not equal a full night’s sleep
When one drinks an excessive amount of caffeine, it triggers the release of adrenaline. Adrenaline is the source of the fight-or-flight response. Being amped up on caffeine is not for the person who is trying to strengthen their emotional intelligence.
Don’t let others limit your happiness
If you are feeling great about something you have recently completed, emotionally intelligent people don’t let others take that joy away from them. Whether it’s how far you ran, how long you studied or how much money you raised for a charity. If you feel proud about it, then it means something. There will always be someone who says they can do 26 pushups after you did 25.
These are just some of the many ways that you can improve your emotional intelligence over time.
Changing the way you live your life can take time. However the outcome will be life changing. Be the person you want to be, because you can be them.