Most of us are familiar with the concept of IQ (intelligence quotient). After all, society tells us that a high IQ makes us more likely to excel in our careers and earn more money. While intellectual ability does play a role in our success, it’s only part of the equation. Emotional intelligence also referred to as “emotional IQ” or “EQ”, is probably more important than intellect when it comes to overall success.
What Is Emotional IQ?
Emotional intelligence is your ability to “read people” and understand what motivates them. Being able to empathize and collaborate with others is part of EQ, too. While there is no formal test to measure emotional IQ, knowing the skills it encompasses can help you gauge how mature you are in this area. Emotional intelligence consists of five components:
This aspect of EQ is concerned with your ability to recognize your emotions, especially “in the moment” so you can manage them. Self-confidence is an important part of self-awareness, too, since feeling certain of your capabilities helps you trust your own judgment and relate to others. You demonstrate high emotional intelligence when you think about how your feelings influence your thoughts and mood and consider your emotional strengths and weaknesses.
Emotions can manifest in your mind without any effort on your part. However, you can control how you deal with them. Self-regulation involves how you manage your feelings, especially the negative ones, so they don’t overwhelm you or cause you to act in ways you wouldn’t otherwise. Mastering the skills that are part of self-regulation can give your emotional intelligence a boost:
- Self-control- the ability to manage negative impulses so you don’t act on them
- Conscientiousness- taking responsibility for your behavior
- Adaptability- your ability to be flexible in the midst of change
- Trustworthiness and authenticity- your capacity for upholding high standards of integrity, saying what you mean, and meaning what you say
- Innovation- keeping your mind open to new ideas
What does self-regulation look like? You’re demonstrating this trait when you think before you speak and act. Sometimes, that means stepping away from a tense situation to take a walk and clear your mind, or “sleeping on” something rather than responding with a knee-jerk reaction. It also means considering other’s perspectives.
Being mindful or your emotions and how to manage them is especially beneficial when you’re struggling with addiction. Understanding possible triggers can help you get to the root of the problem.
3. Social Skills
Now more than ever, good interpersonal skills are necessary to communicate with others, especially as the digital world can make us less skilled at face-to-face interaction. A variety of “people skills” are key to high emotional intelligence.
- Communication– being able to convey ideas clearly and understand what others tell you. This includes reading verbal and non-verbal cues and responding appropriately.
- Humility– putting others above yourself. This doesn’t mean letting them walk all over you. Quite the contrary. Humble people place others’ interests above their own without compromising their self-respect. They can take criticism and learn from it, even when it’s unwarranted, without getting angry. They apologize when they’ve wronged someone, and they’re quick to forgive others who have hurt them.
- Leadership and Teamwork– knowing how to influence others, but also bringing out the best in them. Leaders guide others while fostering a spirit of camaraderie in a group.
If you’re empathetic, you can read others’ signals to determine how they’re feeling. This, in turn, impacts how you respond to them so you can meet them where they are. If you’re an empathetic person, you are good at:
- Recognizing and meeting others’ needs. If you seek out high-quality addiction recovery support, you’ll see this element in action. An empathetic counselor walks with you through the challenges you’re facing to help you achieve the best possible outcome.
- Developing others. Seeing what people need for personal grow and then supporting them toward that end enables them to maximize their potential.
- Understanding. Having a good grasp of others’ feelings and how to respond to them allows your relationships to thrive.
This component of emotional IQ is crucial, especially when you commit to addiction recovery. You need to maintain a positive attitude and keep your eyes on the goal. When negative thoughts come your way, you can reframe them in a positive light. Besides commitment and optimism, motivation requires initiative and an achievement-oriented mindset.
Comprehensive Addiction Recovery Support
If you’re battling substance use addiction and would like to get on the path to recovery, Warmer Park Recovery provides high-quality, customized recovery support in Woodland Hills, California and surrounding areas. Our services include intensive outpatient therapy and ongoing counseling. Contact us to learn more about how we can help.