Emotions play a major role in our lives starting from the day we are born to our last day on the planet. It’s important to build our emotional intelligence to forge better relationships in our personal as well as in our professional lives for a happier and more fulfilling life. 

By Prathima.G.Kulkarni

Emotions, the best way to feel them and experience them is to observe the facial expressions of a small child.

It was the birthday celebration of 6-year-old Vajra. There were lots of people who had come to wish him and gift him a variety of goodies. Vajra was ecstatic and you could feel the happiness that radiated from his face. The same expression returned when it was time for them to cut the cake.

Children express all emotions flawlessly. If we were to look back at the days when we were kids, things were no different with us as we used to express our emotions freely and without fear. But, what went wrong along the way?

The major reason for us not channeling our emotions is due to the times we live in. We have grown up in an environment where there is little acknowledgement or understanding by our parents and guardians as to what we go through.  The reason for this is the high level of competition in the real world and the stressful lives that our parents or guardians lead. Consequently we are missing on a lot of things in our lives and often forget what really makes us happy. Our state of mind not only impacts us, but all those with whom we interact throughout the day.

Emotions play a major role in our lives starting from the time we are born till our last day on this planet. Every second we express different emotions; it may be joy, sorrow, worries, anxiety, happiness etc. If we understand our emotions and that of others, our daily routine will become much simpler and less complicated. Consider this:  You are late to work and you are unable to find that file that has the critical information, which needs to be presented in today’s meeting. This will sometimes cause you to lose control of your emotions and you won’t know how to deal with it. Instead, if you realize the cause of your frustration, you’d figure out how to cope with the situation. And this depends on your emotional intelligence aka emotional quotient.

So, what is Emotional Quotient (EQ)? EQ can be best described as the potential of an individual to understand his or her emotions and those of others. It is the ability to understand different feelings and label them accordingly. For example, if a person has undergone a major loss in his life and that makes him feel sad a higher EQ helps him to understand and reason why he is sad. When he realizes that he is sad, it is the first step that will help him come out of that feeling and help his family members or friends to cope with the loss as well. EQ also helps channel emotional information clearly,which will guide people to think and behave appropriately. It also helps in managing emotions so that a person adapts to the circumstances and carries on with his normal life.

A higher EQ is very important, as it will help you become better human beings while being able to better respond to various situations and circumstances. Emotional intelligence helps you build stronger relationships, succeed at school and work, and achieve career and personal goals. It can also help you connect with your feelings, turn intention into action, and make informed decisions about things that are important to you. Here’s a quick summary of how a higher EQ can help you.

Individual performance at work will improve: This happens as a higher EQ can help you easily navigate among various social complexities that you might face at your workplace. These days many employers measure prospective employees for EQ before they hire them.

Improvement in physical health: When you learn how to manage your emotions it will be very easy to manage and control stress, tension or any other factor that disturbs you.

Improvement in mental health: When emotions and stress are uncontrolled they impact your mental health, making you vulnerable to anxiety and depression. Once you start to take control these two symptoms you will achieve a better mental state.

Relationships will get better: By understanding your emotions and how to control them, you’re able to express how you feel and understand how others are feeling. This allows you to communicate more effectively and form stronger bonds in relationships, both at work and in your personal life.

How can Emotional Intelligence or Emotional Quotient be built? There are four main aspects that need to be focused on and practiced which include:

  1. Self-management
  2. Self-awareness
  3. Social awareness
  4. Relationship management

Self-Management:  There will be certain situations or circumstances to which people tend to react with aggression and rage. For example, let’s say you have a friend who you know over a long time and who you completely trust. But let’s say that friend betrays you. Firstly this will hurt you and secondly this puts you in a position wherein controlling your emotions will become really hard. This in turn has the potential to make you lose control of yourself.  Hence, knowing how to manage yourself is a priority and this can be achieved by building higher levels of emotional intelligence.

Self-Awareness:Our present reactions are directly dependent on the core emotions that we experienced when we were young. It can be anger, sadness, fear, or joy, we relate them to the days we were young. When we were small if our feelings are heard and our emotions understood, the chances are that we carry the same in our subconscious and be very emotionally connected and aware of them. And it is vice versa if we are not understood. But if we are able to connect to our emotions and have an understanding of our changing emotions, itis the key to self-awareness.

Social Awareness: This helps us in recognizing as well as interpreting the main non-verbal cues that others constantly use to communicate. Understanding these cues will give us clarity towards others’ feelings, their emotional state, which changes from time to time, besides understanding what is truly important to them. When in a group these cues will help us read and understand the power of social dynamics and shared emotional experiences. To summarize, this will help us become empathetic and socially comfortable.

Relationship Management: This helps in understanding the emotions of your loved ones and know exactly what they are going through. Once you learn to manage relationships it is easy to resolve conflicts or disagreements.