Emotional intelligence (EI or EQ) is the ability to recognize our own and other people’s emotions, identify and label feelings, then use this information to guide our thoughts and choices.
Mindfulness plays a substantial part of EI because it involves awareness of ourselves and others. Here are the five key attributes of EI:
Self-awareness is when we recognize our feelings in real-time and how they impact others. It also includes how accurately we assess ourselves and our abilities. An accurate evaluation can improve our self-confidence and self-esteem.
Self-regulation (or self-management) is our ability to have control over our moods and adapt to situations after experiencing negative emotions. Under self-regulation, we can pause in the space between the stimulus and our reaction. Reframing things more positively and finding ways to handle our feelings by meditating, taking deep breaths or going on nature walks are all examples of self-regulation.
Motivation is a commitment to goals with a positive and optimistic attitude. It’s about persisting for self-improvement.
Being empathetic is our ability to recognize how people feel and understand their situations by effectively listening to both verbal and non-verbal cues. From empathy, we can extend kindness and compassion.
- Social skills
Social skills are the interpersonal skills we need to develop relationships such as listening, establishing reliable character, finding common ground and building positive connections.
In short, people who are well-versed in these 5 areas tend to have higher levels of EI. Further studies have shown people with higher EI have more successful relationships, better careers and are overall more satisfied with life.
Learn more about Emotional Intelligence in this video of author, psychologist, and science journalist, Daniel Goleman: