Emotional intelligence
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INTELLIGENCE- it is the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills. People who hold many certifications and are also successful in portraying their skills
learned are classed as intelligent people.

The valedictorian or top performers of the graduating class; the President of a country; scientists and lawyers, are all examples of a few intelligent labels. We would also refer to a person’s level of intelligence as an ‘IQ’, but have you ever heard of ‘EQ’ or ‘EI’? Better known as, Emotional Intelligence? In our early years of ‘teenagehood’, there is a lot going on with our emotions. We’re constantly moody and for some reason we tend to ‘feel’ more.

I know I am not the only person who struggled with being an overwhelmingly emotional being, perhaps even a wreck. Especially for women on those early days when your menstrual cycle begins, your emotions seem to be in control of your behaviour.

Someone who is dear to me once said, ‘you need to be in control of your emotions and not allow them to control you; you need to discipline yourself and that it is okay to feel negative emotions once in a while, for they will make you more humble.’ In a nutshell, that is basically what emotional intelligence is. It does not only include handling your own emotions, but also the emotions of others. In my personal experiences, I have put together some ways in which we can strive for better emotional intelligence.

It is learned behaviour– I personally believe that we were not born emotionally intelligent with guidelines on how to navigate our feelings. We learn it from our environment. As such, a great way to promote emotional intelligence is by targeting people’s social life. Lessons can perhaps be taught in schools, through TV shows and books, etc. It is better to start teaching young children how to cope and deal with emotions; children’s minds are very impressionable.

You can also teach and learn from yourself; learn what your strengths and weaknesses are; how you react to different situations; which emotion you are least successful in controlling; and what are your emotional triggers– a whole self-evaluation.

Trying to look at the positive side of things can also be of much help. Our thoughts would reflect upon our actions; as such, if we think positively, then we will automatically do positive things. I was leisurely watching an episode of the ‘Red Table Talk’ with Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith. They were discussing their marriage when the topic of fights and anger was brought up. Jada explained that when they are angry at each other, they step away for a while to be alone and calm down.

Extreme outbursts of negative emotions such as anger can do more harm than good. Calm down, relax and think by yourself for a while. We can save so much, including ourselves, if we just calm those emotions down. To explain better, ‘Emotions are a temporary state of mind only, do not let them permanently destroy you.’

If you have completed a self-evaluation on your emotions, then you will understand what triggers them. If certain conversations, events or even people make you angry, then avoid them. Avoid having your emotions being triggered when you know you aren’t well to handle them. My last tip is to empathise and help others.

To have empathy does not necessarily mean to always agree with people; it means to allow yourself to understand and if you do, try to help them if you can or want to. At the end of the day, our social connection is a key role in our well-being. If someone around you is not emotionally stable, help them, spread positivity and your knowledge on how to be emotionally intelligent.

In a progressing world where war still exists, violence and outrage are prevalent and the number one crime is murder; one can only wonder how much emotional intelligence we lack. It is pointless if we’d like to colonise Mars, end all wars and invent new technology if we aren’t emotionally intelligent as a species. Can you imagine a president with the parallel of power and uncontrolled emotions? Or professionals with outrageous ego issues?
If we are rich but we’re still sad? At every level of society, this topic is important. The school of life explained that, ‘we are evolved monkeys with nuclear weapons.’

Why is that so? Perhaps the nuclear bomb was built under an angry inventor. Emotions are primitive and with better learning patterns, we learn to control and manage them. I stress that it should be a continuous process, even in our older years. Emotions can be pictured as an iceberg; there’s much than the eye meets. An emotionally intelligent person will learn that there is much more to just ‘feeling’.

There are reasons for feeling as well as masks for something deeper (abuse, pain, etc.) All in all, ‘Emotional intelligence is not about being emotional, it’s about being smart with your emotions.’ Do not be a slave to your emotions.

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