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What is Emotional Intelligence and Why Do We Need it?

Emotional intelligence has been talked up by quite a number of people, although the concept is still not so clear to many. Admittedly, the term itself seems straightforward. It implies intelligence in the area of emotions. But beyond the obvious, what else can we say about the nature of emotional intelligence? And why is it important to us as humans?

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence refers to our ability to understand and manage both our own emotions and those of others. To be emotionally intelligent is to understand your feelings when they arise and to not let them influence your decisions. It is being able to recognize other people’s feelings and handle them accordingly.

We often hear the phrases, ‘Don’t let your emotions get in the way’, ‘Don’t let your emotions cloud your judgement’ and ‘Don’t be sentimental’. This is because we understand that emotions often hamper our thinking, pushing us into making decisions that we normally wouldn’t. Provoked, a man typically strikes out, only to regret the decision much later when he settles down enough to think. Being emotionally intelligent affords you a greater chance of exercising self-control and empathy—understanding and sharing other people’s feelings.

It would hardly be correct to say that anybody is born with it. It is an ability we gain from training ourselves, and it’s important because…

What Happens If We Are Not Emotionally Intelligent?

We basically end up messing a whole lot of things up, a whole lot of the time. It is scientifically established that emotions come before thoughts. In other words, we feel before we think. So, even if you’re the careful type who thinks before they act, chances are that you’ll be emotionally biased in your thinking anyway because you’re most likely going to shape your thoughts along the lines of your feelings.

What Being Emotionally Intelligent Offers You…

Firstly, self-control. When you need to, you are able to set aside most of your personal feelings and think rationally in order to come up with the best decision for yourself. This is vital because poorly handled emotions often hold you back or make you err. Worse, they may come as a deluge of powerful, overwhelming—sometimes even irrational—feelings that cripple your decision-making and leave you enslaved to your desires.

Moreover, you are able to improve your relationship with people by understanding them better. Being empathic allows you to communicate better with others. You can relate with them on a more personal level, making them love and respect you more. It will be easier for you to forgive them because you understand that everybody has faults. And further still, you can overlook people’s prejudiced negative opinions about you. Unfair criticism will no longer bear on you as much because you are able to look past it and be your own self.

Emotional intelligence is an important ability to possess as a man. It affords you greater self-control, self-awareness, better decision-making and better socialization skills. Thus, you become a better version of yourself.

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