According to experts, emotional intelligence has several components. It is basically about body language but involves a whole range of feelings.
Almost everyone applies the principle of emotional intelligence without knowing it except for those in the field of psychology, who know how it works. In a layman’s language, emotional intelligence or quotient is the practice of observing per time, what someone is feeling and then being able to manage such emotions in relation to our own feelings as well. My readers may find this topic a little bit complex but we need to extend the frontiers of our knowledge to grow in today’s highly competitive world; moreover, this is a subject that should interest our youth. So here we go.
Emotional intelligence is a relatively new branch of psychology, but the idea is not really new. From time immemorial, facial expressions have been used to gauge the emotional reality of people. When you hear people say, they are trying to size-you-up, that’s emotional intelligence at play. When a police man suddenly stops a car in traffic and asks the occupants to submit to a thorough search for suspected illegal possession, that’s emotional intelligence in operation. Your body language must have given you out. There is no smoke without fire. One thing leads to another.
In normal social interactions, you access the possible reaction of a person from the look on their face. Whether you’d get a favourable answer to a request or not could be anticipated from the facial expression or body language of a person. I have done an extensive study on the subject of body language, and it is documented in my new book.
According to experts, emotional intelligence has several components. It is basically about body language but involves a whole range of feelings. One of the pioneers of this new study, Daniel Goleman, in his popular book: Emotional Intelligence: Why it can matter more than IQ, identified key characteristics as, “Self-awareness (understanding our own emotions); Self-regulation (staying in control); Motivation (self-discipline); Empathy (understanding and sharing the feelings of others); and social skills (building self confidence)”.
The preceding paragraph was quoted from an article on the subject by Susannah Hickling in the Reader’s Digest edition of October, 2017. It provides the basis of this piece. In Goleman’s book which Hickling quoted extensively above, there are five key characteristics of emotional intelligence, each describing a particular state of emotion. First and most important is self-awareness. An individual should endeavour to understand one’s self as much as we understand situations around us.
Greek Philosopher, Socrates said: “Know thyself, that is the first law”. This is very important. Self-knowledge enables you to know how to relate to others. If you do not understand yourself, how can you understand others? Next is self-regulation. That speaks of staying in control. You have to be able to be in charge of your emotions to be able to be in firm control of your life per time, in the face of life’s challenging circumstances.
If you are not in total control of yourself, your life could spiral out of control and that may affect others associated with you. Motivation is another vital element of emotional intelligence. In this context, we are dealing with self-discipline. You need a certain level of self-discipline to maintain integrity. Lack of discipline is the bane of many wrecked lives. You have to be disciplined to succeed at anything.
Discipline is an indispensable quality for anybody to have in any occasion. You can’t mess around with it. You may trudge on without other qualities not discipline.
Next is empathy, which in effect, means understanding and sharing the feelings of others. How beautiful would our world be if we all empathize with one another? Sadly, we live in a world where all we care about is self; Self-enrichment, self-promotion, self-satisfaction, self-motivation, etc. When I am fine, others don’t matter. That’s not humane. We have to empathize with those hit by adverse circumstances to make the world a better place. If this sounds like a homily about godliness, so be it.
Finally, the fifth component identified in Goleman’s book in his work on emotional intelligence is social skills, or building of self-confidence. If you are not confident, others would notice it no matter how you try to disguise it. Most people fail today because they lack self-confidence. This weakness is easily exposed when people face a crowd or an interview panel, when they engage others in a conversation, transaction, etc, many people don’t seem to hold together; they are timid and naturally servile by nature.
Self-confidence should not be interpreted to mean arrogance or pride; far from it. Self- confidence is being self-assured. You project a feeling of stability, ability, power and capacity to cope with any situation that demands verbal or intellectual engagement. You don’t have to brag to show that you are confident. In fact, bragging or bullying is a complex. It shows you are hiding your fears to engage others on an equal footing.
I have listed some of the components of emotional intelligence here and like I always warn, we can’t place the lid on any subject because all studies are organic. Men are constantly making discoveries and enriching our knowledge. If applied properly, emotional intelligence will help you live a fulfilled and balanced life. That’s what emotional literacy does for you and that’s the basis of this article.
Weekend Spice: Within you is a kingdom of unlimited potential: your mind – John Hagee.
Okay folks, thanks for reading. Stay motivated till we meet next Friday.