Wanderlust: Expat Life & Style in Thailand The Relationships Issue - Page 14

Relationships

MINDFUL EMOTIONS

How to Use Emotional Intelligence in Everyday Life
by ANITA BAROT , MFT

Have you ever said something

you later regretted — to your boss , a colleague or a loved one — because you let your feelings commandeer your mouth ? If this sounds familiar , you ’ ve experienced how easy it is to make poor choices when emotions get the best of you .
Have you ever been shocked to discover you ’ ve hurt someone ’ s feelings and can ’ t figure out how ? If so , you know that sometimes it ’ s difficult to gauge how other people are feeling and that what you say and do can impact others in surprising ways .
These common scenarios highlight the importance of emotional intelligence , or EI , which is , really , a type of human art . It ’ s a useful art , an applied art , and one that benefits us more as we practice it .
Renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman , author of The New York Times bestseller Emotional Intelligence , considers it twice as important as IQ when it comes to success in academics , interpersonal relationships and professional lives . There ’ s a strong chance that you won ’ t reach the success you want in life without emotional intelligence .
What does EI look like ? Those with high emotional intelligence are adept at managing their emotions . They ’ re skillful in reading the emotions of others , and they are experts in self-awareness , empathy and the cultivation of social relationships .
Excellent emotional intelligence is a tall order , so you might be wondering , “ Is EI really something that can be learned or improved ?” The answer is yes — you can improve your EI through practice , by asking for feedback from others and through self-reflection .
THE FOUNDATIONS OF EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE
At the base of emotional intelligence is self-awareness . Self-awareness is looking at yourself , both in terms of your inner world and of how you impact the world around you . It is the ability to think critically and reflect on what is working and what is not working .
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