Blog Emotional Intelligence: What It Is, What's In It For You, and How To Get It

Emotional Intelligence: What It Is, What's In It For You, and How To Get It


Emotional intelligence leads to more beneficial social interactions at home, with friends, around strangers, and at work. High emotional intelligence means you typically know what you are feeling, why you may feel that way, and how you manage uncomfortable emotions. Emotional intelligence helps you manage emotions and communicate them effectively. It means you can identify your emotions and where they come from. You are able to see patterns and understand what’s going on beyond the surface issue. Being able to understand your emotions helps you separate from them. Emotional intelligence pays off in the workplace and in interpersonal relationships.

Emotional intelligence and spiritual practices build upon each other. Growing spiritually empowers emotional growth, as growing emotionally fuels spiritual growth. If we look to Christ as the epitome of self-actualization, he is both emotionally and spiritually intelligent. Click here for resources to build your spiritual health.

Overall, strengthening your emotional intelligence helps you to manage your emotions more effectively and to relieves stress. Strengthening your emotional intelligence is just like improving any other skill. With practice, you can have an easier time relating to, understanding, and responding to others. Because emotional intelligence develops empathy, it brings you closer to others.

As you continue to grow your faith and spiritual practices, you can also take the following steps to grow your emotional intelligence.

There are four categories of emotional intelligence you can develop:

  • Self-Management

You can manage your emotions. You are able to think clearly in situations where you feel stressed, anxious, or angry.  Self-management indicates being able to separate yourself and how you should act from your emotions. 

  • Self-Awareness

You recognize how your beliefs and emotions affect your thoughts and behavior. This awareness helps your ability to make changes to negative habits. 

  • Social Awareness

You can understand what others need to feel comfortable. Social awareness indicates how well you pick up on social cues or needs. 

  • Relationship Management

You manage conflict well, work well with others, and develop positive relationships overall. Relational management indicates good interpersonal skills. 

But what does improving emotional intelligence look like in everyday life?

These strategies will help you to grow your emotional intelligence:

  • Build your emotional vocabulary

Emotional intelligence means building your emotional vocabulary so you can identify (and explore) how you feel. Some example vocabulary words are:

  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Angry
  • Hurt
  • Guilty
  • Embarrassed
  • Confident
  • Energized

  • Think before you react

Sometimes we are keen to react to a triggering event very quickly. While you cannot control your emotions, you can control how you choose to react to those emotions. If you notice yourself starting to feel stressed, sad, or angry, pause for a moment to allow yourself to respond appropriately rather than just react.

  • Pay attention to the way you manage emotions and stress

As you develop your awareness of your emotions, how do you react to them afterwards?

  • What are your emotional strengths and weaknesses?
  • How does your mood influence your thoughts and decision-making?
  • What ways do you manage stress? When a stressful situation comes, are you able to manage your emotions and follow through on commitments you made?

  • Receive criticism with grace and give constructive feedback

Feedback is a chance to learn and grow. See criticism as an opportunity to reflect about yourself. Give constructive feedback to others to help them grow. 

  • Pay attention to non-verbal communication

Social awareness indicates how well you pick up on others’ social cues or needs. Learn to read what others’ nonverbal cues might say about how they feel. 

  • See conflict as an opportunity to learn and understand more about others

Conflict is inevitable. Instead of avoiding it, take conflict as an opportunity to understand where another person is coming from. Emotional intelligence can help you manage stress and emotions and build better relationships. When you can read situations (high social awareness) and manage relationships, it helps you advance in life. Overall, strengthening your emotional intelligence will make you a better teammate, friend, and partner!

Do you want to increase both your spiritual well-being and your emotional intelligence in 6 months? Click here to learn how.


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A picture of Melissa with her head in her hands and the title: "The fiLLLed Life Blog."

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Hi, my name is Melissa Ebken, and I'm so glad you found your way here. 

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