Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Understanding Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (EI) refers to the ability to perceive, control, and evaluate emotions. Some researchers suggest that emotional intelligence can be learned and strengthened, while others claim it’s an inborn characteristic.

You may have heard frequently about how important is EI, and some people actually praise it above other forms of intelligence. But the truth is that EI is still under deep research by the specialists, and they believe that our species will evolve even more.

EI or emotional intelligence is about identifying emotions in ourselves and others, relating truly to others, and communicating about our feelings (Cherry, 2018a).

The 5 Componts/Elements/Domains of the EQ Model

According an American psychologist who helped to popularize emotional intelligence, Daniel Goleman, there are five components or elements of emotional intelligence:

  1. Self-Awareness;
  2. Self-Regulation;
  3. Motivation;
  4. Empathy;
  5. Social Skills.

Here it is a list of key-phrases to better understand EQ and its purpose (and a test for those eager to find out their EQ level):

  • “When I say to control your emotions, I refer to most stressful and disabling emotions. Feeling emotions is what enriches our lives. ” (Daniel Goleman)
  • “There is zero correlation between IQ and emotional empathy. They are controlled by different parts of the brain. ” (Daniel Goleman)
  • “Emotions are contagious. We all know it from experience.” (Daniel Goleman)
  • “Emotional brain responds to an event more quickly than the thinking brain.” (Daniel Goleman)
  •  “True compassion does not mean just feeling someone else’s pain, but being motivated to remove it.” (Daniel Goleman)
  •  “As human beings, we all want to be happy and free from misfortune, we have all learned that the key to happiness is inner peace. The greatest obstacles to inner peace are disturbing emotions such as hatred, attachment, fear and suspicion, while love and compassion are the sources of peace and happiness.” (Dalai Lama)
  • “The essential difference between emotions and reason is that emotion leads to action while reason leads to conclusions.” (Donald Calne)
  •  “It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence, it is not the triumph of the heart over the head, it is the intersection of both.” (Caruso)
  • “Take care of your emotions and never underestimate them.” (Robert Henri)
  • “Keep in mind that small emotions are the great captains of our lives that we obey without even knowing it.” (Van Gogh)
  • “Who does not understand a glance will not understand a long explanation either.” (Arabian proverb)
  •  “All learning has an emotional foundation.” (Plato)
  • “Be aware of what you create this very moment. You are creating your next moment based on what you feel and think. This is what’s real.” (Doc Childre)
  •  “Use pain as a stone in your path, not as a camping spot.” (Alan C.).

Now, knowing thesestatements, it’s no wonder highly emotionally intelligent people have more stable, satisfying, and high-quality relationships than those low in emotional intelligence.

Emotionally intelligent people notice how others are feeling, react appropriately to others, regulate their own emotions, and watch their own behavior to ensure they don’t unnecessarily offend or upset others.

These are the ingredients to a healthy, respectful relationship, whether that relationship is between lovers, friends, family members, or coworkers.


  1. There is no doubt in my mind that EQ can, and should be be learnt. I’m in my 50’s and have only just discovered that my social ineptitude arose out of an emotionally neglectful childhood which I had not appreciated was emotionally neglectful – it was my normal. When I started to look deeply into my own issues (having had to recognise and shake off my lifelong victim mentality), it became clear to me that so many of society’s ills would be nipped in the bud if EQ was part of the educational curriculum from the very early years. If you can’t recognise your absence of EQ you can’t address it.
    I’m doing work on this at the moment – the great thing is that aspiring to teach EQ means that you learn along the way – and never stop.
    I think the circmstances in which EQ deficits are inborn, are when fight/flight systems are activated pre-natally (but that can be mitigated if addressed) – and also, I understand that psychopaths have a different brain structure which doesn’t allow for empathy? I’m not fully up to speed on that though

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