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Emotional Intelligence

What is Emotional Intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the innate potential to feel, use, communicate, recognize, remember, describe, identify, learn from, manage, understand and explain emotions.

Well that is one definition. There seems to be a lot of research and factors concerning Emotional Intelligence beginning in at least the 1930's. There are tests available to scale your Emotional Intelligence but more practically, there are a wealth of sites out there giving us insight into why emotional intelligence is so important and how we can affect change in our lives by raising our emotional awareness overall.

Click Here Psychology Guide and author Kendra Cherry have divided Emotional Intelligence into Four Branches.
1. Perceiving emotions (correctly)
2. Reasoning with Emotions, which is using emotions to promote thinking and cognitive activity
3. Understanding Emotions, which is to determine the true cause and meaning of the emotion
4. Managing Emotions, which is responding to our emotions and those of others as well as proper regulation of our emotions

These are the fundamentals when beginning to look at Emotional Intelligence. If you are to be successful, these are concepts you must now become familiar with and ready to act upon strengthening. has an amazing article called 5 Skills For Raising Emotional Intelligence which includes links to other articles in their fine catalog dealing with ways to recognize components of these skills.
They define Emotional Intelligence as the ability to identify, use, understand, and manage your emotions in positive constructive ways.
The core concepts to Emotional Intelligence, Jeanne Segal, Ph.d and Melinda Smith MA, go on to say are Self Awareness, Self Management, Social Awareness, and Relationship Management.
The Emotional Intelligence factor in our lives is very important to gaining personal mastery with regards to dealing with our emotional experiences both internally and externally.
These are tools we can use!
Back to the 5 Steps:
1. The ability to quickly reduce stress.
2. The ability to recognize and manage your emotions.
3. The ability to connect with others using nonverbal communication.
4. The ability to use humor and play to deal with challenges.
5. The ability to resolve conflicts positively and with confidence.
With these steps in your tool belt, when emotions begin to fly, you will understand why and what you can do to address necessary issues and move through the feelings to the facts.

All learning has an emotional base. ~Plato

Steve Wickham has a very simple and truthful article about how Self Acceptance is the forefront of Emotional Intelligence. In fact, it is the very center of the concepts of maturity.  In Self Acceptance As a  Feed to Emotional Intelligence, Wickham likens the journey of self acceptance to that of the journey to God. A quote that inspires him to make this assertion comes from Emerson; "Accept the place the divine providence has found for you, the society of your contemporaries, the connection of events." And finally Wickham says, "Practiced self acceptance is the instinctual rejection of self condemnation."
Amen to that!

A blog I was reading about this subject (Acquire Wisdom and Live with Passion: Emotional Intelligence vs IQ), also had attached a quiz of sorts for testing emotional intelligence that I found fascinating. I was able to solve the problem of safely allowing passage for all members of the party from one side of the river to the other, but not without a few slaps in the face. 

I found an absolutely lovely 146 question Emotional Intelligence Test at I felt  it was an amazingly well put together and thought out test for really gathering an idea of your Emotional Intelligence level. Since it is posted on a test site, there can always be skepticism, but I dove in without reserve and found it to be quite scholarly and I was pleased to know that I have grown a tremendous amount in Emotional Intelligence over the last several years and while I still have room to grow I am well on my way to mastery!

Biblical EQ - Emotions are a very important part of the Christian life. Emotional intelligence (EQ) is especially important when it comes to leadership and ministry skills. Biblical EQ uses the Bible and the character of Jesus to show how we can grow both spiritually and emotionally into mature human beings.

I came across a very technical and nicely summarized article about Emotional Wisdom and the motivation and survival of law practice managers. It dawned on my that this was great bits of information for us all to know. 

According to the article, for help in navigating the turbulence of daily doses of surprise and change, disciplined application of emotional resources is essential. They characterize emotional intelligence as social savvy interpersonal skills, while although this is a gross understatement, is very tangible for a vast audience. Emotional Wisdom which refers to this disciplined application, implies mature insight into and constructive application of the motivational power inherent in neuro-chemical activators of the autonomic nervous system.

Say what? Emotional Wisdom is knowing how to identify and exert power over the brain and nervous system chemistry triggered when emotions arise. 

Emotions are chemical-physiological reactions and come hard wired in the body to function as survival mechanisms. They are a signal system to our bodies to react and happen much more quickly than our minds can process the logical reasons why that emotion was being triggered. 

So, by recognizing these signals and not reacting to them, we can change our outcomes, especially in interpersonal situations. For instance, by being totally fearless, you could miss important ques that may be alerting you to check the facts and to check if clarification is needed. Anger can be taken as a need to act angry when it is really just a signal to attend to justice, love or integrity. Anger can motivate us to pursue truth, beauty and excellence or can cause you to hurt others or yourself needlessly. Learning about your emotional health can lead you away from making a mistake and misdirecting anger in the future.

Emotions are challenging. We assume that they have so  much validity because at times they can be intense. Yet misreading situations, expressing unnecessary remarks out of fear, doubting yourself and acting out of assumptions, avoiding looking deep into a situation because you are ignoring what your body is really trying to tell you. Learn what the warning systems for different emotions are to help you make informed choices in how to respond to them.

The article also spoke of the training that Olympic athletes were trained to use. It included mental recollection of best/worst scenarios to overcome apprehensions, The Relaxation -Activation Method which helps an athlete avoid emotional eruptiveness and irritability leading up to important events, and maintaining the ability to rest. These skills applied to normal stressful circumstances can only be helpful in eliminating judgmental thinking, not worrying excessively, and performing with calm confidence when you most need it.

The precipitous for this article was an evaluation of my own emotional health and understanding the normal stages of development in my toddler. I found an amazing website called that has a section of interviews with Tami Simon. The interview I listened to was with Karla McLaren who is an empath and author of The Language of Emotions: What Your Feelings Are Trying to Tell You. She speaks of the different emotions and what they are signaling for you. It can be simple as asking yourself a question that leads to the heart of the matter and it's proper resolution.  Emotions are not positive or negative, McLaren expresses, but fluid and available at all times. Emotions can be in a normal state, a mood state (where the emotion is activated), and the heightened state where boundaries are left behind and improper words /actions are probable. The normal or fluid state allows our emotions to be healthily present to alert us to life's situations and keep us living at our optimum. McLaren gives practical steps to maintaing a healthy emotional state; grounding, listening for the quiet- the place where all your senses are aware, create solid healthy boundaries, take part in conscious complaining, that is where it does not effect anyone else but gets expelled, rejuvenating yourself or Joy, and burning contracts, where you release all your stuck attitudes, beliefs and negative stuff onto a scroll and then burn it. 

This interview certainly opened my eyes to some things about how to approach emotional learning and it began a journey to access all the resources in this article and ultimately to validating my own emotional health while identifying where I need improvement.