There are few things in life that can be more fickle than our own emotions, except for the emotions of others. How can we become more aware of other people’s feelings? The answer is simple: we learn more about our own. We can become adept at describing them and how to harness them to take caring action. The study of emotions is a newer field of study, often called emotional intelligence. We at Unified Caring Association (UCA) want to help others learn more about their emotions that will help people become caring ambassadors who can help create a more caring world.
What is Emotional Intelligence?
Emotional intelligence is a newer field of study that is growing in popularity. One such example is seen by the ability to keep emotions from overflowing which can be disruptive in our lives. With strong emotional intelligence we are better equipped to manage life stressors like our career and family life. There are multiple models designed by psychologists for emotional intelligence. Daniel Goleman has one that we have seen most often. Goleman outlined five key areas of emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-management, motivation, empathy, and social skills. “Self-awareness involves knowing your own feelings. This includes having an accurate assessment of what you’re capable of, when you need help, and what your emotional triggers are.” (https://lifehacker.com/emotional-intelligence-the-social-skills-you-werent-ta-1697704987)
This ties well into self-management. Self-management involves the ability to reflect upon your emotions when you’re feeling uneasy. When we are feeling uneasy we often have trouble avoiding outbursts. The trick is to learn how to remain calm during disagreements (even within our own mind).
Then our ability to be empathetic follows. Empathy is when we can interpret and relate to the emotions of others allowing us to respond to them appropriately. More specifically Merriam Webster’s website defines empathy as “…the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner; the imaginative projection of a subjective state into an object so that the object appears to be infused with it.” (https://www.merriam-webster.com) To be empathetic is to be able to create an image or a feeling in your mind that reflects and closely compares to another person’s experiences.
Lastly, we can culminate these skills and practices into what is known as social skills. This involves our ability to apply empathy, balancing the needs of others with our own. Social skills here enables us to keep an open mind and try to find common ground with others.
Click here to watch an informative video from LifeHacker!
Ways to Exercise Your Emotional Intelligence
Now we have an idea what emotional intelligence is. How can we exercise our minds to better strengthen our abilities? One such way is through tools like UCA’s Moonbeam Feeling Pack and Book. This tool includes a deck of 144 cards and a feelings dictionary that explains the emotions depicted on each card. When we can name our feelings we are more self-aware and better equipped to strengthen our emotional intelligence.
Still puzzled? We have pulled together this infographic that provides great tips and tricks to help develop emotional awareness.