What Is Emotional Intelligence? And Why You Need It.

by Grace Taotua

Flexing a high IQ is awesome but have you considered that your EQ needs some fine tuning as well?

Emotional Intelligence also known as Emotional Quotient is the skill that lets you understand, use and manage your emotions in a positive way. When you learn how to harness this skill, it can help you manage stress, respond empathetically, communicate effectively and defuse conflict.

Think of a person you know who can always respond to tricky situations with grace, manners and a level head. The kind of person who knows how to show empathy even for people who've wronged them, and probably doesn't regard all ignorance as malicious. I'm going to go out on a limb and say they have a really fine tuned emotional intelligence.

Now that you have a better idea of what EQ is, here is a crash course on the areas of your life where you can use this skill.



I don't know about you, but I have The Shortest Fuse for the people I love more than anything in the world. I don't know why, but it's my instinct to treat strangers with barrels of kindness, assuming that whatever pain they've caused me is a complete accident. However, when my parents are a little ignorant, my partner forgets an important date, or my best friend keeps ranting at me when I'm having a bad day, everything within me would rather believe they're probably mean to annoy me. Oops. Working on it.

I'm not alone in this feeling. It's actually so common that a lot of Relational Therapists are saying that fostering a high level of emotional intelligence needs to be a bigger priority in individuals to avoid this kind of unjust reaction.

Learning effective communication skills and controlling our emotions appropriately is key to creating harmony in our relationships, whether platonic or romantic. Challenge yourself to grab conflict by the horns and learn to use it as an opportunity to grow closer, lead with empathy, kindness and build intimacy. Every time a conflict doesn't cause the world to literally implode, we strengthen trust and bonds.



Also known as tact and common sense (though as we know, sometimes that isn't so common!), social intelligence is the main contributing factor in making somebody a well-balanced person, who's simply a pleasure to be around. People who nurture this skill make it a point to take a genuine interest in all their interactions. They're committed to making sure the people they're communicating with feel appreciated and supported. 



If you're starting to feel stressed by all of this, take a deep breath, pour yourself a cheeky beverage and remind yourself that learning complex concepts for the first time is hard. There's no rush, take it in at your own pace. Register how you're feeling – good, bad, indifferent?  Self-awareness is a key step to building emotional intelligence. Try starting small. Can you identify your own feelings?

We're huge fans of helping people improve their personal development skills, which includes, but isn't limited to:

A fun and accessible way we do that is through our conversation card game ReFlex. The questions are made for you to “dig deep”, get serious and really explore what you believe. And why you believe it. It's great for people who like thinking and are bored of gossiping about people from high school and is pretty much suitable for all ages.

Personal development can be hard work, but it doesn't have to be.  Whether you're hanging out with friends, on a first date, at a work lunch or reconnecting with your spouse after a couple years of marriage, conversation cards a fail-safe way to bring fun to all thinkers, both big and small.

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