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Emotional Intelligence – Discovering the Importance of Our Emotions

The concept of emotional intelligence (EQ) introduced by Daniel Goleman has only been with us for a short period of time. For much of human history, we have had a common perception that emotions aren’t helpful in our decision making process or a determining factor in our chances for becoming successful.

In fact, the common belief has been that any emotional reaction what so ever can get in the way of making sound decisions. With this thought process many also believed and even today some continue to believe that emotions during our decision-making may also cause us to fail miserably.

What wasn’t even considered until recently was the fact that emotional intelligence runs along a continuum just like our IQ. With this idea in mind, it has been discovered that our emotions do play a large role in our chances for success.

And just like with the intelligence quotient, emotional intelligence when strong can have an enormous positive impact on success. However, the opposite is also true as with IQ. If your emotional intelligence is lacking your chances for success are much reduced. In fact emotional intelligence is now believed by many to be a greater determining factor than IQ as far as our success in life is concerned.

How about that for a change of pace.

Types of Intelligence

We now know that there are various forms of intelligence. And the lack of one doesn’t necessarily mean failure in the general picture of life. Some of us are naturally endowed with higher I.Q. scores which can offer it’s advantages. While other people, have the ability to truly understand how their emotions affect not only themselves but other people as well. This is what they call intrapersonal or emotional intelligence.

Emotional intelligence therefore is the ability to sensitively understand our own emotions and the emotions that we observe from other people. With this ability we’re also able to consciously monitor these emotional reactions to serve as determining factors in developing our decisions and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. This definitely has it’s advantages as well.

Emotions do affect decision-making, our reactions to things, our moods, our sentiments, and even our general disposition in a given situation.

Oftentimes, solutions don’t just come from the intellect. In fact too much logical thinking without the emotional input may even cause paralysis of the mind. This is largely due to the fact that when we think too much about a solution, our minds seem to become cluttered with answers that point to nowhere and just leads us around in circles.

Analysis takes time and when it does, it may allow time for too many options. This is when our emotions can help us to determine what truly is the right decision for us and our particular circumstances.

There Is More to Intelligence…

This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t analyze personal or professional problems clearly. However, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to the use of our I.Q. alone. There is more to intelligence than using your cranial capacity in creating decisions.

However, we weren’t born inherently equipped with emotional intelligence. When we were born, it’s likely that stimulus was needed before we were able to develop our reactions to particular situations with various emotions. Only as we age and therefore become exposed to a spectrum of experiences do we learn to react with different types of emotions.

This is probably the reason why as children, we had no fear or anxiety over falling on the floor or doing something dangerous like touching a hot stove. After all, we still had no idea what fear was or even what a dangerous experience was.

Emotions are inevitable parts of our existence. Knowing the degree of our emotions, the various reactions that are created during specific conditions,  how well we cope under certain stimulation and what factors create a rise of emotions will all be helpful in gaining new insight into ourselves.

Here are five basic areas that help in the evaluation of Emotional Intelligence

Management Of Emotions

This generally covers the ability to handle one’s emotions to fit a given condition. This also entails the proper mixture of emotions and the realization of what caused a specific reaction to arise.


This differs from self criticism mainly in the manner by which specific emotions are determined. It’s the systematic observance of oneself to recognize feelings and moods as they happen.

Self Motivation

This is evident in delayed gratification, in positive use of emotions to channel emotions into goals, and in over-all self control.


This is basically the sensitivity to other people’s feelings and perspectives of things.

Handling Of Relationships

This is one dimension of social intelligence, which is closely intertwined with emotional intelligence since it covers the management of emotions to retain and harmonize relationships.