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What is Emotional Intelligence?

By March 9, 2022Smiley Halves

Most of us have a good idea what intellectual intelligence looks like. It’s people who understand how to win a game of chess, figure out a physics problem or code a computer program. 

But what does emotional intelligence look like? That’s a slightly trickier question. 

A Definition of Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence (sometimes abbreviated “EQ”) is the degree to which someone can understand and manage their emotions, and those of others. People with high EQs can identify emotions in other people, understand what they are going through, and adapt their impulses, depending on the situation. They can also delay gratification and resolve conflicts with other people effectively. 

The Five Characteristics Of Emotional Intelligence

Sometimes, psychologists refer to the five characteristics of emotional intelligence. These are:

  • The ability to easily socialise and integrate with other people
  • The ability to understand what other people are feeling
  • The ability to regulate emotions and behaviours
  • Being aware of yourself and how you appears to others
  • Being motivated to work towards some social goal while also knowing where you stand

The Relationship Between EQ And IQ

While it is not a one-to-one relationship, there is a correlation between a person’s IQ and their emotional intelligence. Generally intelligent people tend to be better at navigating all aspects of life, including social situations, than people who score lower on IQ tests. 

Historically, people considered IQ to be superior to EQ. However, given changing job roles and societal requirements, EQ may be becoming as, if not more, important than raw intelligence.