Emotional Intelligence

By Mike Fenton

Emotional Intelligence is basically the way we manage emotions, both our own and those of others. It can play a critical role in determining our happiness and success.

The way we interact and regulate our emotions has repercussions in nearly every aspect of our lives. It accounts for a great deal of one’s ability to navigate life effectively.

When we are emotional intelligent we are confident, good at working towards our goals, adaptable, flexible, and we recover quickly from stress and we’re resilient.

The five components of emotional intelligence, are self-awareness, self-regulation, motivation, social skills and empathy. We can be strong in some of these areas and deficient in others, but we all have the power to improve any of them.

Here are a few signs that will help you to determine your emotional intelligence:

  1. You’re curious about people you don’t know. Do you love meeting new people, and naturally tend to ask lots of questions after you’ve been introduced to someone? If so, you have a certain degree of empathy, one of the main components of emotional intelligence.
  2. You’re a great leader. In addition to the traditional requirements for success — talent, a strong work ethic and ambition, exceptional leaders often have one thing in common, they possess a high degree of emotional intelligence.
  3. You know your strengths and weaknesses. A big part of having self-awareness is being honest with yourself about who you are — knowing where you excel, and where you struggle, and accepting these things about yourself. An emotionally intelligent person learns to identify their areas of strength and weakness.
  4. You know how to pay attention. The ability to withstand distractions and focus on the task at hand is a great secret to emotional intelligence. Without being present with ourselves and others, it’s difficult to develop self-awareness and strong relationships.
  5. When you’re upset, you know exactly why. An important aspect of self-awareness is the ability to recognize where our emotions are coming from and to know why we feel upset.
  6. You can get along with most people. Having fulfilling, effective relationships is a sign of emotional intelligence.
  7. You care deeply about being a good, moral person. One aspect of emotional intelligence is our moral identity which has to do with the extent to which we want to see ourselves as ethical, caring people.
  8. You take time to slow down and help others. If you make a habit of slowing down to pay attention to others, whether by going slightly out your way to say hello to someone or helping an older woman onto the subway, we’re exhibiting emotional intelligence.
  9. After you fall, you get right back up. How we deal with mistakes and setbacks says a lot about who we are. When an emotionally intelligent person experiences a failure or setback, he or she is able to bounce back quickly.
  10. You know when to say “no.” Self-regulation, one of the five components of emotional intelligence, means being able to discipline ourselves and avoid unhealthy habits. We are generally well equipped to tolerate stress and are able to control our impulses.


“Human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives”


~William James (1842 – 1910)