“Emotions matter. Americans are becoming ever more aware that the ability to feel is as vital to our well-being as the ability to think.” (Segal, 1997). As science becomes more advanced we learn more and more about how the human body and the human mind work. We now understand that emotions are very important to our bodies as a whole. We are learning that our emotional intelligence is a good indicator of how well we will do in life, at our jobs, in our relationships and dealing with everyday stress.
There are tests to measure emotional intelligence just as there are to measure how well a person’s mind retains information. In this paper we will examine what emotional intelligence is. A test subject, we will call him Erik, took 2 emotional intelligence tests and we will look at his results. Then we will talk about ways to improve emotional intelligence.
“The term emotional intelligence describes four qualities: 1) the ability to perceive emotions in others, 2) the ability to facilitate thought, 3) understanding emotions and 4) maintaining emotions.” (Davis & Paladino, 2007).
We can see that emotions are complicated entities; they involve our own personal feelings and those of others as well. “Recognizing which emotions we are feeling is a key element of emotional intelligence because it helps individuals understand how their thinking can be affected by the emotions they are experiencing.” (Davis & Paladino, 2007).
We have all had days that were totally ruined because we became angry at someone else’s actions, just as we have had good days because people said positive things to us. Our test subject, Erik, took two emotional intelligence tests; one was located at http://www.ihhp.com/testsite.htm.
The other test was located at http://discoveryhealth.queendom.com/eiq_abridged_access.html. The first test asked twenty one questions and Erik scored a 54 which was the highest you could score, apparently Erik is doing just fine and should be able to handle any challenges he will face which is a good thing. The second test asked seventeen questions and then gave you a score.
In Erik’s case his score was 118 on a scale between 50 and 150, he is higher than average. His results say that “his skills will certainly bring long-term benefits such as stronger relationships, better health and personal happiness.” (QueenDom.com, 1996-2009). “According to researcher Daniel Goleman your EQ is a more accurate predictor of your ability to “succeed” in life than your IQ.” (Liebeman, 2008).
What would you do if you received a score that was not so good? It turns out there are a multitude of ways to improve your emotional intelligence. There are many books and papers written on this subject; one of these Raising your Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide was written by Jean Segal. This book outlines a 10-Step curriculum for raising your emotional intelligence; these are the ten steps;
“1) Make your body a priority.
2) Search for feeling in your body, not your head.
3) Build emotional muscle everyday by taking time to focus on emotional experience.
4) Be accepting of all that you feel.
5) Open your heart to others.
6) Take action – do things that make you feel useful and relevant.
7) Listen with empathy.
8) Tell them how you feel.
9) Use change as an opportunity to grow.
10) Take a dose of humor with you wherever you go.” (Segal, 1997).
These may seem like simple suggestions, and they are, but your emotions are an important part of the human experience. If you do not have control over your emotions you will have an unhealthy body and that contributes to an all around unhealthy life.
We have learned what emotional intelligence is; it is the way that we deal with our emotions and relate to others. We learned that emotional intelligence is an important factor in how successful we are in life. We found that our test subject Erik has a high emotional intelligence and that he is well suited to life in general and that he should have a good chance at success.
We also learned that there are at least ten ways in which emotional intelligence can be raised. Emotional intelligence is not something we think about consciously everyday but it is with us all the time, we constantly have to deal with how we feel about people, places and things around us, the better we are able to deal with these feelings the easier life will be.
Davis, F. & Paladino, J. (2007). Psychology. New Jersey. Pearson Education.
Liebeman, B. (2008). How to Create Emotional Health. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from Discovery Health. Website: http://health.discovery.com/centers/womens/althealth/emotional_healing.html.
QueenDom.Com. (1996-2009). Emotional IQ Test – Abridged. Retrieved June 21, 2009 from Discovery Health. Website:
Segal, J. (1997). Raising your Emotional Intelligence: A Practical Guide. New York. MacMillan Publishing.