Emotional intelligence: an insight into positive psychology

Elizabeth Walker, Staff Writer

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Everyone knows what a standard IQ test is, but how much do you know about an EQ test? EQ stands for emotional quotient, which is a quantitative value that represents how well you can regulate your own emotions, the emotions of people around you, your motivation levels, and your ability to understand other people. Taking an EQ test will help you dive further into your psyche and see just how in touch with the empathetic side of your brain you really are.

People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

— Theodore Roosevelt

In 1990, the term “emotional intelligence” was thrust into the public eye by two social/personality psychologists, Peter Salovey and John D. Mayer. They claimed that IQ tests failed to fully decipher and explore all parts of the brain being used in daily life, so they came up with the EQ test. Some could argue that emotional intelligence is more applicable into everyday life than the more commonly known IQ is. Having a high EQ means you are more likely to adapt to changing social environments and can confidently make lasting social relationships with people. This part of psychology studies the limbic system, where most of our emotional awareness comes from. In some workplaces, these traits are more desired and will make you more successful than merely having a high IQ.

American psychologist Daniel Goleman wanted to divulge to the public just how important an EQ can be. He claimed that there are five parts to someone’s emotional intelligence. The first part is self-awareness, which essentially is knowing your own emotions, what they mean, and how they can affect other people. The second part of emotional intelligence is self-regulation. Self-regulation is being calm in stressful situations and keeping yourself under control to make effective versus destructive decisions. The third part is motivation, which measures how hard you work and the quality of work that you put forth. The fourth and fifth parts are empathy and social skills. These show how well you can recognize others’ emotions and how you connect with people.

EQ is not the enemy of IQ; they go hand in hand. Having high levels of both is quite possible, but it is not necessary. Having a low IQ does not determine the level of your success in a career or your existence. In fact, most scientists claim that a high IQ can get you through school, but having a high EQ will get you through life. It also helps stabilize our mental health and leadership qualities. Many leaders must have a high emotional intelligence to productively relay orders and to earn respect and loyalty.

Although our IQ’s are fairly set in stone for life, your emotional intelligence can always change and improve, it just takes work. Before you respond to something, make sure your emotions are in check, and you aren’t just speaking out of strong emotions (like hurt or anger). You can also be observant of others when you can tell something is wrong. Ask them how they’re feeling and how you can help. Lastly, instead of lashing out when you get criticized, sit back and learn how to respond without hurting the other person as well. Try to learn and grow from the situation, instead of wallowing in the bad.

If you want to learn more about your EQ score, here is a website where you can take a short EQ test.