As one grows up, one constantly looks for ways to handle and cope with fears, anxiety, anger, and sadness. Emotional intelligence (EI) develops as we start to master our emotions and control our feelings. The ability to calm ourselves when we’re upset, understand how other people influence our behaviour and how our behaviour impacts others… everything is controlled by this sort of intelligence.
EI is said to be a type of social intelligence that helps one modify one’s own and others’ emotions, and apply the same to daily life experiences. EI also signifies the ability to accurately perceive one’s emotions and makes one aware of how to respond to specific types of situations and people.
Interestingly, good parenting requires more than intellect. It involves an ocean of emotions and feelings. If parents are aware of their children’s feelings, are able to empathise, soothe and guide them, then the children will learn to control their impulses. Family life is the first school for emotional learning: what parents say and do is transferred directly on to children. Be willing to say “no” to your children. Doing so will give your children the opportunity to deal with disappointment.
Families that talk about their goals are more likely to be aware of them, know how to achieve them and strive to see their children as wonderful and capable. As a parent you should not dismissively snap at your children when they express their feelings. By doing so you disconnect them from being able to identify and deal with those feelings, impacting their EI negatively.
Always try to be a good listener. In most areas of their life, successful people have the ability to understand their — and others’ — emotions and influences.
Our societies are experiencing rapid changes. The number of cases of depression have skyrocketed and it is a well-known fact that the right sort of EI can inoculate people against such problems. With more and more people suffering from anxiety problems, it will help to remember that with the right kind of emotional intelligence, you can control your emotions, and not the other way around.
Here’s how you can keep the emotional competency of young people positive:
. Constantly motivate others and be motivated
. Communicate elegantly and effectively
. Listen well to get the real message
. Take setbacks without feeling disillusioned
. Control anger. Don’t let it ruin your health, relationships and job prospects
. Enjoy satisfying and productive relationships
. Protect yourself, your family and your friends from emotional problems.
. Be more comfortable with uncertainty
EI impacts your work life, too. More than 80 per cent of competencies of people in leadership positions have been found in the EI domain.
Good practices of enriching emotional intelligence will go a long way in human development, if we want to get the best results possible and achieve our maximum goals, either personal or financial. Whether a leader at office or at home, you need to develop this ability. When a leader is not motivated and in a negative mood, people around him or her tend to pick up the vibes and let it affect their mindsets too. The more aware you are of your actions and the more of an effort you make to express positive emotions the more successful you will be in creating a climate of enthusiasm and motivation.
The author is a senior consultant psychiatrist with Moolchand Medcity and Vimhans, New Delhi. Send him an email at email@example.com, marked ‘Dr Nagpal’