Emotional Intelligence: The key to the secrets of our mind
Up until now, the articles on our blog were mainly related to fun activities and lighthearted topics. Today, we’re discussing something a little more serious than usual.
As human beings, what separates us from machines and some other living species is our acute ability to interpret emotions. In our current society where appearance is sometimes more valued than authenticity, expressing our emotions freely can be perceived negatively. It is thus important to try and demystify the taboo behind what our emotions are made of. This is the essence of emotional intelligence.
First, we’ll look at EI more in detail, before getting into how striving for constant happiness can be problematic for one’s mental health. At the end of the article, we’ll introduce a brand new experience on our platform: one that is dedicated to stimulating your emotional intelligence.
What is emotional intelligence?
According to A Dictionary of Psychology, emotional intelligence is “the capability of individuals to recognize their emotions and those of others”. This includes discerning between different feelings and applying them to changing environments in order to achieve various goals. We obviously often associate empathy with emotional intelligence, as it is the element allowing us to understand and interpret other people’s feelings in order to react accordingly.
It goes without saying that people with high emotional intelligence are usually more implicated in their interactions with others. They show higher degrees of understanding and open-mindedness than people with lower EI. In real-life situations, this can be translated as more willingness to help in case of distress and better listening skills. In short, EI allows us to transcend the barrier represented by complex emotions among ourselves and others. That is why emotional intelligence is extremely important to look at, despite the relative difficulty to measure it.
Striving for constant happiness: really the best solution?
The whole purpose of EI is to be able to correctly identify the multitude of emotions going through our minds, and react according to situations. For this reason, the totality of our emotions, from joy to sadness, anger, fear or excitement, are equally important. That’s because they all send different signals telling us how we should feel for specific real-life reasons.
This is exactly what’s illustrated by the excellent Pixar movie Inside Out. In this 3D-animated film, we get to follow the influence of emotions inside the mind of a young girl called Riley. These basic emotions, personified by characters Joy, Sadness, Anger and Disgust, are going to impact Riley’s reactions to situations. At first glance, we could argue that Joy, the self-proclaimed leader of the team, always acts for the best of Riley. She notably makes sure Sadness does not touch any of her memories in order not to affect them. However, just like many Pixar movies, Inside Out requires some deeper analysis.
After reflection, we notice that Joy’s attempts towards minimizing the influence of other emotions have negative consequences on her memories. By acting as a “dictator” of Riley’s feelings, Joy rejects the other emotions who are also crucial to Riley’s development.
Embracing our emotions
So what can we learn from that and how is it related to emotional intelligence? Well, being a form of intelligence consisting in interpreting various emotions, EI should help us navigate our sometimes overwhelming feelings. For this reason, it is extremely important that we take advantage of the complexity of our emotions. Seeing happiness as a finite aim or a constant state seems indeed to be an illusion. Instead of striving for constant happiness, which we think we’ll reach by consuming or achieving, why not try a different mindset? If we see life as a rollercoaster with highs and lows, the only valuable elements should be the experiences we find along the way. Whether they are positive or negative, they are the ones allowing us to think, build and ultimately feel a wide array of emotions. These are absolutely vital to the decisions we’ll have to make in life. We should embrace them as they make us who we are, instead of striving for unrealistically “invincible” happiness.
Learn to master your Emotional Intelligence
Speaking of experiences, if you’ve read the article so far and would like to learn more about Emotional Intelligence in practice, we might just have the perfect solution for you!
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If you suffer from stress, anxiety, anger or other related emotions, this might be a great opportunity to learn from them and improve the way you master your feelings.
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How about you? Have you seen Inside Out? What’s your insight regarding the different emotions surrounding our minds? We look forward to reading you, so don’t hesitate to write a comment below or send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org!