Emotional Intelligence, a phrase we hear often and are most adamant we possess but do we? Do we know what it encompasses? Do we have what it takes?

According to Daniel Goleman, Emotional Intelligence is the ability to recognize, understand and manage our own emotions and recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others. 

If we go a step further, we see that there are five components of Emotional Intelligence

1. Self-awareness – Understand the impact you have on the people around you.

2. Self-regulation – Manage negative or disruptive emotions and adapt to changes in circumstance

3. Motivation – The ability to self-motivate, with a focus on achieving internal or self-gratification as opposed to external praise or reward

4. Empathy – The ability to recognize and understand how others are feeling and consider those feelings before responding in social situations

5. Social skills – The ability to manage the emotions of others through emotional understanding and using this to build rapport and connect with people

“If you are tuned our of your own emotions, you will be poor at reading them in other people.” – Daniel Goleman

If we are being transparent and read each of the above statements and apply it to who we are, not who we think we are, many of us will realize we aren’t as Emotionally Intelligent as we once thought. 

And when it comes to Emotional Intelligence and our mental health, the two can coexist as long as we recognize that we need to be in tune with our head and our heart, and realize it is going to be a work in progress.

For those of you reading this who don’t struggle with your mental health and are part of the support system for those of us, who do, I ask that you take a deep dive into your Emotional Intelligence as your interactions with us can sometimes help or harm our progress. 

For those of us who struggle with our mental health, be it Depression, Anxiety, etc., we may realize when we are in the midst of a battle, it’s difficult for us to see outside of ourselves and our struggle. It may be difficult for some of us to self regulate and self motivate. Still, with lots of work and determination, we can slowly transform our thinking and actions to become more Emotionally Intelligent for ourselves and those around us.

“It is very important to understand that emotional intelligence is not the opposite of intelligence; it is not the triumph of heart overhead – it is the unique intersection of both.” 

David Caruso