Life would be much easier if we analyze, understand and respect our emotions. In fact, knowing and respecting our emotions is imperative for leading a happy, successful life. Undoubtedly, it requires emotional intelligence to know and manage our own emotions and feelings and that of others. Emotional intelligence influences people in every walk of their lives. Scholars and researchers have agreed that emotional intelligence affects people, irrespective of age, culture or lifestyles.
Simply put, emotional intelligence is an individual’s ability to identify, accept, control and manage his or her emotions. Further, it also includes identifying and managing the emotions of people with whom we relate in our immediate environment.
There are several definitions of emotional intelligence propounded by different scholars. Let us look at Goleman’s (1998) definition that says, ‘Emotional Intelligence is the ability to monitor the emotions of self and that of others, discriminating between different emotions, labeling them appropriately and using the emotional information for guiding one’s thinking and feelings’.
Goleman identified five components of emotional intelligence, the first being – Knowing our emotions (self-awareness). Others include managing them, motivating ourselves, recognizing emotions in others (empathy), and handling relationships.
As stated, having a self-awareness of our emotions is the driving force for maintaining a healthy relationship with others and leading a happy and contented life. Consequently, the failure to analyze and manage our emotions leads to several physical, psychological and social problems.
Presumably, emotional maturity develops when people know and respect their own and others’ emotions for every life situation. However, emotional intelligence and maturity can influence a person either positively or negatively.
The level of one’s emotional maturity determines the quality of emotional life of a person. Here, an attempt to categorize people in a matrix of ‘knowledge’ and ‘respect’ of emotions resulted in four kinds of people.
Knowledge and Respect of one’s emotions matrix
- people who are low on ‘knowledge of emotions’ and ‘respecting one’s emotions’,
- those who are low on ‘knowledge of emotions’, but high on ‘respecting one’s emotions’,
- people who are high on ‘knowledge of emotions’, but low on ‘respecting one’s emotions’, and
- those who are high on ‘knowledge of emotions’ and ‘respecting one’s emotions’,
Hence, depending on one’s place in the matrix, our behavior, actions, feelings and the nature of managing our emotions will differ.
The above matrix presents few examples of behavior or emotions of people in each category. Therefore, it is not exhaustive or generalized. Moreover, even with respect to the same individual, it will differ based on people relating to, situation or event.
So, where do we fit in the matrix?
Goleman, D. (1998). The emotional intelligence of leaders. Leader to Leader, 10, 20- 26. . Available from: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/ltl.40619981008