The Importance of Emotional Intelligence: EQ – when seeking to find that loving special relationship with another human being.

So what is EQ (Emotional intelligence)?

Most people have no idea what this actually means in theory or in practice.

Daniel Goleman wrote a book called just this in 1995; EQ

He is an American psychologist, who began to teach and encourage groups and educators to learn about this topic in, order to improve society and reduce bullying in schools and workplaces and to enhance all human relationships across the board.

For many decades now, much emphasis has been placed upon IQ scoring.

Our knowledge of psychology and how the brain works, helps us to identify that one can have a very high IQ yet this of itself, doesn’t enable us to become a fully caring human being in relationships. Many psychopaths have a very high IQ and yet low scores on EQ.

Daniel Goleman classified five key elements in becoming EQ

They are as listed:

  1. Self Awareness.
  2. Self Regulation
  3. Motivation
  4. Empathy
  5. Social Skills.

These skills were rarely taught, during our education, unless we were lucky enough to be engaged with a highly informed system or with an informed teacher. We might have received some teaching and modelling from within our own families, yet usually not, is my own observation and experience. So many families, operate in a dysfunctional, poorly regulated system and so children cannot learn emotional intelligence from their families and go on to repeat dysfunctional patterns of relating.

Most of us have very little appreciation of the above list of key characteristics.

Yet we can all seek to learn and to develop them, with time and practice and then practice and more practice and hone these important skills to improve our EQ.

Self Awareness

This is our capacity to become observing of our own behaviours and our own reactions and responses to situations. It involves the choices that we make and how we react to given situations. For example, if we are busy and someone then asks us to do something, do we react or respond, by allowing our own impatience or annoyance to be expressed? How good are we at reading and discerning specific situations everyday? eg. I was out one day, with a friend and he had trouble finding a car park for his blue badge. He parked in one space and I walked around to see if there was another space nearer to the entrance of the building. I came back to inform him there was and so I walked the wheelchair to the new space round the corner. Ten minutes later, he hadn’t turned up in his vehicle. He then phoned me, and with an impatient voice, asked me where I was and what was I doing? I gently informed him where I had told him I would be and that I was standing in the cold waiting for him.  He hadn’t really listened to the instructions. He then tried to make me responsible for delaying him. The whole communication had been misaligned. This situation wasn’t serious. However, given a more important and complex situation, you can begin to appreciate how most people, really don’t listen that well, to each other and often misunderstand what has been said or intended to be said to one another. The person I am talking about is also very deaf. Whilst, he cannot help this, it surprises me, that it hardly ever occurs to this person, that they often mishear what is being communicated to them. They usually do blame someone else for their poor listening.

Slowing down communications does help. Listening with self awareness, really helps enormously. Reflecting back what is being said or what you think you have heard in order to ensure that the other person has properly heard, becomes essential to good communications and to EQ.

 Self Regulation

This is about your own capacity to manage and to regulate your own emotional states.

If we find ourselves in situations where someone is annoying us, then we need to comprehend why. It doesn’t mean that we have to immediately respond to the situation, but it is worthy of appreciating and understanding why we have gotten triggered. Human beings, have hundreds of any given emotional states that flow through our bodies in any given moment of the day. We can feel sad, happy, fear, anger, frustration, disappointment, excited, expected, nervous, anxious. They may come all at once and opposite to the latter and we might feel flat, avoidant, disengaged, isolated and even rejected, closed down and withdrawn.

So what does self regulation mean? First and foremost we have to become able to recognise our own personal emotional states. Then we can develop a handle on how to respond and not react. The difference is a time warp. If some one triggers anger in us and we react, then the situation may quickly spiral into a fight. Choosing our timing and our words can help enormously, to prevent sticky unpleasant situations igniting. You might be thinking by now: “oh yes but I know all of this”. Knowing this is not actually the solution. We need to put this into practice and make use of the information and keep practising, until we grow into emotional maturity, which is what this is all about. Developing our skills into emotional intelligence.


People who have a high degree of EQ are motivated to understand themselves and others. They are often people observers and can work out how people will respond.

They are motivated by good will and not power. They are often willing to compromise or meet another person half way. They seek to enhance and to develop their communications skills and try to understand others from different perspectives. They are not easily pushed about by those people who have a more manipulative personality. They will often seek to go that extra mile, with another person when that is needed and required and seems appropriate to do so.


 Empathy is not the same as sympathy. Simply put, empathy is about walking in another persons shoes and taking a dip into how they might feel. Empathy is not a given. We have to learn to develop this skill, as a human beings. It does not mean that we have to be overwhelmed by how another person feels and get caught in their emotional impact or web. We can develop two perspectives, in order to enhance our empathy. To have both a subjective skill, and an objective view, is highly skilled. We also need to develop empathy towards ourselves and caring about how we treat ourselves each day. Taking responsibility is important when we seek to enhance our EQ characteristics.

Social Skills

 These are essential skills in order to survive in the world. Knowing our core beliefs really helps to make us socially aware and socially responsible too. What might these be?

  1. Respect the dignity of all humans.
  2. Learn to accept others without prejudices.
  3. Mutual sharing of power and negotiating this.
  4. Learning to not take criticism too personally.
  5. Paying attention to the language and the words you use in company.
  6. Becoming receptive to new ideas and new possibilities in life.
  7. Learning compassion towards self and to others.
  8. Learning to be generous kind and loving.

 How does EQ fit into seeking that special person to inhabit our life?

It is absolutely essential. Calling oneself a Christian doesn’t guarantee that you will have these qualities either. They can be developed as you teach yourself and learn how to apply these characteristics in your daily living. Many people make the naïve assumption that being a born again Christian means that they operate in a fair and just way. It really doesn’t just happen like that. We have to become aware, then observe and then learn and seek to develop these qualities in ourselves by practice and prayerfulness and asking for grace, to persevere in this growing up, into an emotionally aware human being, with the qualities that are needed in order to create that loving bond with that other special human being and family and friends. Become that special person first yourself and then the other will follow.

This article was written by member Heleena (box number 7868) from Derbyshire.

Reading List related to this topic

Daniel Goleman Models of Emotional Intelligence

Brandon Goleman Emotional Intelligence Mastery

Evelyn Underhill The Fruits of The Spirit

Tara Brach Radical Self Acceptance