Say your best friend or partner is stressed but they haven’t told you. Sometimes you can just tell they’re stressed just by looking at them. Understanding your feelings and noticing the feelings of other people is known as emotional intelligence. People with high emotional intelligence can see how someone else is feeling and help. Not all people have emotional intelligence. Here are ways to make your emotional intelligence better:
- Tune in to your feelings.Notice your feelings during the day. If you know how you feel, you can learn how your feelings change your actions.
- Actively listen when talking with someone. Don’t let your mind wander. Look people in the eye. Turn your body toward theirs. Notice not only what they are saying but how they are saying it. What is their tone, what is their body language telling you?Try not to stop or get distracted. Let them feel comfortable expressing themselves. Focus on what others are saying, not what you are planning to say next.
- Don’t judge.Put yourself in someone else’s shoes. Try to think about what they have lived through that may shape who they are. This may help you grasp why someone is acting a certain way.
- Respect other people’s feelings.Focus on why they feel a certain way, even if you don’t agree with them. This can keep your own feelings in check if someone says something that bothers you. Instead, look at this as a chance to work out differences and build trust.
- Think before you react.Express your feelings in a supportive way. If a strong feeling takes over, take a step back and deep breath. Think about what you say. Think about how your words will be received. And think about how you can talk about the problem in a calm way that helps you and the person you are talking with.
- See the silly side.Laughing helps ease stress and brings people together. Try to see the humor in things to make others smile and feel relaxed.