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Emotional intelligence: concept and categories


“inteligencia emocionalAnyone can get mad… that’s easy. But being mad at the right person, at the right intensity, at the right time, for the right reason, and in the right way… that’s not easy. ” – Aristotle, “Nicomachean Ethics”.

What is emotional intelligence?

Emotional intelligence is the ability of an individual to identify and manage their own emotions, understand the emotions of others, tolerate pressures and frustrations, increase social and empathic skills and increase their capacities for social development.

The term emotional intelligence began to become known by Howard Gardner and his theory of multiple intelligences , but it ended up being massively popularized through the book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman.

Today, it is necessary to develop emotional intelligence skills to better understand, empathize and negotiate with other people; This will give us greater personal, social and work success.

By having emotional intelligence skills, the subject better understands what other people want and what motivates them, and at the same time gives them the ability to be more empathetic and assertive with them.

Usually people who develop the skill of emotional intelligence are more successful at work, because although in companies they look for trained people, they also look for people who know how to communicate, delegate and help others, and these skills are part of emotional intelligence.

5 Categories of emotional intelligence


Self-awareness is the ability to recognize an emotion the moment it tries to take possession of us.

The first step towards emotional intelligence is to be able to control our emotions and not let them dominate us. We must become aware and recognize when our emotions appear and learn to manage them, taking into account the effects that they could have. To be able to properly handle emotions, you need to have a great capacity for self-confidence.

Self motivation

Being motivated is another key to emotional intelligence. It is necessary to have a goal, an objective to follow, something that we want to achieve, because motivation appears here .

Self-motivation presents: an initiative, effort to achieve the goal, commitment to it, and optimism about the opportunities or difficulties that arise to achieve it. Motivating yourself to achieve something, whatever it is, requires an optimistic attitude, because being pessimistic we get stuck in a pit that does not allow us to advance.

Self-regulation or self-control

Self-control refers to the management of emotions. Although we can be aware of them, for some people it is not easy to handle them, because in reality it is not easy, that is why a great capacity for self-control is required to be able to understand our emotions and handle them in the most harmonious way possible.

To reach a high level of self-control of our emotions we must: be assertive , manage our impulses, maintain certain standards of honesty, be open to new ideas, be flexible in certain situations, assume our own responsibilities.


With empathy we mean having the ability to put ourselves in the place of the other person, try to share, think and feel like the other. The “seeing through the eyes of another person” gives us a great connection with the other, and in this way we can respond adequately to their needs.

An empathic person has a greater chance of being assertive and achieving greater success in the area that is proposed.

Social skills

Having social skills or interpersonal skills means having a good relationship with other people.

To properly manage our interpersonal skills it is necessary to: act positively, maintain self-control and self-confidence, have a good level of self – esteem , know how to control anxiety , listen to the opinions of others and respond appropriately, express our wishes in a concrete way and be safe. of them, to be able to understand, negotiate and resolve disagreements.

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Emotional intelligence assessments

The director of the Center for Emotional Intelligence, Marc Brackett, in his first investigations to measure the emotional intelligence of subjects, discovered that people have a tendency to overestimate their emotional intelligence, so he estimates that it should be measured through performance evaluations.

In a performance evaluation, people are required to solve different types of problems; for example: they can make them recognize facial expressions or create strategies to resolve an emotionally tense situation. In this way, it is intended that their knowledge and abilities can be tested in opposition to their beliefs about themselves.

Another form of emotional intelligence evaluation, used more frequently in the workplace, is the so-called 360 evaluation. This type of evaluation is a process that involves feedback from colleagues and superiors, who are in charge of evaluating emotional intelligence. of a person at work. Generally, 360 evaluations are then compared with the self-evaluation, which provides greater certainty of the true performance and level of emotional intelligence of the evaluated subject.

Can the emotions be regulated?

Our emotional brain, regulated by the limbic system, is one of the oldest parts of the brain, especially compared to the prefrontal cortex, which is our thinking part. Because our emotional part is mostly dominant, it is normal that our emotions seem to affect us and sometimes take over our thinking.

With the emotions we display an extraordinary energy and we turn ourselves into a multitude of expressions. These emotions violently and fugitively burst into the field of our consciousness, so sometimes it is not possible to stop them easily and they end up appropriating our mind.

Under the influence of emotions, our habitual affective tone can be disturbed. The regime of our thoughts is completely altered and we can even lose control of our actions.

What was previously believed impossible, today we know that it is not. We understand that our emotions can control our mind, but the prefrontal cortex of the human being has evolved in such a way that today, we can also take control of our emotions.

To take control of our emotions we must first be aware of them ; know what they are, what effects they are having on our psyche and what was the triggering situation of said emotions.

Following the previous steps… First we must identify the emotions; sometimes naming them helps us to have greater clarity about our emotional state. Then we will see what happened in our mind when that emotion appeared and we became aware of our actions, for example: if we were facing an emotion of anger, perhaps we could have become violent, throw an object or physically or verbally mistreat a person.

Once the emotions and their effects are identified, we will move on to discover why they occurred. What is causing this feeling? What was the situation that triggered that situation? The mind will probably always search for an answer to these questions. Most of the time, just the way we think about a situation makes us feel a certain way and arouses different emotions.

When we finish clearing the questions about our emotional state, we can begin to think about how to control them. Sometimes we must change the way we think about a particular situation, since our thoughts lead us directly to our feelings , so if we feel bad, we probably have negative thoughts and this will awaken negative emotions. If we can understand emotions and think of other possible ways of seeing or solving a situation, we will begin to have control of our mind and feel better.


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Hello Readers, I am Nikki Bella a Psychology student. I have always been concerned about human behavior and the mental processes that lead us to act and think the way we do. My collaboration as an editor in the psychology area of ​​Well Being Pole has allowed me to investigate further and expand my knowledge in the field of mental health; I have also acquired great knowledge about physical health and well-being, two fundamental bases that are directly related and are part of all mental health.

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