We try to read other people not because we want to intrude the privacy of their thoughts and emotions, but because its a natural advantage.
It gives us hints of what the other person is going through so we can connect with them better or take a precaution.
People who are naturally good at reading other people’s energy and emotions have high Emotional Intelligence! But, emotional intelligence can be taught, practiced and learnt.
So, how to become emotionally intelligent?
First, we need to dig what is an emotional intelligence and what it is not.
What is emotional intelligence?
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to be aware of, control, and express your emotions effectively in relation to yourself and others.
It is not an inborn talent but a result of education.
Emotional intelligence distinguishes people who are beaten by failures from those who are able to move through their own melancholy and managed to bounce back.
What emotional intelligence is not?
While brilliant and intelligent people navigate well around a particular set of challenges through mathematical, technical, commercial or linguistics endeavor, these don’t make them emotionally intelligent.
For example, one acquires fortune as a result of his endeavor, yet remains restless and sad. Others may be powerful, yet intolerant or unimaginative.
The above are some examples of a lack of emotional intelligence.
1. Tap into your emotions
Embrace your emotions when they come. Your feelings give you a hint about your mindset and the way you behave.
When you are able to name your emotions once they surface, you become aware of the events that cause them.
For example, when you are interrupted in a meeting, notice what feelings come up. Or, when you are praised for a job well done, watch how you feel.
When you know your emotions fully, you are able to see these feelings in others too. And it’s easier for you to be sensitive to other people’s moods and emotions.
2. Connect with other people
It’s easy for you to read other people when you feel connected to them.
Open-mindedness and agreeableness keep people close to you. They feel comfortable in your presence and lay down their defenses.
Develop empathy that you may learn how other people are feeling. Once you feel their feelings it’s easier for you to listen to them actively.
Once you’re fully connected with others, you will soon feel your energy as well as their own.
3. Be aware of your body language
Your body language is a physical manifestation of your emotions.
When you are afraid, you may sweat. When tense, you may feel your nerves trembling.
It’s because your body and mind are not separate entities. They act as one.
Once you learn the cues of your body language, you immediately perceive them in others too.
You can read other people’s body language through the expression on their face. Reading between the lines is a must since people, at times, say something that contradicts their true emotions.
4. Be objective
Each individual is unique. Respect other people’s differences and be objective in your approach.
Don’t trust your own impulses or the inherent wisdom of your feelings.
Learning about others is not only understanding them. You also have to look at the effect you have on other people.
Be aware whether you make people feel afraid, stupid, happy or cheerful.
You see this when you set aside your personal views and biases. And when there’s something that needs to improve, do it.
5. Trust yourself
Once you are deeply attuned to yourself, you instantly recognize your gut feeling.
Your gut rarely goes wrong and may tell you something for a reason. Trust it.