Increase Your Emotional Intelligence By Expanding Your Vocabulary

Increase Your Emotional Intelligence by Expanding Your Vocabulary

We all have feelings and emotions, but accurately expressing them to others is often hard to do. If you're looking to grow your emotional intelligence, you can start by expanding your emotional vocabulary.

Photo by Michael Coghlan

Our emotional intelligence is what helps us explore day-to-day social interactions with an understanding of others and how we should behave around them. To have emotional intelligence you should not only understand how others feel and show empathy, but also know how to express the way you feel.

On his LinkedIn blog, Travis Bradberry, coauthor of Emotional Intelligence 2.0 and president of TalentSmart, went over the data of over one million people who have tested with TalentSmart to see what the most common qualities of emotional intelligent people are. Knowing how to express yourself is one of the biggest:

...unlabeled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions. People with high EQs (like IQs but for Emotional Intelligence) master their emotions because they understand them, and they use an extensive vocabulary of feelings to do so. While many people might describe themselves as simply feeling "bad," emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel "irritable," "frustrated," "downtrodden," or "anxious." The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it, and what you should do about it.

Being specific helps you pinpoint the issue and helps others understand what's going on in your head. Communication is a major aspect of emotional intelligence, but you can't communicate something if you don't know how to identify it. The next time you feel a certain way, try to come with the most accurate word that describes it. If you're not sure where to start, you can start with this emotional vocabulary wheel. With practice, you'll not only help yourself, but others too. Check out the link below for more traits of emotionally intelligent people.

Are You Emotionally Intelligent? Here's How to Know for Sure [LinkedIn]


Comments

    Interesting idea.
    If you know people well, you can always ask them if they feel a particular way. You might need to choose your targets carefully. This will help you recognise the visual cues in others, which IMHO is more important than knowing the words. The words help you communicate, but they won't help you recognise or understand the patterns associated with the nuanced behaviours.
    Or, you could do what many engineers do... count the pizza boxes and cans of coke on the desk next to you - that'll give you an indication of the mood of the person who works next to you when they come in. They call this "pre-cog" :)

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