4 Components of Emotional Intelligence and How to Improve Them


This Article was Reviewed by The Chief Editor, Godfrey

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Simply put, emotional intelligence is emotional and social competency. Emotional intelligence is your ability to identify and understand emotional information, as well as using emotional information when making decisions. Emotions are important, but it can be hard to put them into perspective.

Emotional intelligence is a set of emotional and social competencies that are necessary to understand our own emotional experiences, contend with the emotional experiences of others, maintain healthy relationships, and build more emotionally intelligent organizations.

Emotionally intelligent people have four components:

  1. Self-Awareness;
  2. Managing Emotions;
  3. Empathy;
  4. Handling Relationships.

These four components help us navigate through complex emotional situations in an effortless way by understanding them better. Knowing what these components mean and how they work will help you make better decisions in your life because you’ll have a more complete picture of the situation.

Self-Awareness helps us become aware of what we feel inside so we can manage those feelings accordingly – this includes being able to take care of ourselves when needed without feeling guilty or shamed. Managing Emotions is learning how to regulate anger or any other strong emotion while still owning it as part of who you are.

Empathy, the ability to understand emotional experiences from someone else’s perspective, helps us better manage relationships and build emotional intelligence in others – for instance, understanding what a child is feeling when they are upset with you and why.

Finally, Handling Relationships is learning how to listen well while still speaking our truth so that we can maintain healthy relationships without others.

We will go into detail below.

self-awareness: Component number one of the four components of emotional intelligence

Self-awareness is the ability to understand emotional information and use it in decision-making. Self-aware people are aware of their emotions, how those affect others and can regulate themselves accordingly.

They also have an understanding that emotional responses come from specific events or circumstances which helps them make decisions based on facts rather than emotional reactions.

Another way self-awareness could be described is “knowing thyself.” This means being able to recognize your emotional states before they take over by using emotional intelligence as a tool for decision-making.

You know what triggers you emotionally; you become more aware of your strengths and weaknesses so you can work with them appropriately; this all leads us back to managing our own emotions better because we’re confident enough in ourselves to know what emotional response is appropriate and healthy.

Self-awareness allows us to have more emotional clarity in our lives which will help us make better decisions based on emotional intelligence that come from the other four components of emotional intelligence.

The four aspects all lead back to self-awareness because they’re so intertwined, but this one specifically deals with knowing who we are emotionally and being able to manage it well enough through understanding the emotions behind why certain things happen.

Credit: banchiinspirations.com

Example of emotional intelligence that utilizes self-awareness

Let’s say for example that on your way to work where you are a manager, and a reckless driver hits your car, do you take it out on your workers?

No. Self-aware emotional intelligence would say that you have to take a deep breath and start by evaluating the situation before reacting.

If there were any injuries or property damage, for example; your emotional state may be different than if someone just honked their horn at you on the way to work because they weren’t paying attention (not illegal but still not safe). Your emotional response will change accordingly so you don’t necessarily lash out in anger or frustration.

This also applies when dealing with relationships. Understanding what is happening emotionally behind why people act in certain ways helps us manage those emotions well enough without yelling, shaming, blaming them excessively for something that wasn’t entirely their fault, etc., which can only lead to an unhealthy relationship down the road and emotional intelligence that doesn’t serve anyone.

Emotional Management: Component number two of the four components of emotional intelligence

This is the emotional intelligence component that deals with understanding how to regulate feelings appropriately in order to best manage oneself and one’s emotional responses.

This means being able to understand when your emotional response might be appropriate or not, depending on what triggered it – a person might feel frustrated but still know there are consequences for lashing out at someone who has done something wrong

The ability to successfully manage emotions helps us maintain healthy relationships without others feeling criticized or shamed excessively while also helping us make decisions based on facts rather than emotional reactions.

For example, if you start getting angry because you’re already running late for work due to traffic, then this can lead to other things like thoughts of wanting revenge which won’t help anyone (including yourself) move forward in a healthy emotional state.

But when you manage your emotional response, you have the ability to make better decisions because of emotional intelligence. For example, rather than just lashing out at someone who has done something wrong (like an impatient driver) for making you late, you can use emotional management to think about what is appropriate and possible consequences first before reacting emotionally in anger or frustration which could lead into other emotional reactions that are not helpful like revenge.

We also want our relationships with others to be positive so using emotional management helps keep them on track by giving ourselves time and space from people who might trigger negative feelings while allowing those around us to feel heard without feeling like they’re being criticized excessively

This leads back to self-awareness – it’s hard to manage emotional responses in the way they should be if we don’t have emotional self-awareness, which is why it’s a central part of emotional intelligence

Emotional Management Components:

  1. Recognizing when our emotional response might be appropriate or not depending on what triggered it.
  2. Managing negative feelings so that we’re able to think about consequences before acting emotionally and making decisions based on facts rather than emotional reactions.
  3. Emotional intelligence is central to emotional management, which means that emotional self-awareness and the ability to understand how our emotions might affect others in a negative way (like making them feel criticized when they are trying their best) are key components of this component.
  4. Emotional management also includes understanding what kind of emotional response would be appropriate or inappropriate for certain situations depending on triggers – like knowing it’s more important not to lash out at someone who has done something wrong but instead use an appropriate level of frustration without lashing out emotionally while still managing your anger so you don’t resorting to revenge.
emotional intelligence markers
Credit: pinterest.com

Empathy: Component number two of the four components of emotional intelligence

Empathy is the emotional intelligence component that allows us to put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. It means understanding what others are going through, and knowing how to react according to their emotions

It also means being able to understand when it might be more appropriate or not for a person who has experienced something (like bullying) to take accountability of the emotional response they have had rather than blame other factors

Empathy helps create connections with people – whether they’re friends, family members, colleagues, or strangers we’ve just met on the street. When we empathize with people around us emotionally and listen carefully so that we can hear them even if it makes our emotional responses uncomfortable then this creates a connection that gives us meaning as humans because empathy connects us to one another

This emotional intelligence component can also help other people be more aware of their emotional responses so that they don’t needlessly get themselves into trouble.

For example, if a person is feeling frustrated because it’s taking too long for the line at Starbucks to move and you empathize with them by saying “I know I would feel really frustrated right now” then this helps validate their feelings in an empathetic way without criticizing or being hurtful

Empathy means understanding how others are reacting emotionally and showing sensitivity – even when we might not understand why someone else is having these emotions. It creates a connection that gives meaning to life because empathy connects us together as humans who value each other’s emotional experiences

An example of Empathic behavior is noticing emotional responses in the people around you and responding appropriately through emotional management. For example, if a person is having anxiety about heading to work because they are worried their boss will be angry with them about what they did last night then it would be empathic to say “I know you might feel anxious going into work today, but I’m sure your boss isn’t mad at you”

Handling Relationships: Component number four of the four components of emotional intelligence is the ability to handle relationships.

Handling relationships is an emotional intelligence component that helps us manage our emotional connection with other people

It means being able to understand and empathize with someone else’s emotional state – like if they’re angry or hurt. Handling relationships also includes the ability to handle a difficult situation without resorting to emotional outbursts

An example of this would be when you get frustrated because your friend forgot about plans, but instead of yelling at them for making you wait all day long so then they feel bad later on, it might make more sense just say “I bet waiting for me made you really anxious.” Using empathy in place of criticism can help maintain positive emotional connections while still managing your anger

Another way to strengthen emotional bonds between two people is through emotional intelligence

For example, if someone is feeling emotional about a situation and shares their feelings with you then it would be emotionally intelligent to say “I’m sorry that happened. How are you doing?” This shows empathy for somebody else’s emotional state while also validating them in a way that can help strengthen the emotional connection between two people

Handling relationships is an emotional intelligence component that helps us manage our emotional connections with other people through understanding emotions and empathy instead of resorting to criticism or outbursts as responses

Practical Steps to Improve emotionally Intelligence

Emotional intelligence is something that people can improve on. It’s not a perfect science, but there are ways to be more aware of how you feel and the emotions that other people share with you. Here are some quick tips for improvement:

1. Be attentive when others speak to you.

Focus your attention on their words or facial expressions so as to understand what they’re saying and if it affects them in any way; this will help gauge what emotion they may be feeling right then.

For instance, someone might say “I’m happy” while displaying an angry expression; ask yourself why they would make such a contradiction–is it because they want reassurance? Or do they need encouragement? Identifying these things helps lead to the next step.

2. Consider the other person’s point of view, and what they might be feeling

Even if it is different than your own feelings at that moment in time. It can help to imagine how you would feel if you were on their end of things.

This will show empathy towards them for a better relationship with them and greater understanding between both parties. This is one way to understand emotions or “reading” people as well!

3. Take into account new information before reacting emotionally

Think about whether there are any thoughts or opinions from the past which may influence said reaction now (such as previous bad experiences). Emotional intelligence sometimes involves controlling current reactions so that future relations don’t suffer due to something made rashly.

For example, if someone gets angry about a comment that you made, stop and think before saying anything else–even if it is to insult them. Once the emotion subsides some, apologize or simply ask what they thought of your statement; this will lead to a more constructive dialogue that might have otherwise been lost in anger and hurt feelings.

4. Be aware of how emotions affect physical reactions as well!

For example, an anxious feeling can cause tension in one’s jaw muscles while also causing shaking hands–this is something to be mindful of when speaking with others who seem nervous around you but are trying desperately not to show any signs (such as anxiety).

It may just be because their body does not handle stress well so try asking questions for clarification on why they are nervous.

5. Practice self-awareness by recognizing what your body is feeling and how it might be affecting others around you as well

Such as the physical sensations of anger which may cause someone to lash out in an irrational way. If you don’t take care of yourself, then your emotions will not be able to regulate themselves properly or positively affect those who are near. Self-care is just as important for emotional intelligence!

6. Don’t interrupt people while they’re talking

Don’t interrupt people while they’re talking with a “you should know that” attitude; this can make them feel condescended towards and unimportant, even if you didn’t mean it that way at all. This also means being mindful of what you say in an argument or heated discussion.

7. Speak from your feelings and experience, but

Speak from your feelings and experience, but also take the other person’s opinion into account–you cannot please everyone all of the time. This will help to make a more objective decision while still respecting another’s views on things as well!

emotional intelligence
Credit: educba.com


If you noticed, the four components of emotional intelligence actually all seem like they are the same thing. They are emotional intelligence skills that help us manage our emotional responses in difficult situations.

But they each serve an important function to make sure we’re emotionally intelligent

The four components of emotional intelligence include the ability to have empathy for others, understanding how emotional we are ourselves and managing those emotions accordingly, handling relationships with other people so that there’s a strong emotional connection without resorting to criticism or outbursts as a response, and finally being able to identify your own feelings so you can better understand what is going on around you

Emotional Intelligence helps us be more aware of where our negative reactions come from- like getting frustrated when waiting at Starbucks because it takes too long for them to move – instead of blaming someone else or yelling which can be harmful to the emotional bond

In the end, emotional intelligence is a way of understanding and managing our emotional reactions while maintaining an appropriate relationship with other people. It’s what connects us as humans because empathy creates a connection between two or more individuals which gives meaning to life through providing emotional experiences that can’t exist without being able to understand someone else’s feelings in a difficult situation

The key takeaway here is that we all have emotions but they are not always easy for everyone. We need skills like emotional intelligence to help us manage those emotions so we don’t act impulsively on them or let them control how we feel about ourselves and others around us… plus it makes relationships easier!

When you use your emotional intelligence skills, you create emotional connections and emotional bonds with others that can really help give meaning to life.

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About the Chief Editor

Godfrey Ogbo, the Chief Editor and CEO of AtlanticRide, merges his environmental management expertise with extensive business experience, including in real estate. With a master's degree and a knack for engaging writing, he adeptly covers complex growth and business topics. His analytical approach and business insights enrich the blog, making it a go-to source for readers seeking thoughtful and informed content.

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