Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

Intelligence is an ill-defined term because it can encompass many things. Experts agree that there are differences in intelligence, but what do those differences really mean? As we learned, the expert definition of intelligence refers to the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, and think abstractly, among others. This to me, seems to encompass many things outside of just the traditional “book smart” definition of intelligence. It is my belief that there are many types of intelligence therefore, there are variety of ways to define intelligence. Intelligence is so abstract that it becomes difficult to define it into one category.

I first came across Daniel Goleman’s book, Emotional Intelligence my senior year of high school. Since then, I’ve seen it come up time and time again particularly emphasizing the importance of emotional intelligence. According to Psychology Today, emotional intelligence is defined as “the ability to identify and manage your own emotions and the emotions of others.” Emotional intelligence encompasses three skills: emotional awareness, applying emotions to tasks such as thinking and problem solving, and the ability to manage emotions.  Being able to harness emotional intelligence is extremely important because it goes beyond being able to solve a problem on the first try. An emotionally intelligent person embodies skills needed to be successful in academic, professional, and personal relationships. This to me is a very important skill because you can be at the top of your class, but if you’re not emotionally intelligent, you won’t do well at relationships in the workplace, let alone in personal and romantic relationships. The image below demonstrates characteristics possessed by low emotionally intelligent people and high emotionally intelligent people. Emotional intelligence seems to be what allows individuals to become successful in their personal and professional careers.

Emotional intelligence is important for daily living. Now, this is not to say that other types of intelligence should not be valued, of course they should be! Being intelligent in other areas is also important, but being emotionally intelligence is what brings the package together. What do you think?

You can take an online quiz that measures how emotionally intelligent you are! There is a total of 15 questions. Click on the link and try it!


2 thoughts on “Is Emotional Intelligence Important?

  1. scolon

    Your title is really attention grabbing which is always important in writing a blog post I suppose so that is really nice! The reason being is that is emotional intelligence important question. I always figured that emotional intelligence would further peoples careers in life because if you’re smart enough not to start problems you’ll keep succeeding in life so your research was really interesting to read. I also agree with you saying that though emotional intelligence is important that doesn’t mean other types of intelligence isn’t important too. Really fun post! I also really like the fun little quiz you linked at the end about how emotionally intelligent a person is, it’s really amusing and interactive. Good job!

  2. kmarston

    While I agree that emotional intelligence should be valued alongside other forms of intelligence, how would you compare this intelligence towards people with autism for example? Based on the Low and High Emotional Intelligence chart you posted, people on the autism spectrum (higher functioning in this case) would score about half for each category. Does this mean that they are inherently doomed to be less successful in daily living and relationships compared to a ‘neurotypical’ person? I believe that it is always important to evaluate intelligence and other aspects of cognition with a grain of salt to keep in mind the diversity that encompasses humanity!

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