Emotional intelligence refers to your ability to recognize emotions in yourself and respond to emotions in others. Understanding your emotions will help you learn why you act in certain ways, and will also help you communicate better with others. It’s difficult to become comfortable with your feelings, especially for men raised to believe that showing emotion isn’t manly.
Start by observing how you feel. You may struggle at first, and might have believed up until now that you didn’t have many emotions. It may be difficult to notice much, but with practice you may realize that certain emotions show up as a bodily sensation. Take note of them and try to spot those feelings in the future. When you are better at noticing your emotions, pay attention to your behavior. Emotions influence your behavior, and understanding them will help you break bad habits and start healthy ones.
It is difficult to question your opinions when you are surrounded by people with similar viewpoints. Understanding the other side of the story can challenge your beliefs, and will help you understand others. Lastly, emotional intelligence means knowing that emotions and behaviors come from inside you, not from anyone else. Taking responsibility for how you behave will open the door to personal growth.