Emotional intelegence - why you feel what you feel

Emotional intelegence - why you feel what you feel

So many times after some situation happened where I acted in a particular way I asked myself “Why I did so?”. Often we are acting in a way we would never do under other circumstances. Yes, we are all people, we are might be victims on own emotions and feeling. But the more I ask “Why?” the more clear it becomes to me that often the root cause is that I don’t understand my emotions, therefore cannot react appropriately.

Emotional intelligence

Based on Danie Goleman and Richard Boyatzis, Emotional intelligence (EI) consists of 12 parts.

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The important part here is to understand where are your strong and weak sides. You can be great at empathy while cannot stand for yourself in an argument.

Being selfish is bad, the same way as trying to please everybody.


Empathy - king of EI, at least for me. Empathy is feeling with people. Brown defines the 4 Qualities of Empathy:

  • Perspective-taking
  • Staying out of judgment
  • Recognizing emotions
  • Communicating recognition of emotions

Sample empathy statements to get you started:

  • If I understand correctly, you are saying X.
  • I can see how you are coming at this. How can I best support you?

Empathy can show in three different ways. Cognitive empathy happens when we intellectually understand someone else’s situation: we can conceptualize their perspective. Emotional empathy is when we can feel how it feels to be in the other person’s shoes. The last type, compassionate empathy, is related to altruism— it happens when we are naturally drawn to help someone we connected to through emotional and cognitive empathy.

You know empathy when you hear it.

I’m with you… I’m here for you… I feel you…

See this amazing video

And don’t confuse empathy with sympathy.

You should not like somebody to recognize and understand their emotions.

Learn yourself with the “Feelings wheel”

One of the ways to improve your EI is to try to understand yourself better. There is an interesting I was trying to do whenever I feel overwhelmed with emotions: describe your state with an outer circle of the “Feelings Wheel”

Emotional awareness:

  • what we feel, why we feel;
  • self-management, manage emotions in an effective way;
  • empathy, know what someone else is feeling;
  • social skills, skilled relationship;


Hard to count how many experts recognize gratitude as one of the ways to improve your IE and personal well-being. One of the great exercises to try is to keep Gratitude dairy. Some of them could be found online, for example, 90 Day Gratitude Journal”. Sometimes we are some self-absorbed that we don’t see how many things in life we should be grateful for.


Some of the resources found useful and used here:

  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/225438760_Moral_Emotions_and_Unethical_Bargaining_The_Differential_Effects_of_Empathy_and_Perspective_Taking_in_Deterring_Deceitful_Negotiation
  • https://positivepsychology.com/active-listening/
  • https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/meditation_causes_compassionate_action
  • https://myhbp.org/leadingedge/public/distributions/d8c20622-666b-40d2-a8ae-f452cdbdf238/assets/2c941771-92a0-45b6-aece-2521938e65b4
  • https://hbr.org/2017/01/the-downsides-of-being-very-emotionally-intelligent
  • https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2016-60248-001
  • https://www.truepotential.fi/services/develop-your-emotional-intelligence
  • https://www.developgoodhabits.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/The-90-Day-Gratitude-Journal_Final-V2.pdf
  • https://brenebrown.com/videos/rsa-short-empathy/
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7m9eNoB3NU
  • https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-gratitude/

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