What is Emotional Intelligence

An emotionally intelligent person has an excellent grasp of their emotions. You’ve probably encountered one with high emotional intelligence. It can even be you. But first, let’s define this specific type of intelligence: 

What Is It?

Emotional intelligence is often explained as the ability to “recognize, interpret and process emotions,” whether in yourself or others. It’s often combined with a high level of empathy. People with high EQ respond well to situations and can maintain a calm demeanor even during stressful events.

That person can be your seatmate back in high school who’s always calm every finals week. They are those who can handle an awkward family reunion without breaking a sweat. The friend you trust the most and get what you’re going through. 

That’s because they are the people who possess emotional intelligence. A person simply can learn about themselves and apply that knowledge to their surroundings. 

How It’s Measured

Throughout the years, several different types of assessments to measure emotional intelligence have emerged. That includes online assessments that you can do in the comforts of your couch. Generally, the tests fall into two types such as: 

  • Self-report test
  • Ability test

A self-report test is the most common type as they are the easiest to assess. In this test, the respondents need to answer by rating their behavior. Meanwhile, ability tests involve people having to respond to certain situations and evaluate their skills. 

This type of test often involves a third party observing their responses and rate them. So if you’re interested in taking an emotional intelligence test conducted by a mental health specialist, you’ll encounter these: 

  • MSCEIT or Mayer-Salovey-Caruso Emotional Intelligence Test

It’s a type of ability-based test that measures the four branches of “Mayer and Salovey’s EI model.” In this assessment, test-takers are designated to perform specially designed tasks on how they perceive, process, and respond to emotions. 

  • ESCI or Emotional and Social Competence Inventory

This test uses a more traditional way, using a Self-Assessment Questionnaire. It involves acquaintances who know the test-taker and give their rating of that person’s emotional capabilities. 

Types of Emotional Intelligence

Self Awareness

Self-awareness is the ability to recognize and understand what you feel. It requires us to dive deep into our emotions and tune in to what we feel. For example, self-awareness is about confronting the negative emotions that bother us. 

Self Management

This type of emotional intelligence involves controlling emotions and not letting them take over a situation. It’s an ability that can overcome strong impulses. Self-management is about developing an ability that can embrace the unpleasant feelings within ourselves. Then, once it’s identified, it’s essential to have personal time to reflect on what’s bothering you. 


As people empathize with others, a deeper relationship is developed. It’s the ability that helps you recognize how’s and why’s whenever a person is feeling the way they do. This type of EQ helps anticipate how actions and behaviors can influence others. 

Relationship Management

In general, managing relationships involves a decent amount of social skills. This type of emotional intelligence involves clear communication expressed courteously and concisely.

How It’s Beneficial

A person with a high emotional intelligence has a better hold on their emotions. It can even be handy to save yourself from unwanted events. Have you ever experienced an incident where you regret what you’ve done? It can be a moment where you’ve done something on impulse or because of an emotional outburst. This scenario is a perfect example where emotional intelligence is not utilized.

It helps us identify and manage our emotions to use them positively. Developing your emotional intelligence can help you: 

  • Communicate better
  • Prevent rash decisions
  • Reduce anxiety or stress levels
  • Defuse conflicts
  • Further, improve relationships
  • Empathize with other people 
  • Overcome challenges in life