How to Grow Your Emotional Intelligence

When it comes to celebrating strengths, brains and brawn often trump sensitivity and emotional resilience. This short animation makes the case for recognizing the importance of our own feelings, as well as those around us.

When considering an example of intelligence, most people would name someone known for their genius, like Albert Einstein. However, intelligence extends beyond an accomplished brain. There are different types of intelligence one can have — and that includes the ability to perceive and interpret emotions.

Identifying distinctive types of intelligence allows us to discover that emotional intelligence is often a blindspot. For example, we could have a friend who is very clever, but has messy relationships; or know someone who has made millions of dollars, but remains unhappy. These people are intelligent in other skill sets, but they lack emotional intelligence.

In this animation for the School of Life, philosopher Alain de Botton explains, “Emotional intelligence is the quality that enables us to confront with patience, insight, and imagination the many problems that we face in our affective relationship with ourselves and with other people.”

Emotional intelligence in action

Emotional intelligence sets the tone for how we react both to other people’s emotions and our own, as well as how we handle life’s ups and downs.

Those with high emotional intelligence are unlikely to trust their first impulses.

de Botton notes that in social life “we can…